The UFC’s first women’s Mexican champion is defending her belt this Saturday at UFC Noche in Las Vegas.
Alexa Grasso is set to run it back against longtime former champion Valentina Shevchenko after her huge upset in their first matchup.
In the co-main event, fan favorite Kevin Holland takes on fast-rising prospect Jack Della Maddalena.
Check out our UFC Fight Night odds, props, and predictions.
UFC Noche: Grasso vs. Shevchenko 2 Main Event Odds
The sportsbooks have this rematch at much closer odds than the last time around. The champion Grasso is a +140 underdog, making Shevchenko a slight favorite at -166.
UFC · Sat (9/16) @ 10:00 pm ET
|T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV|
UFC Noche Betting Preview: Grasso vs. Shevchenko 2
Grasso Looks to Shock the World Again
Does lightning strike twice? Alexa Grasso (16-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) will try to make sure it does.
The first women’s champion from Mexico has already made history and she has already pulled off one of the biggest title upsets in recent years. Now she’s the UFC’s pound-for-pound best women’s fighter.
But it wasn’t just a moment of luck. Grasso prepared for Shevchenko and it showed. Clips of her practicing the exact submission based on Shevchenko’s habit of throwing the exact kick that led to her loss surfaced and a bigger legend for the night was born.
Alexa Grasso didn’t just see the small window of opportunity. She had staked out the house for nights and knew exactly what time Shevchenko would open it.
Though Grasso won by submission, her boxing is where it’s at. She would probably serve herself best by keeping the distance because in a rematch like this, Shevchenko could try to come out more aggressive and smother the new champ or she may be more cautious. Either way, Grasso should rely on her crisp jab early, staying quick and composed.
Grasso was also on a win streak before facing the champ. She had notched wins in a row over Kim Ji-Yeon, Maycee Barber, Joanne Wood, and Viviane Araujo before taking out Shevchenko.
She also has UFC wins over Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Randa Markos.
But most importantly, she’s undefeated since making the move up to flyweight back in 2020. And she doesn’t look to stop that streak anytime soon. If she passes the Shevchenko test a second time, a few challengers wait in the wings, including Erin Blanchfield and Manon Fiorot.
Shevchenko Aims to Get Her Title Back
Valentina Shevchenko (23-4 MMA, 12-3 UFC) hadn’t lost since 2017 and she hadn’t lost to anyone not named Amanda Nunes until she stepped into the Octagon with Alexa Grasso back in March at UFC 285.
It should’ve been another night at the office for Shevchenko. She was around a -550 favorite and all of the attention was focused on the return of Jon Jones. Get in, beat another challenger, get out, and cash the check.
And the fight started that way. Grasso was holding her own and bringing a fight and even won the first round coming out strong, but Shevchenko was definitely winning the fight. She had been given rounds two and three, and she was more than likely winning four.
But with almost exactly one minute left in the round, Shevchenko threw a spinning back kick. Grasso instantly pounced onto her back and locked her legs in, dragging her to the ground. And the rest is history. Submission by face crank.
Less than a year later and here we are again. Does Shevchenko take the opportunity to add to her legacy or does Grasso begin a new era for the flyweight division moving forward?
Shevchenko’s resume is extensive. She has wins over Holly Holm, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Liz Carmouche, Taila Santos, Lauren Murphy, Jessica Eye, Katlyn Chookagian, and more.
She’s a well-rounded mixed martial artist of high caliber. Her striking is clean, her wrestling is overpowering, and her grappling is well-crafted. She is a true martial artist in the same vein as Georges St.-Pierre.
So is Grasso her Matt Serra or is this something more? Only Saturday night will tell.
But Shevchenko’s future is guaranteed to be interesting regardless of what happens this weekend. With a win, a trilogy fight with Grasso isn’t out of the question. Again, there’s Blanchfield and Fiorot.
Win or lose, there’s a potential move back up to bantamweight because there is no champion still after Nunes’ retirement. So champ champ status isn’t impossible and is quite intriguing to her surely.
Don’t let anyone ever tell you differently. It’s the most exciting time for women’s MMA.
UFC Noche Props
Here’s a sampling of Grasso vs. Shevchenko props from around the betting market:
Method of Victory (DraftKings)
- Grasso by KO/TKO: +1200
- Grasso by submission: +400
- Grasso by decision: +350
- Draw: +5000
- Shevchenko by KO/TKO: +350
- Shevchenko by submission: +700
- Shevchenko by decision: +150
Total Rounds (BetRivers)
- Over 1.5 (-715), Under 1.5 (+400)
- Over 2.5 (-360), Under 2.5 (+240)
- Over 3.5 (-215), Under 3.5 (+155)
- Over 4.5 (-143), Under 4.5 (+108)
Will Fight Go The Distance? (FanDuel)
- Yes: -122
- No: -106
How Fight Will End (DraftKings)
- Submission: +250
- KO/TKO: +275
- Decision: -135
UFC Noche: Grasso vs. Shevchenko 2 Prediction
After the “shock the world” aspect of the last fight, it might be safer to say this bout may be slower and go the distance. We may have seen this play out before with the rivalry between Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena. Pena had the shocking submission and Nunes came back in the rematch and got a solid decision victory.
Plus, Shevchenko to win by decision at +150 feels like a good buy at DraftKings.
UFC Fight Night Main Event Odds
Women’s Flyweight Championship: Alexa Grasso (+140) vs. Valentina Shevchenko (-166)
Welterweight Bout: Kevin Holland (+124) vs. Jack Della Maddalena (-148)
Bantamweight Bout: Raul Rosas Jr. (-750) vs. Terrence Mitchell (+525)
Lightweight Bout: Daniel Zellhuber (-278) vs. Christos Giagos (+230)
Featherweight Bout: Fernando Padilla (-250) vs. Kyle Nelson (+205)
UFC Fight Night Event Info
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Date: Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023
Start Time: Main Card at 10 p.m. ET
Where to Watch: ESPN+