Photo: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP / Getty Images
Alexa Grasso went up to the octagon of the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas full of illusion and accompanied by ranchera music, specifically from “El Son de la Negra”, to face the most important fight of his career in mixed martial arts. A while later, the Mexican gladiator descended from the cage with the UFC flyweight champion belt.
In a recent major upset in combat sports, Alexa Grasso became the first fighter born in Mexico to become a UFC champion by defeating defending champion Valentina Shevchenko in the fourth rounda legendary gladiator from Kyrgyzstan who celebrates her triumphs with dance and graceful twists.
This time there was no victory dance. What there was was a 29-year-old Mexican reaching the pinnacle after more than a decade of professional career in the so-called MMA despite the fact that in the bets he appeared with odds of 6 to 1, that is, they gave him little chance of victory.
The victory of the woman from Guadalajara was via submission at 4:34 minutes of the fourth round, after executing a neck lock or “mataleón”.
Grasso (16-3) handed Shevchenko (23-4) his first loss since 2017. The 34-year-old woman who is also Peruvian captured the title in 2018 and then successfully defended it seven times until she met the Mexican.
In order to win, Grasso had to endure moments of pressure against Shevchenko, who, according to analysts, had just won rounds 2 and 3.
She joins Brandon Moreno, of Tijuana, and Yair “Pantera” Rodríguez, of Parral, Chihuahua, as current Mexican champions in the UFC. Moreno, who witnessed Grasso’s triumph on Saturday in Las Vegas, holds the scepter of flyweight, a division that is now one hundred percent Mexican in the leading mixed martial arts company. Rodríguez is the interim featherweight champion.
“I’m super happy for this moment. I worked for many, many years,” Grasso said as he walked down a hallway at T-Mobile Arena after his extraordinary conquest at UFC 285.
News in development.
– The Mexican “Pantera” Rodríguez wins the interim UFC featherweight title
– Brandon Moreno had to flee the octagon due to the hostility of the Brazilian public
– Caín Velásquez finally released from prison after eight-month nightmare in California