Prior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at undefeated Mexican strawweight Alexa Grasso as she debuts against veteran Heather Jo Clark at UFC Fight Night 98 in Mexico City, Mexico. Alexa Grasso Hometown: Guadalajara, Mexico Age: 23 Height: 5’5” Reach: Weight Class: Women’s Strawweight Camp: Lobo Gym Career Record: 8-0 Key Wins: Jodie Esquibel, Mizuki Inoue Key Losses: None Background A fan favorite in her native Mexico, Grasso is an exciting young fighter with a technically sound striking game that holds a win over veteran Mizuki Inoue. Grasso is undefeated thus far in her MMA career with half her wins coming by stoppage. Strengths

  • Athletic striker
  • Crisp, technical striking
  • Very good knee strikes from the clinch
  • Just a lot of variety in her striking whether its punches, elbows, or body kicks in the stand up exchanges
  • Does well to land two, three, and four strike combinations. Very few individual strikes
  • Improving submission game

Weaknesses

  • Can be pushed against the cage and forced to work in tight spaces
  • Still needs to improve her striking defense

 

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  Matchup against Heather Jo Clark Alexa Grasso makes her much anticipated UFC debut in her native Mexico against veteran Heather Jo Clark. The undefeated Mexican strawweight has a big advantage on the feet. She strikes with high volume and is very accurate with her hands as well as her body kick attempts. This isn’t much different than Clark’s last matchup with Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Clark will look to stifle Grasso’s offense by pushing her against the cage and working for takedown attempts. That is the only way Clark can win this bout. I think she may have some success in that regard early in the bout, but as the fight wears on Grasso’s accurate, volume heavy approach will really start to have effect. Clark’s striking defense is porous and Grasso will be able to land at will in the later portions of the bout. This is a showcase opportunity for Grasso to show off her striking prowess and to beat a veteran. Nothing more, nothing less. At nearly a 5 to 1 favorite, this is a fight I have to pass on betting. If Clark can sneak out a takedown in round two or three, this could be a sweat waiting for the scorecards. That’s not something I’m looking for as an option betting a -470 favorite. UFC Ceiling Alexa Grasso is an exciting, young prospect from a rather untapped region in women’s mixed martial arts: Mexico. Grasso already has a rather refined striking skill set with a crisp boxing technique combined with strong clinch work and a rather effective kicking game. She’s certainly very well rounded from a striking perspective. On the ground, she has an underrated submission game and her physicality has improved as she’s developed more experience. There are certainly still areas for improvement especially defensively on the feet, but there’s no reason to believe she will fail in her UFC run. In fact, she should have quite a bit of success and find herself in the promotion’s top ten rankings in the not so distant future. Fight Film Check out Alexa Grasso in some of her most recent fights. More full fights are available on the UFC’s digital platform, UFC Fight Pass, at UFC.TV   Alexa Grasso vs. Mizuki Inoue   Alexa Grasso vs. Karina Rodriguez