Valentina Shevchenko wants immediate rematch with Alexa Grasso after ‘stupid situation’ cost her belt
Valentina Shevchenko was gracious in defeat to Alexa Grasso, but she wants the chance to right her wrong at UFC 285.
Moments after tapping out to Grasso this past Saturday’s headliner, Shevchenko blamed a “stupid situation” for her loss and sought an immediate rematch with the Mexican champ.
“Definitely an immediate rematch, because I know I was winning the fight,” Shevchenko told Joe Rogan at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Shevchenko was as high as a -1200 favorite to defend the UFC flyweight title for an eighth straight time against Grasso. Apart from a slow start that saw Grasso land several heavy punches, the longtime champ appeared well on her way to winning the fight, using her wrestling to neutralize the challenger’s offense. All three judges scored Rounds 2 and 3 for the champ.
Then, in an instant, things went awry for Shevchenko. A whiffed spinning back-kick in the fourth round allowed Grasso to take her back and quickly sink in a rear-naked choke. The hold was so tight, it left an impression on the champ’s jaw where the blood had drained from her face.
“This is kind of like what happens in mixed martial arts,” Shevchenko lamented afterward. “You’re winning the fight all around, all around, no doubt. And a stupid situation can change the whole game. This is the part of the game. Congratulations to Alexa, and I know that I’m stronger and if not this spinning kick [it] would be a different result.”
Grasso afterward signaled she’d be open to an immediate rematch, so Shevchenko should look at the fight’s result with a small silver lining. Prior to UFC 285, Erin Blanchfield was looked at as her next possible challenger.
The night snapped a nine-fight winning streak for Shevchenko, whose last loss came in 2017 at the hands of two-division champ Amanda Nunes in a bantamweight bout.
“Yes, actually, everyone to trains hard and you do whatever you have to do to be in the fight in some situation,” Shevchenko said. “This is what happened, but at least [there is some] movement in flyweight division, maybe [my loss] created, like, some girls will be more alive before I come back and get my title back.”
Shevchenko also addressed the loss in an Instagram post Monday.
“Martial arts is my life and I will be back for immediate rematch stronger than ever,” Shevchenko wrote. “Fight doesn’t forget any mistake. Especially it feels frustrating when you was dominating all the fight. No excuses, only hard work. Ready to start all over.”