The UFC women’s Strawweight division is ruled by one dominant force, “Joanna Champion”, Joanna Jędrzejczyk. Her speed, tenacity, technique & striking diversity have put her lightyears ahead of the competition. Even when a fight is close she seems to rise to the occasion, pulling away and hitting a different gear than her opponents are capable of.
On the horizon, however, there is a developing stable of seriously talented women. One of the bright young standouts in this upcoming crop of fighters is young Mexican star Alexa Grasso.
With plenty to show for herself already, an undefeated record, dominant victories and a unique kickboxing style, Grasso has been shredding the competition on her march for a UFC title-shot. Her debut fight in The Octagon against Heather Jo Clark was a display of absolute superiority in every aspect of the fight. A skilled showcase of Grasso’s mastery of the basics, much like new 135lb Men’s Champion Cody “No Love” Garbrandt.
In the previous fight against Clark, Grasso out struck and out worked her opponent the entire contest. Several times she had Clark hurt, backed up against the cage, nearly ready to go out and impressively Grasso displayed the knowledge and experience, the “Fight IQ” to choose her shots wisely and be patient. Rather than rushing in, potentially getting clipped with a good shot like we’ve seen countless times in the past, or by having an adrenaline dump and being unable to complete the finish.
Grasso represents the cutting edge in a sport that is continuously evolving. Rather than being specialists in one discipline, fighters now seamlessly blend multiple varying forms of unarmed combat and the martial arts that most effectively suit their physical gifts.
This young lady, while the comparison is vastly overused, fights with shades of Mike Tyson. Her bobbing and weaving style, incredible punching power, diverse array of attacks, beautiful footwork and perfection of the basics has propelled her to a 9-0 record with 4 knockouts.
The next challenge facing Grasso is the upcoming bout with the super-experienced kickboxing mountain of muscle and power, Felice Herrig, on February 4th at UFC Fight Night in Houston.
Herrig has not only a plethora of MMA experience, but a wealth of Combat experience in general. Herrig will be, by far, Grasso’s stiffest competition to date. If Grasso can beat Herrig and make a statement in doing so, by finishing her before the final bell or even dominating on points, she will undoubtedly be ranked well into the top 10.
Alexa Grasso is one of, if not the, brightest young talents in the UFC and she will undoubtedly become a champion someday. If she continues to use her genetic gifts and improve, she could ignite into the star, the role model to young girls especially, that the UFC so desperately needs after the loss of Ronda Rousey.