UFC Fight Night 104 Betting Breakdown: Alexa Grasso vs Felice Herrig

Felice-HerrigPrior to each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown takes a look at some of the key contests at each event. In the latest installment, we look at the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 104 as Alexa Grasso is scheduled to take on Felice Herrig in Houston, Texas. Alexa Grasso (Record: 9-0, -290 Favorite, Power Ranking: B-) The Guadalajara, Mexico born strawweight is quickly becoming the face of Mexico WMMA. The Invicta and UFC veteran has ran off nine straight victories to start her career. In her UFC debut, she dominated Heather Jo Clark to win a clear decision on the scorecards. Grasso is an exciting addition to the UFC. The 12th-ranked strawweight is one of the best strikers in the division. In addition to having a solid kicking game, she has a diverse standup attack and throws beautifully in combination. With jabs, hooks and uppercuts, she mixes it all together in the cage. She has a pretty high output as well inside the Octagon. In her debut fight against Clark, she landed about four significant strikes in particular. One thing that Grasso does well is she is able to land consistently through 15 minutes. She is very well-conditioned and can definitely turn it on late in fights. As a grappler, Grasso has proven to have solid takedown defense, but she needs more experience against top-caliber wrestlers to determine if her takedown defense is elite. Felice Herrig (Record: 11-6, +245 Underdog, Power Ranking: C-) The Team Curran strawweight is 2-1 in her UFC career, defeating Kailin Curran and Lisa Ellis but losing to Paige VanZant. Herrig has fought in most of the biggest organizations in North American WMMA, including Bellator, Invicta and the UFC. A former professional kickboxer, Herrig has shown in the UFC that she has a capable kicking game. Her output does leave a lot to be desired though at just 1.95 significant strikes per minute inside the cage. Defensively, there some major holes, as she’s absorbing 3.03 strikes per minute. She’s an athletic fighter that can certainly compete with the Top 15 in the division. The area where she’s had her most success in the UFC has been in the grappling exchanges. She’s used her strength to force opponents to the ground, where she’s earned two submissions in the UFC. She’s a physically strong fighter, and that’s where her best opportunities have come in the UFC. With that said, her strength can be a detriment, as that additional muscle tends to slow her down beyond the first round, and she has real issues keeping up with opponents late in fights. Matchup This is an important matchup for Grasso as she looks to jump into the Top 10 of the strawweight rankings with a victory over Herrig. On the feet, Grasso has a major advantage. She has the endurance and volume striking approach to give Herrig all sorts of problems on the feet. Herrig doesn’t have the pace to keep up with Grasso’s combinations and will be picked apart in a prolonged standing exchange. The big part of this bout has to do with how Grasso defends Herrig’s takedowns. This fight will show just how good this part of her game is at this point. If she’s able to stuff Herrig’s takedown attempts, she’ll win this fight with ease. However, Grasso hasn’t faced someone as athletic as Herrig yet, so it’s difficult to say how successful she will be with this approach. Ultimately, I think Grasso is a considerable favorite to win the bout, but there are still question marks about her ground game that have me hesitant to put a wager on her in this bout. I think what we learn from her in this fight will provide the ammunition necessary to understand how she’ll do in future fights.

Written by Jay Primetown

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