Monday, November 28, 2022

Grasso Explains Why Araujo Fight “Had To Happen”

It may have taken longer than expected for the fight to come together, but Alexa Grasso knew a matchup with Viviane Araujo would happen eventually.

The 29-year-old is set to meet Araujo in a women’s flyweight bout serving as the main event of UFC Vegas 62. Grasso is currently on the best run of her UFC career and has won three-straight fights since moving to flyweight in 2020.

The matchup between Grasso and Araujo was originally meant to take place in August, but Grasso was forced to pull out the week before the fight and it was subsequently rescheduled.

Ahead of her first UFC main event, the Mexican flyweight was asked at the UFC Vegas 62 media day if she was frustrated at all by the fact that the bout was moved.

“No. You know, fight or not fight, we are always training,” Grasso answered. “So no matter what happened, we continue with the training, and thank God now we have the main event opportunity.”

“It’s A Nice Matchup For Both Of Us”

Grasso may have been the one to cause the August fight to be rescheduled, but it was Araujo who pulled out with an injury the first time the matchup was booked for UFC 270 in 2021.

It’s not often the UFC will stick with a matchup so stalwartly that they book it a third time, which prompted one media member to ask Grasso if it was her or the UFC that wanted to make sure this fight took place.

Grasso submitted Joanne Wood in her last fight. (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

“I think this is a fight that had to happen because we are both pretty similar. We are super close in the rankings, you know one number sometimes she was up, sometimes I was up – right now I’m up – but it had to happen, you know? We’re pretty similar in stats, we’re super close in every single area. So it’s a nice matchup for both of us.”

With flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko having already defeated the top 4 ranked fighters in the division, there’s plenty of room for new contenders to announce themselves.

Grasso is currently #5 and Araujo #6 in the UFC’s flyweight rankings, so a convincing win for either woman at UFC Vegas 62 could be enough to earn a title shot against Shevchenko.

What do you make of Grasso’s comments that a bout between her and Araujo was bound to happen at some point?