Valentina Shevchenko put women’s flyweight title on the line in the UFC 285 co-main event on Saturday against Alexa Grasso.
Shevchenko has dominated the 125-pound weight class since it was implemented by the fight promotion. She unbeaten, hasn’t lost since 2017, has successfully defended the championship seven times, and her only two UFC losses are decisions to Amanda Nunes in the bantamweight division.
Grasso brought a four-fight winning streak with her on the octagon at T-Mobile Arena and took to the fight to “Bullet.”
Shevchenko took the center of the cage and stood right in front of Grasso. Grasso bounced on her feet looking to move into boxing distance. Grasso connected with a right hand that got the champion’s attention. She followed up with a clean combination.
Shevchenko quickly started targeting the legs of Grasso with kicks. In the final seconds of the opening frame, Grasso changed levels and looked to get the fight to the ground.
Shevchenko secured a takedown early in the second frame. She peppered Grasso with short punches to the body and head before moving to side control. She worked to put Grasso in a crucifix position and hammer away with punches and elbows. Grasso worked her way back to her feet and pressured Shevchenko, but the champion scored a second takedown late in the round.
Grasso moved forward in the third round. They exchanged jabs. Grasso’s right hand has connected. Shecvhenko took Grasso down midway through the round. She was active on top but was stood up by the referee with just under a minute remaining in the frame. Shevchenko secured another takedown and took Grasso’s back.
The pace was slow to start the fourth. Grasso defended a takedown attempt early in the round. Shevchenko used her jab to keep Grasso on the outside. Grasso closed the distance and clinched. She pressed Shevchenko against the fence and worked for a takedown. Shevchenko circled free and went back to landing her jab.
Shevchenko missed with a spinning back kicks and Grasso applied a rear-naked choke. Shevchenko went out. Grasso shocked the world!! The official ending came at 4:34 of the 4th round.
ALEXA GRASSO HAS SUBMITTED VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO!!— UFC (@ufc) March 5, 2023
WE HAVE A NEW FLYWEIGHT CHAMPION 👑🇲🇽 #UFC285 pic.twitter.com/t4HMH5vXnw