Moving up to flyweight paid off for Alexa Grasso at UFC Vegas 8.
The 27-year-old prospect out of Mexico struggled to find consistency when competing at strawweight so she decided to test herself at 125 pounds on Saturday night. With speed, power and good conditioning, Grasso was able to out strike and out work Ji Yeon Kim for all three rounds en route to winning a unanimous decision.
The judges all scored the fight 30-27 in favor of Grasso.
“I feel amazing in this new weight class,” Grasso said following the win. “I just wanted to show you that I’m a very, very hard working person. I love my job. Every time I step in the cage, you can see I’m evolving.
In the early going, it was Kim using her reach advantage to consistently connect with a nice lead jab that was snapping Grasso’s head back at distance. In return, Grasso was firing back with three and four strike combinations while trying to get inside to make Kim pay with her speed and power.
While she wasn’t throwing with as much volume, Kim did her best to make every punch count as she popped Grasso with a lot of straight shots down the middle.
As time passed, Grasso’s ability to throw force behind her blitzing combinations really started to pay off. She was throwing two or three punches in every exchange while Kim was typically only countering with a single shot.
Grasso really found her rhythm as she concentrated on a technical boxing attack, keeping her hands high for defense and then unleashing several consecutive shots before Kim was able to answer.
With a minute remaining in the fight, Grasso opted to take the fight to the ground and as she peppered away at Kim from the top, she secured the unanimous decision victory.
Grasso has long been considered a fighter to watch in the future but she went on a roller coaster ride at strawweight while bouncing back and forth between wins and losses. Now that she’s moved up to 125 pounds, Grasso looks healthier and happier, which showed in her debut performance on Saturday night.