The belief before UFC 285 was that Alexa Grasso would have to put up a perfect fight to defeat Valentina Shevchenko. Who knew that also applied to the champion?
In a closely contested bout, Shevchenko made a mistake that Grasso capitalized on by sinking into a rear naked choke for a fourth-round submission win to claim the longtime dominating champion’s women’s flyweight at T-Mobile Arena. from Vegas.
The stunning result makes Grasso the first Mexican-born woman to win a UFC title (she was the first to compete for one) as she becomes the third newly crowned Mexican champion of 2023.
“Please pinch me, cause I feel like I’m dreaming,” Grasso told Joe Rogan during his Octagon interview after the fight.
#UFC285 results: Alexa Grasso (@AlexaGrasso) def. Valentina Shevchenko via submission (rear naked choke) – Round 4, 4:34 – to win the women’s flyweight title
Game by game: https://t.co/1aCa7IdAY5 pic.twitter.com/N1H85Nyt8B
— MMA Addict (@MMAJunkie) March 5, 2023
In three rounds, Grasso (16-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) scored something of a moral victory as his boxing served as a wake-up call to Shevchenko (23-4 MMA, 12-3 UFC) early on, which made The champion resorted to takedowns and holds that likely earned her two of the first three frames.
Then came the moment in round 4. After spending most of the round standing and trading blows, Shevchenko kicked backwards in the last missed minute, which allowed Grasso to immediately jump on his back and fight on the mat.
From there, Grasso worked hard for the finish until she got it by sinking into the choke and forcing Shevchenko to tap out with 26 seconds left in the fourth. Grasso said the finish was no accident.
ALEXA GRASSO HAS SUBMITTED VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO!!
WE HAVE A NEW SOFTWEIGHT CHAMPION 👑🇲🇽 #UFC285 pic.twitter.com/t4HMH5vXnw
— UFC (@ufc) March 5, 2023
“I train for this stuff,” said Grasso, a former strawweight who is 5-0 as a flyweight. “It was practice. I practice every day with this thing, because I knew it was doing these spinning things. … I trained so, so hard that I’ve never done it before in my life.
The result halted Shevchenko’s dominant run to the championship at seven straight title defenses, and it was her first loss at flyweight since dropping bantamweight in 2018.
Shevchenko clarified his intentions afterwards.
“Definitely an immediate rematch,” she said, “because I know I was winning the fight.”
UFC 285 minute results include:
- Alexa Grasso won. Valentina Shevchenko via submission (rear naked choke) – Round 4, 4:34 – to win the women’s flyweight title
- Shavkat Rakhmonov defeats. Geoff Neal via submission (standing rear naked choke) – Round 3, 4:17.
- Mateusz Gamrot defeated. Jalin Turner by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27).
- Bo Nickal beats. Jamie Pickett via submission (arm-triangle) – Round 1, 2:54
- Cody Garbrandt beats. Trevin Jones via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Dricus DuPlessis defeated. Derek Brunson via TKO (corner stoppage) – Round 2, 4:59.
- Amanda Ribas defeats. Viviane Araujo by unanimous decision (29-27, 30-26, 30-27).
- Marc-Andre Barriault defeated. Julian Marquez via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:12.
- Ian Machado Garry defeated. Song Kenan via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 4:22.
- Cameron Saaiman beats. Mana Martinez via unanimous decision (29-26, 28-27, 28-28)
- Tabatha Ricci defeats. Jessica Penne via submission (armbar) – Round 2, 2:14.
- Farid Basharat defeated. Da’Mon Blackshear unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Loik Radjabov defeated. Esteban Ribovics unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s Event Center for UFC 285.