Mexican UFC Champion Alexa Grasso is set to defend her title against Valentina Shevchenko in a highly anticipated rematch. Get all the details about the upcoming Fight Night in Las Vegas and the UFC’s efforts to appeal to the Latino audience.
Alexa Grasso, the first Mexican woman to be crowned champion in the history of the UFC, is set to fulfill her dream of fighting in Las Vegas. On the weekend of Sept. 16, Grasso will be headlining a card at the T-Mobile Arena, a date typically reserved for Mexican boxing legends like Oscar de la Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez, and Canelo Alvarez.
Grasso will defend her flyweight crown in a highly anticipated rematch against Valentina Shevchenko, whom she defeated in a shocking fashion last March. The victory marked Grasso’s fifth consecutive win and earned her the flyweight championship.
"I was incredibly excited, and now I get to headline a Fight Night at T-Mobile Arena, so it feels like a dream come true," said Grasso, 29.
The UFC is making a clear effort to appeal to the Latino audience, and this card showcases the best Mexican talent available. In the co-main event, Mexican American Kelvin Gastelum will face off against Shavkat Rakhmonov in a welterweight duel.
UFC President Dana White has expressed his interest in featuring more events that highlight Mexican fighters. Following UFC 290 in Las Vegas, where Mexican fighters Yair Rodriguez and Brandon Moreno both suffered defeats, White praised the Mexican fans for their support and commended the upcoming UFC facility in Mexico City.
Grasso acknowledges the challenge of facing Shevchenko again, knowing that her opponent will have learned from their previous encounter. Shevchenko exposed her back in the fourth round, allowing Grasso to secure a victory via submission with a move known as the "guillotine."
"I’m very interested in what she does, if she is going to fight standing up or go down to the mat," Grasso commented. "I don’t know what her plan is, but I am training really hard and covering all the bases."
The card also features exciting matchups between up-and-coming Mexican American fighters. Tracy Cortez will face Jasmine Jasudavicius in the flyweight division, while Cynthia Calvillo takes on Elise Reed in the strawweight category.