Alexa Grasso Shines In Flyweight Debut At UFC Fight Night 175Former strawweight contender Alexa Grasso made a successful flyweight debut in her featured matchup tonight at UFC Fight Night 175: “Smith vs Rakić” in Las Vegas, Nevada. The standout striker put forth an excellent showing en route to a Unanimous Decision win over Ji Yeon “Firefist” Kim.

In addition to Grasso’s impressive performance, UFC Fight Night 175 also featured a pair of women’s strawweight bouts. Polyana “Dama de Ferro” Viana quickly submitted Emily “Spitfire” Whitmire, while Mallory Martin rallied back from a rough first round to submit Hannah “Shockwave” Cifers.


Grasso (12-3-0) found early success with overhand rights and leg kicks until Kim (9-3-2) countered with a combination. She backed Grasso up with a nice left hook, but Grasso began to find her range and she snapped Kim’s head back with a hard one-two. She mixed up her strikes late in the round with leg kicks and more quick combinations. Grasso darted in and out with left hooks and leg kicks in round two, which kept Kim guessing. A right hand from Grasso led to an exchange of power punches and Grasso damaged Kim’s nose with a quick flurry. Kim’s left eye began to swell up as well as a result of Grasso repeatedly scoring with overhand rights, and both women landed punches late in the round.

As the competitive fight entered the final round, Grasso began to pull away with quick jabs and one-twos. Kim connected with a solid combination, but Grasso responded with a forearm strike and a right cross. The fighters clinched and Kim threw knees to the body while Grasso punched with her free hand. Grasso secured a takedown into Kim’s half-guard late in the fight, and she postured up with elbows to Kim’s jaw before the final bell.

Scores were 30-27 thrice for Grasso, who made a successful flyweight debut with tonight’s win and got herself back on track following a narrow Majority Decision loss to Carla Esparza in September. Grasso did not appear to be undersized for the division and she did an excellent job of overcoming Kim’s reach advantage in the striking exchanges tonight.


Viana (11-4-0) halted a three-fight losing skid and showcased why she was once one of the strawweight division’s brightest prospects with tonight’s quick and one-sided win over Whitmire (4-4-0). After Viana landed an early combination, Whitmire took her down into side control. Viana quickly regained full guard and threw elbows from the bottom, then transitioned into an armbar. She pulled back on Whitmire’s arm, forcing Whitmire to submit while in great pain at the 1:53 mark of round one.

Also at 115 pounds, Martin (7-3-0) overcame getting dropped and nearly finished by Cifers (10-7-0) in round one with a slick submission finish early in the second stanza. The fighters traded strikes in the opening round until Cifers floored Martin with an overhand right. Martin battled back to her feet, but Cifers blasted her with hard punches and knees until Martin was forced to pull guard. Having survived the first round, Martin came out aggressively in round two and she quickly took Cifers down into half-guard. Martin landed punches and elbows that set up a move to mount and she dropped more elbows until Cifers gave up her back. Martin locked on a rear-naked choke and Cifers tapped out, giving Martin an impressive comeback victory at the 1:33 mark of round two.



(Photo Credit: UFC)