Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Alexa Grasso hopeful trilogy bout with Valentina Shevchenko takes place at The Sphere, ‘Bullet’ pushes back

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Fighters are champing at the bit to fight at The Sphere in Las Vegas, which will host UFC’s second annual Mexican Independence Day fight card. That bodes well for women’s flyweight champion Alexa Grasso but her dance partner, Valentina Shevchenko, wants nothing to do with a second Noche UFC.

“I’ve seen some memos about how the fight could look inside that place. It looks amazing,” Grasso told CBS Sports. “I would love to fight there. I hope this is true and I hope we can have this big opportunity to present ourselves and perform in The Sphere. I think our job here in ‘TUF’ will be important for that decision.”

Check out the full interview with Alexa Grasso below.

Mexico’s Grasso and Kyrgyzstan’s Shevchenko will coach opposite each other on “The Ultimate Fighter” season 32. Grasso believes that generating interest in the show is crucial to securing them a spot at UFC’s Sphere premiere. “TUF” coaches traditionally fight each other at a later date. With the show filming in March and debuting on June 4, it perfectly tees up the rivals to start three-month training camps ahead of Mexican Independence Day weekend in September.

Grasso may be all-in on The Sphere, but Shevchenko is far from it. Their second fight ended in a split draw at Noche UFC last September. Both women believe they deserved to win. Shevchenko took issue with the setting, arguing that hosting the fight around Mexican Independence Day gave her a disadvantage with the judges. It’s not unusual for fighters playing away games to worry that loud fan reactions might influence how the scorecards. For example, if the crowd responds loudly every time their fighter throws a strike, a judge may overestimate the impact of that strike.

“I think it would be fair — as we already fought at Noche UFC and we already had that experience — to have something towards my side as well,” Shevchenko told CBS Sports. “Even now, I see there is a Mexican fighter on the [‘TUF’] roster but there is no Kyrgyzstani fighter on the roster. No fighter from Kyrgyzstan. I think it would be fair to have one for her and one for me.”

Check out the full interview with Valentina Shevchenko below.

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