After Dana White stated recently that booking the expected rematch between Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko for the UFC’s September 16 Fight Night event — the same date as Mexican Independence Day — made sense, the promotion has gone ahead and pulled the trigger on the fight.
The women’s flyweight title fight will headline the card at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sept. 16, with Grasso (16-3) running it back against Shevchenko (23-4), the only UFC woman to ever defend the 125lb title in the UFC.
News of the booking was first reported by MMA personality The Schmo.
Shevchenko won the title against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in 2018, after inaugural champ Nicco Montano was stripped of her title. “Bullet” then never looked back, defending her belt on seven consecutive occasions, a UFC record for a single weight class (Amanda Nunes’ own title defense run spanned two different weight classes, and saw her defend the 135lb title five times on her first run as champ).
Few expected to see Alexa Grasso, a promising but still young Mexican standout, dethrone Shevchenko in their UFC 285 match-up this past March. But that is exactly what ultimately happened, with Grasso submitting the champ in the fourth round of a fight that Valentina Shevchenko had appeared to be winning on the scorecards.
Calls for a rematch were immediate.
Prior to the Shevchenko win, Grasso had defeated the likes of Maycee Barber and Joanne Wood. She was also the third Mexican UFC champion crowned in three months, following Brandon Moreno in January (flyweight), and Yair Rodriguez the following month (interim featherweight).
Aside from the main event, a handful of bookings have been reported for the UFC’s September 16, 2023 event. They include:
- Alexa Grasso (c) vs. Valentina Shevchenko — for the UFC women’s flyweight championship
- Anthony Hernandez vs. Chris Curtis
- Lupita “Loopy” Godinez vs. Sam Hughes