Alexa Grasso upsets the odds and defeats Valentina Shevchenko to clinch UFC gold
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Alexa Grasso is a world champion.
One of the most dominant reigns in women's flyweight history has come to an end with Valetina Shevchenko losing her belt to sixth-ranked Grasso.
She becomes the third Mexican-born champion in UFC history following Brandon Moreno and Yair Rodriguez.
Prior to the fight, the bookies in Las Vegas had her at 25/1 to beat Shevchenko.
ALEXA GRASSO HAS SUBMITTED VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO!!— UFC (@ufc) March 5, 2023
WE HAVE A NEW FLYWEIGHT CHAMPION 👑🇲🇽 #UFC285 pic.twitter.com/t4HMH5vXnw
From the very first bell in the co-main event at UFC 285, Grasso dominated the fight.
On the feet, she proved too much for Shevchenko, landing a number of shots which appeared to rock the champ.
#ANDNEW FLYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD, @AlexaGrasso 👏👏 #UFC285 pic.twitter.com/Xtt2A8s0Zk— UFC (@ufc) March 5, 2023
And on the ground, she was simply unstoppable – eventually winning the bout thanks to a rear-naked choke in the fourth round.
For the finish, she expertly capitalised on Shevchenko's mistake, dodging a spinning back kick before sinking in the deep submission.
Alexa Grasso fought the fight of her life. Rose to the occasion. That was phenomenal stuff and a phenomenal finish from someone who isn’t as well known for her ground game.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) March 5, 2023
Incredibly, the commentary booth revealed that she'd actually trained for that exact situation during her camp.
Overcome with emotion after the fight, Grasso dedicated her victory to her team as well as her partner.