Alexa Grasso stopped Valentina Shevchenko in the fourth round to become the new UFC Flyweight champion. The Mexican submitted Shevchenko via a rear-naked choke in the fourth round to capture the gold.
Shevchenko opened the first round with some kicks of her own but soon started respecting the hands of Grasso as the Mexican was landing some well-calculated punches. In the second round, Shevchenko took matters to the ground and was happy to rest in the dominant position. When things went back to the stand-up position, Grasso was posing visible issues to the reigning champion. The fight had a similar flow in the third round as well and Shevchenko was looking to wrestle whenever he had the opportunity to do so as Grasso was showcasing some crisp boxing. Grasso got the back of Shevchenko in the last minute of the fourth round and locked in a rear naked choke to submit Shevchenko and capture the UFC Flyweight title.
After the fight, Grasso said that she had trained to get the submission against Shevchenko and credited her training partners.
Valentina Shevchenko came into the fight with a nine-fight winning streak under her name. The streak started back in 2018 against Priscila Cachoeira after which Valentina secured wins over Joana Jedrzejcyzk, Jessica Eye, Liz Carmouche, Katlyn Chookagian, Jennifer Maia, Jessica Andrade, Lauren Murphy and Taila Santos.
The reigning Flyweight champion was 23-3 in her professional MMA career heading into the UFC 285 co-main event having only lost to Amanda Nunes and Liz Carmouche throughout her career.
Before the match, Valentina had travelled around the world to pick up new lessons and was full of confidence.
Alexa Grasso, on the other hand, came into the fight with a record of 15-3. She was on a four-fight winning streak with wins over Ji Yeon Kim, Maycee Barber, Joanne Wood and Viviane Araujo. Her last loss came against Carla Esparza back in 2019. Grasso has been a mainstay in the UFC since 2016 after having a good run in Invicta FC.
Since joining UFC, she has built up a record of 7-3 in the promotion with her other two losses coming against Felice Herrig and Tatiana Suarez. She was also looking to be the first female Mexican UFC champion.
Elsewhere, prior to the showdown between Valentina Shevchenko and Alexa Grasso, Shavkat Rakhmonov produced a memorable performance at UFC 285 when he submitted Geoff Neal in the third round.
With the win, Shavkat improved his professional MMA record to 17-0 with all 17 of his wins coming via finishes. Bo Nickal also impressed on the main card as he secured a first-round submission win in his fight.
What are your thoughts on the performance of Valentina Shevchenko and Alexa Grasso.