Las Vegas, NV – Coming off one of the biggest upsets in UFC history flyweight champion Alexa Grasso knows that while it took a lot of hard work to win the title it’ll take even more in order to defeat former champion Valentina Shevchenko at Noche UFC on Saturday night.
“I always said that making history is never easy, but I’ve been working so hard every single day of my life to be at this moment,” Grasso told reporters including Cageside Press on Wednesday.
“This last camp wasn’t different. I was training more, with more discipline, I was like 2-3 times (more extreme) with my training and with everything that has to be done to be the champion again, to win the fight again, and I just try to keep focused on the goal.”
Grasso (16-3) stands along as the last Mexican UFC champion left following defeats for both Yair Rodriguez and Brandon Moreno in their last fights respectively. She doesn’t see a lot of pressure in being the lone champion from Mexico.
“I don’t think (I’d) call it pressure. I think it’s more motivation. We have done so much in the sport. We’ve been evolving so hard and this keeps me with tons of motivation to keep the belt in Mexico,” she said.
Shevchenko had said, following her loss to Grasso, that she had made a mistake and chalked the result up to that. Grasso didn’t think it was a mistake, but rather her seeing the opportunity that she trained for.
“It just kind of surprised me because someone with such big experience and competing at this high level we know that there are no accidents. I trained for that moment, and you can see the video that I have before the fight. I was training exactly that same position,” said Grasso.
“So it was something that I trained to win that fight.”
That doesn’t mean there is any kind of bad blood between the two. Grasso and Shevchenko were seeing greeting each other prior to media day on Wednesday, but that was the first interaction between the two since their last fight.
“We always say hi for respect. We have respect for each other, but no we didn’t have a chat,” she said.
Without looking past Shevchenko at Noche UFC on Saturday night Grasso sees a bright future for the women’s flyweight division. The rise of contenders Erin Blanchfield and Manon Fiorot present possible future opponents for Grasso should she retain her title at Noche UFC.
“I’m super happy (with) the flyweight division. This was the last weight class (to enter) the organization. Now we are giving a lot of results, now we are having a lot of great athletes. I think they both have a great win, and I’m happy for the division,” she told Cageside Press.
“Right now I’m focused on my fight this Saturday, but after if everything goes like my plan, maybe on Saturday we can talk about that.”
Watch the entire media day scrum with Alexa Grasso above. She defends her title in the rematch with Valentina Shevchenko on Saturday night at Noche UFC in the main event.