Alexa Grasso is among the best Mexico’s mixed martial arts scene has to offer and she has seen first-hand how women’s MMA has boomed in her home country.
Grasso linked up with Bloody Elbow ahead of her main card bout with Claudia Gadelha at UFC 246. The 11th-ranked strawweight fighter dissected the culture of women fighting in Mexico, her fight with Carla Esparza at UFC Mexico and her long-term ambitions.
“The culture in Mexico about fighting is growing so much. I remember when I used to compete years and years ago, there were only two girls in the jiu-jitsu tournaments. There was a really low quantity of MMA fights with girls. Now I know that every event in Mexico has one or two female fights. It’s growing a lot. There are many Mexican girls that are making noise,” Grasso shared. “I think we are doing a good job so the people can notice that mixed martial arts are allowed for women.”
“This is important in our country and around the world because women are having a lot of issues with violence,” she continued. “This is a goal that I have: that all the women know to train, to defend themselves and to know that you don’t have to be rude or mean to be a fighter. You can do it in the best way, you know, very professional and diplomatic and also be a warrior.”
Grasso was humble in defeat when reflecting on her majority decision loss to Esparza. She caught Esparza in a deep armbar and popped her arm, yet the fight continued. Grasso was asked if the fight should have been stopped once the arm popped.
“Well I thought it was, but the referee didn’t stop,” Grasso said. “She continued fighting. I’m fighting against the best girls in the world which is pretty tough. I thought the fight was over when I saw her arm, but it wasn’t so... I saw it and I felt it, but if the referee didn’t, it’s okay.”
UFC 246: McGregor vs. Cerrone takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, Jan. 18.