MMA Record: 5-0
UFC Record: 2-0
Notable Wins: Amanda Cooper, Vivane Pereira
Notable Losses: None
Last Fight: Decision win over Viviane Pereira
Fighter Profile: A former Ultimate Fighter winner, Suarez has looked great in the UFC in the two fights she’s fought, dominating Amanda Cooper and Viviane Pereira in those wins. She comes from a wrestling background and her grappling chops have looked amazing so far in the UFC as she’s just taken down her opponents and mauled them. Suarez is one of the bigger strawweights in the sport and she has the potential to be a champion if she continues to improve. We already know how dominant her wrestling is, now it’s time for her to work on her striking. If she can get that up to par, she can definitely be contending for the title within the next few years.
MMA Record: 10-1
UFC Record: 2-1
Notable Wins: Randa Markos, Heather Jo Clark
Notable Losses: Felice Herrig
Last Fight: Decision win over Randa Markos
Fighter Profile: A former standout in Invicta, Grasso has performed below expectations so far in the UFC despite a winning record. The 24-year-old native of Mexico was expected to beat Felice Herrig but her striking defense was exposed in that fight, which she lost. She almost lost again to Randa Markos in her last fight. Grasso has a solid striking game and is very durable, but she lacks fight-ending power and that will always limit her ceiling. She’s so young and talented that she can still improve but I’m not sure if I’m seeing a future champion here.
Fight Breakdown: I see this being a good fight to weed out who is a contender and who is a pretender at 115lbs. Both fighters are solid, but I think Suarez is just a little bit better right now due to her dominant wrestling base. I think when this fight is on the feet Grasso probably has the edge in volume and technique but I just don’t see her being able to stop Suarez’ takedowns and when it hits the floor Suarez should be able to dominate Grasso with her heavy top game. I think Suarez will try for submissions and throw in some ground-and-pound, but ultimately I see her taking the win via decision, and emerging as a legitimate contender in the women’s strawwweight division.
Prediction: Suarez via decision