UFC 285 results: Alexa Grasso makes Valentina Shevchenko tap out, wins flyweight title in huge upset
The belief heading into UFC 285 was that Alexa Grasso would need to fight a perfect fight to defeat Valentina Shevchenko. Who knew that also applied to the champion?
In a closely contested fight, Shevchenko made one mistake that Grasso capitalized on by sinking in a rear-naked choke for a fourth-round submission win to claim the women’s flyweight from the longstanding dominant champ at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The stunning outcome makes Grasso the first Mexico-born woman ever to win a UFC title (she was the first to compete for one) as she becomes the third newly crowned Mexican champion of 2023.
“Please pinch me, because I feel like I’m dreaming,” Grasso told Joe Rogan during her post-fight octagon interview.
#UFC285 results: Alexa Grasso (@AlexaGrasso) def. Valentina Shevchenko via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 4, 4:34 – to win women's flyweight title
Play-by-play: https://t.co/1aCa7IdAY5 pic.twitter.com/N1H85Nyt8B
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) March 5, 2023
Through three rounds, Grasso (16-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) had a moral victory of sorts as her boxing served as a wake-up call to Shevchenko (23-4 MMA, 12-3 UFC) early, which made the champ resort to takedowns and grappling that likely had her winning two of the first three frames.
Then came the moment in Round 4. After they spent most of the round standing and exchanging jabs, Shevchenko threw a spinning back kick in the final minute that missed, which allowed Grasso to immediately jump on her back and take the fight to the mat.
From there, Grasso worked hard for the finish until she got it by sinking in the choke and forcing Shevchenko to tap out with 26 seconds left in the fourth. Grasso indicated the finish was no accident.
ALEXA GRASSO HAS SUBMITTED VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO!!
WE HAVE A NEW FLYWEIGHT CHAMPION 👑🇲🇽 #UFC285 pic.twitter.com/t4HMH5vXnw
— UFC (@ufc) March 5, 2023
“I train for that thing,” said Grasso, a former strawweight who is 5-0 as a flyweight. “It was training. I train every single day that thing, because I knew she did those spinning things. … I trained so, so hard like I never have before in my life.”
The result halted Shevchenko’s dominant championship run at seven consecutive title defenses, and it was her first loss at flyweight since she dropped down from bantamweight in 2018.
Shevchenko made her intentions clear afterward.
“Definitely immediate rematch,” she said, “because I know I was winning the fight.”
Up-to-the-minute UFC 285 results include:
Alexa Grasso def. Valentina Shevchenko via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 4, 4:34 – to win women’s flyweight title
Shavkat Rakhmonov def. Geoff Neal via submission (standing rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:17.
Mateusz Gamrot def. Jalin Turner via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27).
Bo Nickal def. Jamie Pickett via submission (arm-triangle) – Round 1, 2:54
Cody Garbrandt def. Trevin Jones via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Dricus Du Plessis def. Derek Brunson via TKO (corner stoppage) – Round 2, 4:59.
Amanda Ribas def. Viviane Araujo via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-26, 30-27).
Marc-Andre Barriault def. Julian Marquez via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:12.
Ian Machado Garry def. Song Kenan via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 4:22.
Cameron Saaiman def. Mana Martinez via unanimous decision (29-26, 28-27, 28-28)
Tabatha Ricci def. Jessica Penne via submission (armbar) – Round 2, 2:14.
Farid Basharat def. Da’Mon Blackshear unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Loik Radzhabov def. Esteban Ribovics unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 285.