UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko has the utmost respect for her next opponent, but she is confident of having enough skills in her artillery to clinch another successful title defence.
Shevchenko (23-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC) and Alexa Grasso (15-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) will feature in the co-main event of Saturday’s UFC 285 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
This will be Shevchenko’s eighth title defence. When speaking about the upcoming clash, the champion appreciated Grasso’s skills, who has been unbeaten since moving up to 125 pounds.
“Alexa is a good fighter, a strong fighter. If she’s fighting against me for this title, it’s for a reason. But it’s all the same. All are strong fighters at this level of competition.
“They’re the very best at this level, so it doesn’t matter how good she is. What matters is that I’m here to defend the belt. It’s not about her. It’s about my preparation. If I’m 100 percent in form, I know I can do well in the fight,” Shevchenko
Grasso has grabbed four consecutive wins since switching her weight class. Her technical boxing has helped her overwhelm her previous opponents, but Shevchenko seems prepared for Grasso’s potent weapon.
“Yes, of course (her boxing is good), but there’s a difference here: We’re fighting MMA, not boxing,” the UFC women’s flyweight champion added.
“I know that her background is boxing and striking, but that doesn’t mean she’s not going to use all the weapons she can use in MMA. The strategy is different for the fight.”