Tonight in the UFC Fight Night 114 co-main event, a strawweight contest will go down when Mexican prospect Alexa Grasso battles TUF 20’s Randa Markos.
Grasso (9-1-0) looks to rebound from the first loss of her professional career to Felice Herrig back in February. She made her UFC debut last November, dominating Heather Jo Clark for the unanimous decision victory. Prior to signing with the UFC, she was dominating the 115-pound division in Invicta FC, defeating the likes of Jodie Esquibel, Ashley Cummins and Mizuki Inoue.
The 23-year-old who trains at the Lobo Gym MMA, along with UFC bantamweight Irene Aldana, recently opened up about the loss in an interview with MMA Fighting.
“It was a very big fight, against a big name opponent, and I was fighting in the co-main event,” Grasso told MMA Fighting. “And I don’t know, I took it as if it were this super gigantic thing, when I only had to train and enjoy it, which I didn’t. I was just like, ‘I have to win, I have to win, I have to win, and I have to train more, more, more,’ so everything that I did and trained for, I wasn’t able to do it in the fight.”
“It hurts, obviously,” Grasso said. “At first, it hurts a lot, but well, that’s something that you have to go through. All the greatest athletes have lost at some point. But I’m just taking it the best way possible, learning from my mistakes that I won’t be making again, and seeing what I need to improve on. I think obviously that losing is bad, but I see it as something good. I think I went through a stage that I needed to go through and it helped me mature a lot, and believe me, I’m a new athlete and person.”
Grasso feels as though the reason she lost her last fight was because of mental problems, rather than lack of skill.
“The last training camp was very stressful,” Grasso explained. “I was too obsessed, in a bad way, that I had to train a lot. But in this one, it was more like my other training camps where I just trained and enjoy it a lot. I just understood that you don’t have to be stressed about your training camp. Apart from the physical demands, it’s very mental, so you have to be okay mentally. So yeah, I’m just enjoying it and staying concentrated because if you start overthinking it, things go bad.”
“Obviously being in a co-main event brings some pressure because everyone is waiting for those two last fights, and you play an important role,” Grasso said regarding being booked to co-headline again. “But I no longer see it as something bad, I think that I have a new opportunity to do it well, and do it how I wanted to do it in the last fight. So I’m trying to be more calm, but I also see it as a great opportunity, a great opportunity to regain the spot that I was in.”
UFC Fight Night 114 takes place tonight (Saturday August 5) from the Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, Mexico. The main card featuring Markos VS Grasso will be aired live on Fox Sports 1 from 10pm EST.