It’s confirmed — Valentina Shevchenko vs. Alexa Grasso will rematch later this year, per Dana White. Grasso pulled off the upset of the year in March when she made Shevchenko tap out at UFC 285. What happens in the grudge match? We think we know! In this article, we’ll drop our expert predictions on Grasso-Shevchenko 2, which if you can wait long enough, could get you paid!
- What: Valentina Shevchenko vs. Alexa Grasso
- When: September 16, 2023
Shevchenko vs. Grasso Preview
We knew this fight was happening at some point, but now we know exactly when: September 16, which is likely a UFC Fight Night card slotted for Las Vegas. White announced it earlier this week, and as far as we can tell, it’s never too early to preview Grasso vs. Shevchenko. With Amanda Nunes now retired, this is a matchup between the two best women’s fighters in the world — Grasso is ranked No. 1 pound for pound, while Shevchenko is at No. 2.
Grasso’s win at UFC 285 is one of the biggest upsets in promotion history — right up there with Holly Holm vs. Ronda Rousey. Up to that point, Shevchenko had been one of the most dominant champions in UFC history. She captured the flyweight belt in 2018 and successfully defended it seven times, tying the female record for the promotion. At some top-used betting sites for UFC, Shevchenko was as big as -700 to win the first fight.
But it was not to be. In the fourth round, Shevchenko attempted a spinning high kick, which Grasso easily avoided. Suddenly in a precarious position, Shevchenko put out in a rear-naked choke, and as they say, the rest is history. For Grasso, she became the first Mexican-born female to win a UFC championship. For Shevchenko, it was the first defeat of her career since Nunes in 2017.
The odds are way closer in the second go-around. However, Grasso still isn’t the betting favorite despite the prior win and No. 1 ranking. Here’s a look at the current Grasso vs. Shevchenko betting odds:
Grasso vs. Shevchenko Betting Predictions
It’s easy to call Grasso’s win “fluky.” Shevchenko made a mistake and she paid for it. That’s what happens in this sport to all the great fighters — Kamaru Usman, Amanda Nunes, Izzy Adesanya all had similar shock losses beforehand. Two of those fights easily avenged those defeats, and with the way the odds are, bookmakers seem to think that’s due here too. However, our Grasso vs. Shevchenko prediction has a little more nuance to it.
Grasso was competing with Shevchenko even before the rear-naked choke. On all three official scorecards, Grasso won the first round. That round was mostly fought standing up. It was a close round, but at one point, Grasso connected with a left cross that visibly shook the then-champion. After that, it was quite clear Shevchenko began to respect Grasso’s striking ability. Shevchenko went on to win rounds two and three. Again here, all three judges were in agreement about that. Respecting the power, Shevchenko leaned on her wrestling both rounds to get the points.
Given how those three rounds unfolded last time, the way we see it, if Shevchenko is going to avenge her loss, it’s going to be from the ground. For Grasso, her best path to victory is standing up and taking to Shevchenko. Which of those two strategies has a better chance of hitting?
We’ll be honest, we’re starting to think Shevchenko’s skills are slipping. The elephant in the room is that Val is 35 years old — six years older than the current champion. Furthermore, she has a lot of miles on her radar with a whopping 27 MMA fights and another 59 in kickboxing. Part of the reason why she looked uncomfortable standing up in the first fight was because Shevchenko was noticeably slower. Grasso was landing quicker and not struggling at all to dodge strikes from Shevchenko.
Therefore, we’re jumping on Grasso’s moneyline — and we mean jumping. Seriously, getting her at plus money, little less +160, is an absolute steal. We’re putting extra money on her to win and if we had to predict how, our guess is that Grasso stops Shevchenko with a big-time TKO.
How To Bet On UFC Futures?
Out of all the bet types offered by UFC, futures are our favorites. As the name hints, these bets don’t settle into well later in the future (you’ll have to wait three months for this rematch). But what’s the phrase, “the best things in life are worth waiting for?” Welp, that’s futures to a tee, especially when getting plus-money odds on a champion like this one. To bet on UFC futures, we recommend starting with one of the bookmakers below.
There are more UFC futures bets available, including Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler and Adesnya vs. Alex Pereira. Best of all, you could bet on these fights for free using a lucrative promotional bonus. Each site has one of these, but our absolute favorites are listed below. Pick one and voila, you’ll have hundreds to thousands of dollars in free play to wager with!