The Co-Main Event for UFC 285 is finally here and will be a bout to determine the Women’s Flyweight (125 lb) Champion. No. 6 Alexa Grasso of Mexico will be making her first title challenge against the reigning Flyweight Champion and women’s MMA legend Valentina Shevchenko. Shevchenko will look to continue her legacy as one of the GOATs of MMA as Grasso attempts to pull off one of the biggest upsets we could possibly see. You won’t want to miss this as we get under way. Check out our UFC odds series for our Shevchenko-Grasso prediction and pick.

Valentina Shevchenko is 23-3 in her pro career and is 12-2 in the UFC. She won her flyweight title back most recently in 2018 and has since defended her belt seven consecutive times. She continues to prove her status as arguably the best women’s fighter of all time and is without a doubt the most complete women’s champion we’ve ever seen. She has a never-ending set of skills and has been able to prevail against some of the division’s toughest competition. Shevchenko is most recently coming off a split-decision win to Talia Santos in a razor-thin fight. She’ll look to add another title defense against a very hungry challenger. Shevchenko stands 5’5″ and has a 65.5-inch reach.

Alexa Grasso is 15-3 in her MMA career and has gone 7-3 in her fights with the UFC. After suffering a loss to Carla Esparza in 2019, Grasso went on to win her next four fights and tear through some of the division’s top competitors. A talented boxer, she has improved in each one of her fights and showed an entirely new wrinkle in her ground game against Joanne Wood where she notched a submission win. After shutting down Viviane Araujo, Grasso earned her title shot and will be hoping to make her dreams come true as a massive underdog. Alexa Grasso stands 5’5″ and has a 66-inch reach.

Here are the UFC Odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

UFC 285 Odds: Valentina Shevchenko-Alexa Grasso Odds

Valentina Shevchenko: -800

Alexa Grasso: +520

Over (3.5) rounds: +100

Under (3.5) rounds: -128

How to Watch Valentina Shevchenko vs. Alexa Grasso


Stream: ESPN+ UFC PPV, UFC Fight Pass

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Time: 10:00 p.m. ET/ 7:00 p.m. PT (Main Card)

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Why Valentina Shevchenko Will Win

Valentina Shevchenko is perhaps the most complete women’s mixed martial artist we’ve ever seen. She has a lethal striking game, doubling her limbs as deadly weapons. She has powerful kicks to all three levels of the opponent and has world-class striking speed with her hands. Shevchenko does a great job of bouncing around the octagon and staying active for all five rounds. She’s never out of shape and is always willing to push harder in the championship rounds. Shevchenko will have a very game opponents in the stand-up with Grasso, so she’ll have to be defensive-minded and make sure not to over-extend on her punches. She’s usually a tight striker and covers up well, so look for her to continue doing so against the constant punches of Grasso. Shevchenko has eight wins by knockout in her career.

Valentina Shevchenko look human in her last fight against Talia Santos. She struggled to get the takedown against the bigger Santos and was not as sharp with her striking as we’ve seen her be. Being the champion that she is, Shevchenko will learn from her last bout and make sure to tighten up some of the mistakes she made. She should have a decent advantage on the ground and with her physical strength, Shevchenko should certainly be able to hold Grasso down. This is a huge spot for an upset and Grasso will be putting it all on the line. Valentina has more to lose with this fight, so she’ll need to be very focused and not underestimate her opponent.

Why Alexa Grasso Will Win

After a few early hiccups in her career, it finally seems as though Alexa Grasso has put all of her skills together and rounded herself out to be a very polished and dangerous mixed martial artist. She has an expansive boxing background and fights with the Mexican spirit we’ve seen from fighters like Yair Rodriguez and Brandon Moreno. Grasso will usually be the one to continuously walk forward in her fights. She has a great chin and is always willing to eat a shot or two just to land one of her own. She has very slick boxing and does a great job of moving her head in the pocket. While she’s had trouble finishing opponents with her hands, she’s usually able to do enough to out-strike them on the scorecards. Recently, she showed off her newly evolved ground game and notched a submission over a good jiu-jitsu player in Joanne Wood.

The biggest question for Grasso will be the massive step-up in competition. She’s looked good against some of the top fighters in the division, but it’s been a division massively ruled by Valentina Shevchenko for the better part of five years. Not many women have been able to get close to the belt, but Grasso will have an unwavering confidence in herself and her ability to get the job done on Saturday. She’ll have to be very active in sprawling when Shevchenko attempts takedowns. She won’t want to spend too much time on the cage as her opponent will be stronger, so look for Grasso to constantly stick at range and circle with her lead jab. Fighting behind the jab will be key. If she can land a few punches and stun Shevchenko, she could put her away in a flurry and shock the world.

Final Valentina Shevchenko-Alexa Grasso Prediction & Pick

Alexa Grasso seems like the best version of herself and in her prime. If there’s ever a time to pull off an upset like this, now would be perfect for her. There’s a ton of questions surrounding Shevchenko and whether she’s out of her prime after the Santos fight, but the betting lines should indicate that Shevchenko will come into this matchup hungry to make another statement. Grasso will certainly have her moments early in this fight, but I expect Valentina to be much stronger in the clinch and wrestling exchanges. Look for the champ to prove herself and notch another title defense here. The line isn’t worth betting, so let’s take a fun round prop.

Final Valentina Shevchenko-Alexa Grasso Prediction & Pick: Valentina Shevchenko (-800); to win in RD 3 (+1000); to win in RD 4 (+1200)