Alexa Grasso admits that she was “pretty nervous” before her last fight with Felice Herrig in February, but after dropping a close decision to the strawweight veteran and suffering her first pro loss, the Mexican phenom is back with a new attitude heading into this weekend’s co-main event with 115-pound contender Randa Markos.
“I don’t want to repeat that loss,” she said. “All fighters go through that and have to deal with it.”
But what do they take from a defeat? As SBG Ireland coach John Kavanagh says, it’s “win or learn” on fight night, and Grasso picked up a lesson that is a good one for a 23-year-old to have so early in her career.
“Sometimes your head fills up that you have to do more and more, but it’s not about that,” she said. “You have to enjoy it.”
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Grasso already proved that she could fight. A 9-1 record that includes a 4-0 slate in Invicta FC tells the tale. But now that she’s in the UFC, the quest is to gain experience, evolve her game, and get those wins that will take her to the top of the division. It all starts again when she faces Markos, a tough out for anyone who is coming off a win over former champion Carla Esparza.
But if the playing field is to be leveled this weekend, Guadalajara’s Grasso has it in terms of home field advantage by way of a six and a half hour drive to Mexico City, where Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card is taking place.
Grasso got into town a week early to finish up her camp in the high altitude she will be fighting Markos in, and being in a place where she won her first UFC bout over Heather Jo Clark last November feels just like home.
“I’m very happy about fighting in Mexico and with the support I’ve been getting,” she said. “I feel really blessed to fight here and I’m happy to have a great opponent.”
Sounds like Grasso is taking this whole enjoying the ride stuff to heart. But when it’s time to fight, she gets serious about not leaving it in the hands of the judges. And if does happen to go three rounds, she’s expecting to leave no doubts.
“I’d like to have a knockout,” she said. “But wherever the fight goes I want them to see that I was dominant, even if it goes to a decision.”