Home/UFC

via Imago

via Imago

0
  Debate

Debate

Is Shevchenko's alleged refusal to fight Grasso a strategic move or a sign of fear?

Tracy Cortez wants to fight women’s flyweight champion Alexa Grasso on UFC 306 at ‘The Sphere’ in Las Vegas. The card will take place on September 14 to commemorate the occasion of the Mexican Independence Day. Notably, Grasso is a Mexican and Cortez is of Mexican descent.

There have been reports that the UFC is looking to book a trilogy bout between Grasso and former champion Valentina Shevchenko for the card. However, Cortez, who will take on #6 ranked superstar and former champion Rose Namajunas in a Fight Night card on July 13, hopes she wins the fight and is roped in to replace Shevchenko.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Poll of the day

Do you think Valentina Shevchenko is justified in refusing to fight Alexa Grasso?

Yes, she has valid reasons

No, she should fight

Depends on the circumstances

Not sure

Cortez told Ariel Helwani on her latest appearance on the ‘MMA Hour Show’ that she had ‘heard’ that Shevchenko was reluctant to fight Grasso on UFC 306, and hoped Dana White and co. would rope her in as a replacement.

“I would say I would be next. And I heard that Valentina doesn’t want to fight Alexa at The Sphere. So, after this fight I would love, whether it’s for the women’s baddest female fighter or just to put on a great show for Mexican Independence Day, I would love to fight Alexa. So we’ll see how July 13 goes and I’ll be game for that,” Cortez said. While a Grasso-Cortez fight would certainly be a good matchup, it’s hard to imagine it will generate the buzz that Grasso-Shevchenko 3 could.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Alexa Grasso, in a massive upset, had defeated then-champion Valentina Shevchenko at their UFC 285 clash in March last year. Things took an even more dramatic turn in their rematch last September, which was controversially ruled a draw, with even UFC boss Dana White calling out judge Mike Bell for his allegedly atrocious scorecard, where he scored the last round 10-8. Because of this history, the excitement for a Grasso-Shevchenko trilogy is palpable.

Who will fight Alexa Grasso at the iconic Las Vegas Sphere: Cortez or Shevchenko?

The UFC will be the first in the world to put on a combat sports event at the iconic, newly-opened Sphere in Las Vegas. The venue boasts the world’s largest, most advanced LED screen system, which wraps around the inside (as well as outside) of the venue, giving spectators a more immersive and seamless audio-visual experience than literally any other location in the world.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Dana White is determined to put on the most unique combat sports show, despite the massive costs that it has entailed. In a recent appearance on Shannon Sharpe’s ‘Club Shay Shay’ podcast, White revealed that “I’m already $16 million into this thing.” But, the UFC CEO promised that “this will never be replicated” and went on to claim, yet again that “it’s just going to be like nothing anybody’s ever seen before.”

Who gets to headline it still seems up in the air. Cortez has thrown her name in the hat. Whether the UFC obliges her and she gets to fight Alexa Grasso will depend upon the result of her upcoming fight with Namajunas and what Shevchenko decides. What are your thoughts on Cortez’s revelations?