At this point, the only way that Valentina Shevchenko will relinquish the UFC women’s flyweight title could be through her eventual retirement. Yet another contender will try to literally wrestle that belt away on Saturday when Shevchenko vs Grasso hits the Octagon.
While legal online North American sportsbooks favor Shevchenko handily on Saturday, Alexa Grasso might have an opportunity to demonstrate that the gap between Shevchenko and the field is narrowing. At the same time, it looks like this is a perfect matchup for Shevchenko.
Shevchenko vs Grasso could add to fighter’s legacy
Shevchenko has already sent seven consecutive challengers for her flyweight title packing, which is a UFC women’s record. She could take another step toward breaking the record for either sex on Saturday night with an eighth defense.
Shevchenko comes in to this bout having won each of her last five fights, three of them by knockout. Her size is very comparable to Grasso’s; both are 5’5″ and the difference in their reach is all of 0.7″ or two centimeters.
Shevchenko has the advantage in terms of experience, with eight more UFC bouts under her belt than Grasso. At the same time, Grasso is five years younger. Grasso has won four of her last five contests with three of those wins coming by way of decision.
Sportsbooks like Shevchenko to add another chapter to her storied career Saturday.
The lines on Shevchenko vs Grasso
As of 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, most major legal online North American sportsbooks have moneyline odds on this fight.
|Shevchenko to win
|Grasso to win
Handicapping Shevchenko vs Grasso
For every attribute that can be credited toward Grasso, it seems Shevchenko not only has a counterpunch but can actually top that. For example, while Grasso averages more strikes per minute, Shevchenko exceeds her accuracy rate.
While Grasso has been more successful in securing submissions, Shevchenko’s success in securing takedowns is higher. The list goes on. This is where Shevchenko’s experience and her greater versatility could make her the superior fighter.
Grasso’s only chance of an outright win in this one could be simply wearing Shevchenko down with a fury of significant strikes, taking advantage of her age. To make that happen, however, she’ll need to endure a lot of strikes from Shevchenko.
Because there doesn’t seem to be a lot of value on the moneyline here, method of victory and round props might be a better way to go. An early knockout or submission for either fighter seems unlikely, so betting on this one to go the distance and end with a decision seem better options.