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Valentina Shevchenko respects Alexa Grasso’s palms, however says ‘we’re preventing MMA, not boxing’

February 28, 2023 8:00 pm ET Valentina Shevchenko will never take lightly an opponent, and that includes Alexa Grasso. The UFC women’s flyweight champion is scheduled to make her eighth consecutive title defense, as she takes on a streaking Grasso (15-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) in the co-main event of Saturday’s UFC 285 at T-Mobile Arena

Valentina Shevchenko respects Alexa Grasso’s palms, however says ‘we’re preventing MMA, not boxing’

Valentina Shevchenko won’t ever take flippantly an opponent, and that features Alexa Grasso.

The UFC girls’s flyweight champion is scheduled to make her eighth consecutive title protection, as she takes on a streaking Grasso (15-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) within the co-main occasion of Saturday’s UFC 285 at T-Cellular Enviornment in Las Vegas.

Shevchenko (23-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC) sees a high quality problem within the Mexican fighter, however nothing past the extent that she’s been used to competing in opposition to for thus a few years.

“Alexa is an effective fighter, a powerful fighter,” Shevchenko told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “If she’s preventing in opposition to me for this title, it’s for a purpose.

“However it’s all the identical. All are sturdy fighters at this degree of competitors. They’re the perfect at this degree, so it doesn’t matter how good she is, what issues is that I’m right here to defend the belt. It’s not about her, it’s about my preparation. If I’m 100% in kind, I do know I can do properly within the combat.”

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Grasso is unbeaten since transferring as much as 125 kilos. She’s racked up 4 consecutive wins, defeating notable names reminiscent of Viviane Araujo, Joanne Wooden, Maycee Barber and Ji Yeon Kim. Though she’s proven a very good floor sport in her performances, each defensively and offensively talking, Grasso has enamored followers and pundits together with her technical boxing.

Shevchenko is conscious of Grasso’s greatest weapon, however feels she’ll want a way more full placing arsenal to threaten her standing as champion.

“Sure, in fact (her boxing is nice), however there’s a distinction right here: We’re preventing MMA, not boxing,” Shevchenko defined. “I do know that her background is boxing and placing, however that doesn’t imply she’s not going to make use of all of the weapons she will use in MMA. The technique is completely different for the combat.

“I’m able to combat wherever the combat goes –placing, wrestling, floor sport. I do know what to do and dominate in every space. I’ll present that on Saturday.”

So far as the place Grasso’s placing ranks when it comes to Shevchenko’s earlier opponents, some could she’s proper up there with the perfect. Shevchenko is hesitant to place her at No. 1 as she’s confronted very sturdy candidates, including a Boxing Hall of Famer.

“She’s positively good, however you’ve got to bear in mind all the opposite opponents,” Shevchenko stated. “For instance, after I fought Holly Holm that was at one other weight class, that was a special stature – longer arms, legs. It was all completely different.

“I wouldn’t say that she’s the perfect striker in MMA as a result of the combat is MMA model. Combined Martial Arts. In the event you solely have one weapon, you don’t have many instruments to win. You should be extra full than only a boxer.”

For extra on the cardboard, go to MMA Junkie’s occasion hub for UFC 285.

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