A new and improved Felice Herrig took a unanimous decision over Alexa Grasso at UFC Fight Night 104 on Saturday in Houston.
Grasso arrived in the UFC late last year riding a wave of momentum, which she immediately built upon by defeating Heather Jo Clark. Herrig made her way to the Octagon via The Ultimate Fighter a little over two years ago, but has yet to build any championship momentum.
She didn’t likely made any great strides toward contention with her performance, but Herrig did show marked improvement in handing Grasso her first defeat.
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While Grasso was favored coming into the fight, Herrig did a great job establishing herself as the aggressor and controlling the center of the Octagon throughout the fight.
Grasso used good head movement, avoiding most of the punishment that Herrig was trying to dish out, but never really got her offensive game going until the waning moments of the fight.
Meanwhile, Herrig was pressing forward, landing combinations and racking up points.
Though the first round was nearly even, Herrig edged ahead in the second frame, landing some solid shots that visibly rocked Grasso. She also scored a takedown near the end of the round.
While Herrig opened the final frame with a strong combination and followed it a short time later with a takedown that saw her briefly attain mount, the latter half of the round contained some of Grasso’s better offensive output. Particularly in the final minute of the fight, Grasso landed some solid punch combinations and kicks, and staggered Herrig as the clock ran out.
After three rounds, the judges awarded Herrig a unanimous decision, giving her back-to-back victories for the first time since she entered the Octagon.
Having worked with a sports psychologist over the past year or so, Herrig believes she is finally overcoming some of the things that were blocking her from living up to her potential.
“I think that for so many years, the more I did, the better I thought I was being,” she said in the Octagon. “I completely burned myself out. You’re seeing a new evolution of the Lil Bulldog.”
Putting an end to Grasso’s undefeated resume, Herrig wants to jump right back into the thick of the division with her next fight.
“I felt like the fight I hit rock bottom was against Paige VanZant. Paige, you have not fought Felice Herrig. You fought some blubbery girl who just laid on the canvas and let her be your punching bag,” said Herrig.
“I’d either like to get the fight against Paige VanZant back or I was scheduled to fight Michelle Waterson. They took it away from me and gave it to Paige, so I’ll take either Waterson or Paige.”
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