Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Strawweight veteran Felice Herrig collided with prospect Alexa Grasso last night (Feb. 4, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 104 inside Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
A veteran Muay Thai fighter and woman’s MMA pioneer, Herrig did not enter last night’s bout as a ranked fighter. Opposite perhaps her division’s hottest prospect, Herrig was hoping to finally put together consecutive wins and go on a run.
Following an impressive Invicta FC career and UFC debut, the sky appeared to be the limit for Grasso. The Mexican athlete packed solid athleticism and sharp hands into her game, and she looked to continue climbing the ranks opposite “Lil Bulldog.”
Herrig opened this bout by methodically pressuring her opponent, looking to pressure her opponent. On the other hand, Grasso was content to work kicks and jabs from the outside, slipping punches fairly well.
While there was a clear speed advantage in Grasso’s corner, Herrig was able to partially overcome it by throwing in combination more often. Neither women managed to land anything all that significant, but Herrig was definitely the more active and effective fighter.
Grasso committed to some hard shots near the bell, but it wasn’t enough to take back the round.
Grasso brought more aggression into the second round, but it actually played into Herrig’s game. “Lil Bulldog” landed the counter right hand repeatedly, as it became her best weapon pretty quickly. Additionally, her combinations and long jab continued to be effective, while Grasso struggled to create much offense.
On the whole, Grasso was just a bit too predictable and stayed in the pocket after landing for too long. To seal any doubt, Herrig landed a pair of takedowns in the final 30 seconds.
Grasso again attempted to pressure her opponent but ran into punches more often than not. Grasso simply wasn’t feinting often enough or moving her head on the way inside, which made her fairly easy to read and counter.
On the other hand, Herrig mixed up her combinations well, digging to the body and shooting takedowns on occasion. In the final couple minutes, Grasso began to get the better of exchanges as Herrig began to slow down. She even rocked Herrig at the end and briefly showed off the creative combinations that she is known for, but it was too little too late.
For the first time in her UFC career, “Lil Bulldog” scored two wins in a row. In this match up with a young prospect expected to breeze past her, Herrig really fought the most intelligent match up of her career. For once, she actually looked like a veteran striker, putting together good combinations, moving her head, and dictating the range well. By dictating the boxing exchanges and pushing for the occasional takedown.
Together, her well-rounded mixed martial arts (MMA) game was able to out-work a game prospect.
After this win, Herrig deserves a spot in the rankings and has a bit of momentum behind her. She called for a rematch with Paige VanZant in her next match up, which would make a fair amount of sense considering their recent results.
As for Grasso, this is the type of loss that really helps build a prospect. Grasso was not finished brutally or exposed, but this loss showed that there are plenty of small things for her to work on. With a more focused view on those issues — which a loss like this provides — Grasso should be able to grow quickly.
On the whole, Grasso’s problems stemmed from passivity and predictability. She was too willing to let Herrig play her game, rather than push back and make it a scrap. Even if she was losing exchanges, Grasso very likely could’ve won by forcing her athleticism edge and going after her opponent.
On the bright side, Grasso’s defensive wrestling held up well, and she was taking over the fight by the end. With some adjustments, Grasso still has a great future ahead of her, but she’ll need to return to the drawing board first.
Last night, Felice Herrig out-worked Alexa Grasso in a competitive bout. Can Herrig work her way into the title mix at 115 lbs.?
For complete UFC Fight Night 104 “Jung vs Bermudez” fight results and play-by-play, click HERE!
Source:: mma mania