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UFC 285 results: Alexa Grasso pulls off shocking submission to finish Valentina Shevchenko to win flyweight title


Alexa Grasso shocked the world at UFC 285 as she dethroned Valentina Shevchenko to become the new flyweight champion in a stunning upset.

A strong start for Grasso gave way to Shevchenko storming back with a series of takedowns that had her up on the scorecards. Just when it looked like Shevchenko was really taking over, she threw an ill-advised spinning back kick that Grasso countered by immediately taking the back.

From there, Grasso locked on the rear naked choke and after a few moments of trying to break free, Shevchenko tapped out with the end coming at 4:34 in the fourth round.

“Please pinch me because I feel like I’m dreaming,” Grasso said afterwards. “It was training, I’m training every single day for that thing because I know she does those spinning things. I trained that because I know she hits hard, she’s a great athlete.”

It was an incredible display from Grasso, who was one of the biggest underdogs on the entire card, but she still found a way to win.

Showing no fear standing in front of the champion at the start of the fight, Grasso stayed tight with her boxing stance as she set up her combinations including a left hand that stung Shevchenko early. As methodical as ever, Shevchenko was looking to set up her kicks while throwing a variety of looks at Grasso to keep her guessing in the exchanges.

Rather than trading on the feet, Shevchenko then opted to turn to her wrestling as she planted Grasso on the canvas while working to improve her position. Grasso was constantly scrambling to break free with Shevchenko advancing to side control while attempting to lock on the crucifix.

Just when it looked like Grasso was stuck, she managed to explode out and circle away from Shevchenko to get back to her feet. Grasso looked to open up her striking but that led to another takedown from Shevchenko as she maintained control until the second round ended.

Whenever the fight was on the feet, Grasso continued to find a home for her straight left hand but Shevchenko was answering back with punches of her own while also mixing in head kicks that kept backing off her opponent. Any time Grasso took a hard step forward to sit down on her punches, Shevchenko countered with her wrestling to bring the fight back down to the floor again.

Referee Jason Herzog made the inexplicable decision to stand the fighters up near the end of the third round but Shevchenko quickly landed another takedown, which led to a rear-naked choke attempt just before the horn sounded.

As time ticked away in the fourth round, Shevchenko had started to establish a well-timed jab that was popping Grasso in the face and it appeared “The Bullet” was on her way to an eighth straight title defense. That’s when she uncorked a spinning back kick to the body, which Grasso countered with a lightning quick takedown as she grabbed onto Shevchenko’s back.

Seemingly in a split second, Grasso had the rear-naked choke locked on and even with the arm not totally locked under the chin, Shevchenko had no choice but to tap out.

It’s the first time Shevchenko has ever been finished in the UFC and the first time she’s ever been submitted. Afterwards, Shevchenko wasted no time calling for an immediate rematch.

“This is kind of like what happens in mixed martial arts,” Shevchenko said. “This is a part of the game. Congratulations to Alexa. If not for this spinning kick it would be a different result. This is what happens. “Definitely, [I want] immediate revenge because I know I was winning the fight.”

Considering Shevchenko’s long reign atop the division, it would be awfully hard to deny her that opportunity but for now Grasso will stand tall as the new UFC flyweight champion.

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