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Alexa Grasso

(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

How long can Alexa Grasso rule the women’s flyweight division?

Alexa Grasso
(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

How long can Alexa Grasso rule the women’s flyweight division?

At UFC 285, Alexa Grasso ended Valentina Shevchenko’s historic win streak and left the arena to win the UFC women’s flyweight title. Now that Grasso has the title, it is time for her to defend it. The real question is: how long can Grasso rule the women’s flyweight division? Let’s evaluate her skills and her upcoming competition.

The Valentina Shevchenko rematch

Grasso’s first task as champion will be to defend the women’s flyweight title against Shevchenko. That fight will be an interesting one. Shevchenko was able to win two of the first three rounds before Grasso found the finish in the fourth. Shevchenko found a lot of success landing takedowns and was able to land some control time. On the feet, Grasso landed some solid straights, but Shevchenko was finding success also.

I could easily see Shevchenko winning the rematch. The path to victory is evident. At the same time, Shevchenko has regressed two fights in a row. What is to say that her skills don’t continue to get worse? Plus, Grasso is only 29 years old and can still make improvements.

The verdict for Grasso and Shevchenko is too tough to call. I’d lean toward Grasso, but I could easily talk myself back into Shevchenko. It is tough to predict if Shevchenko will continue to regress or get back on track.

The rest of the division

The women’s flyweight division is currently in great shape. If Grasso gets past Shevchenko, she will have a handful of challengers nipping at her heels. Erin Blanchfield is coming off a great win that proved she is an elite flyweight. Manon Fiorot deserves a title fight. Taila Santos arguably beat Shevchenko when they fought at UFC 275. Those three fights are all tough for Grasso.

Out of those three names, I think Grasso’s has the best chance against Fiorot. That fight would come down to Grasso’s boxing versus Fiorot’s kickboxing. Once again, that is a close fight.

Meanwhile, I do not think Grasso has a chance of beating Blanchfield or Santos. The biggest weakness in Grasso’s game is her wrestling defense. That will be a massive issue against elite grapplers like Blanchfield and Santos.

The answer

The verdict does not go in Grasso’s favor here. In summary, I think she has a shot against Shevchenko and Fiorot, but she does not against Blanchfield or Santos. This all comes down to who Grasso fights and when they will fight. If things fall in Grasso’s favor, her next fights are Shevchenko and Fiorot. That could yield two title defenses, but I would not be shocked if she losses to either of those two. If her next fight comes against Blanchfield or Santos, she probably loses.

If I am forced to quantify Grasso’s defenses, I would say a realistic ceiling is two while losing the belt in her next fight is a strong possibility.


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