Alexa Grasso showed on Saturday that she is fully settled as a flyweight, winning her fourth straight fight since pent up from strawweight two years ago. Her victory in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas came via unanimous decision over another top-10 contender in the 125-pound division, Viviane Araujo.
Grasso (15-3), a 29-year-old native of Mexico, built up a significant lead in batting power over the five rounds. But her best work may have been her defensive wrestling – plugging eight of Araujo’s 10 takedown attempts. That kept the fight going for all but two minutes of Round 2, allowing Grasso to keep punches and kicks busy. She landed 193 goals versus Araujo’s 148.
Neither woman put the other in serious trouble, but Grasso led the dance, keeping the fight at a distance for the most part where she could best use her stand-up skills. All three judges scored the main event in their own way, dealing cards of 50-45, 49-46, and 49-46. But it was far from an outlier.
“She’s a tough warrior,” Grasso said of Araujo (11-4), a Brazilian fighter ranked 9th on ESPN’s world women’s flyweight list. “She’s a tough opponent, as you can see.”
Among the 125-pounders, only champion Valentina Shevchenko has a longer active win streak than eighth-place Grasso. But Grasso’s time on the division’s second-longest winning streak will likely be short-lived as two other top-10 flyweights with four-fight streaks, Katlyn Chookagian and Manon Fiorot, are set to clash at UFC 280 next weekend.
Saturday’s fight card at the UFC Apex should have a second matchup of the top-10 flyweights in the men’s 125-pound division. But Askar Askarov, who is ranked eighth by ESPN, was pulled from his fight with 9th-ranked Brandon Royval on Friday because the UFC called “weight management issues.”
https://www.espn.com/mma/story/_/id/34804672/alexa-grasso-tops-viviane-araujo-decision-ufc-fight-night Alexa Grasso tops Viviane Araujo by decision at UFC Fight Night