Valentina Shevchenko Huge Favorite Versus Alexa Grasso at UFC 285

  • Valentina Shevchenko has opened as the massive -600 favorite against Alexa Grasso (+425).
  • Shevchenko will defend her UFC women’s flyweight title against Grasso at UFC 285 on March 4th.
  • The bout will be Shevchenko’s 8th defense of the UFC women’s flyweight belt and Grasso’s first-ever world title fight.

UFC women’s s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko has debuted as a heavy betting favorite to beat Alexa Grasso at UFC 285.

According to online sportsbook BetOnline, Bullet is the -600 betting favorite to successfully defend her belt for the 8th consecutive time. Meanwhile, Grasso has opened as the heavy +425 bottom dog in her first UFC world title fight. 

The bout between Shevchenko and Grasso was first reported by ESPN last week after sources confirmed that the two fighters have mutually agreed to the matchup. If no other title fight will be subsequently booked for the March 4th numbered event, the bout between Shevchenko and Grasso is expected to co-headline UFC 285, which will be headlined by Jon Jones vs Cyril Gane.

Valentina Tired of Waiting for Challengers

Shevchenko was recently in the news, telling reporters that she is open to doing super fights against fellow champions Amanda Nunes and Weili Zhang as she has gotten tired of waiting for opponents to challenge her. Bullet has not fought since defeating Talia Santos via split decision in one of the rare instances where Shevchenko did not dominate a UFC flyweight bout. 

It can be recalled that Shevchenko moved to the women’s flyweight division after the UFC created the weight class. Prior to that, she campaigned at bantamweight where she faced Nunes twice and gave the Lioness two hard-fought contests. Since moving down to her natural weight division, Shevchenko has won her last 9 bouts, including 8 world title fights. During that span, Shevchenko never opened with the plus money sign written next to her name and entered all bouts as the betting favorite of at least -300.

The 34-year-old Kyrgyztani-Peruvian fighter is 23-3 with 8 knockouts and 7 wins via submission. Only two of her losses have come in the UFC, with both defeats coming against Nunes at bantamweight. Shevchenko was taken to her limits by Santos the last time out but other than that, she has been very dominant as a flyweight and has recorded seven consecutive successful title defenses,

Grasso Gets First Title Shot

While Shevchenko will be shooting for an 8th straight successful title defense, Alexa Grasso will be fighting in her first world title fight as a professional mixed martial artist. The 29-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico has won four consecutive bouts since dropping to flyweight, including an impressive victory over Vivianne Araujo in her most recent outing at the main event of UFC Fight Night 212 last October.

Grasso joined the UFC in 2017 with an undefeated 8-0 record, including 4-0 under Invicta FC. However, she was beaten by Felice Herrig in her second UFC assignment in a loss that began a 2-3 stretch for her. Grasso is unbeaten since the start of 2020 and is now the no. 5 ranked UFC women’s flyweight in the UFC. Initially, it was Manon Fiorot who was touted to challenge Shevchenko next but Fiorot underwent surgery after her last win, opening the door for Grasso to step in.

This marks only the third time in her UFC career that Grasso has opened with the plus-money sign written next to her name. She won during the first two instances, beating Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 238 and defeating Maycee Barber at UFC 258. This is, however, Grasso’s longest opening odds ever as a pro-MMA fighter and given Shevchenko’s resume, it’s not a surprise at all.

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Shane Acedera
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Shane turned a childhood love of the NBA into a successful writing career as he’s been covering basketball and other sports online since high school. Acedera branched out into sports betting over a decade ago and has been a reliable contributor to TheSportsGeek for the last five years. Shane loves to talk sports whether it’s with other enthusiasts or with his wife and three dogs.

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