Alexa Grasso surprised many when she submitted Valentina Shevchenko, but the incredible feat was months in the making.
Following Grasso’s upset win over Shevchenko in the co-main event of UFC 285, the new flyweight champion told reporters that the fateful back-take she scored after a missed Shevchenko spinning strike that led to the finish was something her team had scouted in training camp.
On Monday, Grasso’s uncle and coach Francisco Grasso shared a video of the fighter training the counter-technique:
Watch a direct comparison of the training and the finish below.
How beautiful pic.twitter.com/jNFLfnnmhh— MS (@UFC_Obsessed) March 6, 2023
Immediately after the fight, Shevchenko commented on the “stupid situation” she put herself in and later referred to the move as a “mistake” in an Instagram post. She also wrote that she believes she was “dominating all the fight” before she was submitted in the fourth round. According to the official scorecards, Shevchenko was up 29-28 on all three judges’ scorecards after Round 3.
Francisco’s post made it clear that Grasso’s win wasn’t just because of a fluky moment, as he shot down the suggestion that it was “luck or coincidence” and wrote that the winning technique was “practiced hundreds of times with many variations.”
Both Grasso and Shevchenko have said they’re open to an immediate rematch, but for now Grasso is basking in the glory of being the first Mexican woman to win a UFC title and the first fighter to hand Shevchenko a loss at flyweight.
See an emotional Grasso’s reaction to her warm homecoming welcome below, courtesy of ESPN.
Así el recibimiento en Guadalajara para la Campeona del Mundo, @AlexaGrasso. Con mariachi y flores, sus seres queridos le dan la bienvenida a la tapatía que no pudo contener las lágrimas. pic.twitter.com/DJMJrVxnzN— Ernaldo Moritz (@Ernaldo58) March 6, 2023