UFC 285 Odds & Picks for Valentina Shevchenko vs. Alexa Grasso: Value on Total
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan
- Longtime champion Valentina Shevchenko puts her flyweight title on the line against Alexa Grasso at UFC 285 tonight.
- Shevchenko, who goes for her eighth consecutive title defense, is a massive favorite once again.
- Below, Dan Tom breaks down the title fight and offers his best betting angle for the five-rounder.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Alexa Grasso Odds
The UFC 285 co-main event on Saturday features a women’s flyweight title fight between longtime champion Valentina Shevchenko and Alexa Grasso.
Although Grasso may not have been the general public’s first choice to challenge for Shevchenko’s belt, this is undeniably an interesting time at 125 pounds.
Despite being on a nine-fight winning streak since dropping down to her natural division, Shevchenko finally looked human in her last outing opposite Taila Santos at UFC 275.
Couple that semi-controversial win with all the new blood in what was once considered a weak weight class, and one could argue that the stage is set for a big upset in the near future.
Let’s dig into Saturday’s Shevchenko vs. Grasso fight, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||17:20||13:40|
|Weight (pounds)||125 lbs.||125 lbs.|
|Date of birth||3/7/1988||8/9/1993|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||3.19||5.14|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||1.90||4.02|
|Take Down Avg||2.53||0.44|
Even though each woman in the co-headliner is primarily known for their striking, they both wield deceptively well-rounded games from different stances.
Shevchenko, the southpaw, is a disciplined counter striker who comes from a muay Thai background.
Not only does Shevchenko carry the striking diversity that one would associate with the art of eight limbs, but the 34-year-old also comports herself well inside of the clinch. Whether Shevchenko is unloading knees or hitting slick trips and tosses, the sitting flyweight champion is a multi-dimensional threat.
That said, Shevchenko will still need to try her best to stay poised while attempting to extinguish her latest threat.
Although Grasso officially stands 0-1 opposite UFC-level lefties (losing to Tatiana Suarez by first-round submission), the Mexican fighter has found new life since moving up to 125 pounds.
Grasso may not be the largest flyweight, but her technique and urgency make her a must-see fighter among her female contemporaries.
From crisp combinations to flexible footwork, Grasso does a decent job of staying active while always looking to score.
Alexa Grasso boxing up Maycee Barber pic.twitter.com/5aIRe51dJr
— Ocelot MMA (@Ocelot_MMA) March 1, 2023
Still, I suspect that Grasso’s underrated grappling and scrambling ability could be live in this contest.
As seen in Shevchenko’s last fight, the champion is not beyond getting overaggressive when going for takedowns (which subsequently opens the door for dangerous and unneeded scrambles).
Should Shevchenko fail to secure positions off her takedown attempts, then don’t be surprised to see Grasso flex her Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt by taking the reigning champ’s back.
Shevchenko vs. Grasso Pick
The betting public continues to back dominant champions, listing Shevchenko -800 and Grasso +575 as of this writing.
It’s hard to blame the CLV crowd for what is ultimately a prohibited favorite from Jump Street, so I suggest getting creative if you’re looking to play the Shevchenko side of the equation.
For my money, I went ahead and took a couple of small fliers on Shevchenko by TKO/KO (+200) and for her to win in Round 2 (+500).
Although Grasso has yet to be stopped by strikes as a pro, she’s still never faced a striker of Shevchenko’s size and caliber. I also believe that Shevchenko – based on the takedown and guard passing success from previous opponents – will be able to get to Grasso into her favored finishing the position of the crucifix.
Not only am I hyped for Ciryl Gane Vs Jon Jones for the vacant HW belt…
I’m also hyped for my personal favorite female fighter Valentina Shevchenko for her 8th flyweight title defense.
Her crucifix against Jessica Andrade is one of the best ever, brutal elbows. Beautiful work. pic.twitter.com/bHNwV7uFbg
— Bryan Hallberg 🇸🇪 (@DetroitCode) February 20, 2023
And if you’re wondering why I don’t just eat the chalk on Shevchenko’s “inside the distance” prop instead, it’s because I’m already invested in the under 4.5 rounds for practically the same price (-150).
Not only does the under cover both methods of Shevchenko stoppages (should they come before the final two and a half minutes of the fight), but it also covers potential paths for a Grasso upset.
Even though both fighters are more than capable of fighting for the entire 25 minutes, I believe that Grasso’s aggression will force an action-heavy affair that sees some major swings early.
The Pick: Shevchenko-Grasso under 4.5 rounds (-145 at DraftKings) | Bet to -170
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