UFC flyweight contender Alexa Grasso has responded after UFC President Dana White compared her to Ronda Rousey.
Rousey, the former UFC bantamweight champion, is one of the biggest stars in MMA history, having parlayed her success in the Octagon into mainstream endorsement deals, Hollywood film roles and more.
Speaking at the UFC 258 press conference, not long after Grasso picked up a decision victory over Maycee Barber, White revealed that he and his team once hoped that she could become the Rousey of her native Mexico.
“Grasso is a girl we were looking at a long time ago,” White said. “We thought she was going to be the Ronda Rousey of Mexico, you know what I mean? She had a couple of speed bumps in her career but boy she’s on point now. Her punching is crisp and clean, and the distance that she kept, she couldn’t look any more perfect tonight going against an absolute savage.
“She looked incredible tonight. Listen, Maycee Barber is a gangster. This woman believes she’s going to be the champ before [she turns 23]. She comes back from her injury and she’s ready to go [and Grasso beat her].”
Grasso was understandably appreciative of this Rousey comparison, but emphasized that she’s focused on improving her game and not letting the hype go to her head.
She responded to White’s comments at the UFC 258 press conference.
“Of course I want to be that in Mexico, but you have to be intelligent and not take the hype and the media and all the volume,” Grasso said (via MMA Junkie). “The attention gets more important than your training. I love to be hearing that, but I just want to focus and train and be better and better and better.”
Grasso also assessed her own performance against Barber, and seems to be pleased with the headway she’s making—particularly in the grappling department.
“I feel amazing, I feel strong, I feel fast. I think I showed my ground game is getting better every time,” Grasso said. “I work very hard with my teammates. Everyone who supports me and my gym, we are working very hard. We are making the flag of Mexico on the top.”
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