The path to the UFC title for Alexa Grasso wasn’t as smooth as many believed. Despite her undefeated streak at 125 pounds and securing the division’s championship, she faced adversity that wasn’t evident in her flyweight career results.
In a recent interview with UFC Español, the Mexican fighter disclosed that she tore her ACL during her unanimous decision victory against Maycee Barber in 2021, which raised concerns about her future in MMA.
Alexa Grasso revealed, I’ve never talked about this before because it was painful, and I thought I would never be the same fighter. In the third round against Maycee Barber, around two minutes in, we had an awkward movement, and my knee got stuck on the canvas, and I heard a pop. I realized something was wrong, and it happened to be my worst round.
She further explained, I couldn’t move the same way. Walking felt like when your sandal is wet, and your foot slips away. I thought, ‘This can’t be happening. I’m winning the fight.’ I wanted to throw myself on the ground and give up. But I fought with my back against the fence as much as possible, giving it my all, and I won the fight.
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Alexa Grasso won the first two rounds against Barber but lost the third. However, she secured a unanimous 29-28 decision victory on all three judges’ scorecards.
Following the fight at UFC 258 in February 2021, she underwent surgery the following week, causing her absence from the octagon until March 2022 when she submitted Joanne Wood.
The recovery and return to fighting were daunting for Alexa Grasso, as she feared her fighting style might be compromised. She shared, Afterward, I immediately underwent surgery. I wanted to get it done right away. I also didn’t want to talk about it too much because when you have such a severe injury, opponents tend to target it. That’s why I stayed quiet.
Grasso underwent rigorous rehabilitation and even had the opportunity to do commentary for UFC Español during her low moments. She wondered if she would regain her previous form and footwork. The torn ACL was a painful nightmare for any athlete, but she dedicated herself to rehab and recovery, surpassing expectations.Two years later, she became the champion, a source of great pride for her.
Although Barber has put together four consecutive wins since their fight, including a split decision victory over Andrea Lee, she has expressed her desire for a rematch with Alexa Grasso.
Alexa Grasso’s last fight was in March, where she submitted then champion Valentina Shevchenko to claim the UFC women’s flyweight title in the co-main event of UFC 285. While her next fight has yet to be scheduled, UFC president Dana White hinted at a likely immediate rematch against Shevchenko for Alexa Grasso‘s first title defense.
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