Markos entered the fight coming off of a victory over former UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza, while Grasso was trying to rebound from a loss to Felice Herrig. It was a tough road for Grasso, as she missed weight by three pounds due to a urinary tract infection. As difficult as that was, Grasso didn’t let her weigh-in struggles affect the fight.
Markos opened strong. While Grasso took the center of the Octagon, Markos showed a lot of unorthodox movement and used it to catch Grasso off guard and light her up with some hard punch combinations.
Grasso remained calm and maintained the center of the Octagon, using her cleaner technique to keep Markos from storming her.
Markos bulldogged Grasso to the canvas in the latter half of the opening round, but Grasso did a great job taking a controlling position as they hit the ground and landed a few punches and elbows before they returned to their feet.
Grasso looked good as the second frame opened, again taking control from the center of the Octagon, but Markos upped her takedown game. She landed a couple trips and caught a leg kick and forced Grasso to the canvas.
She maintained top control for the final minute or so of the round, landing some hard punches and elbows and continued punching until the buzzer, but was unable to do much visible damage.
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Though Markos was visibly more labored in her breathing in the final round, she dug deep and kept pressing forward. Every time she landed a big shot, Grasso answered with a combination. Markos dug deep and rushed Grasso, dragging her to the mat, but Grasso’s technique was strong and she fought through the position and eventually returned the fight to standing.
Markos continued to pressure, but Grasso avoided most of her power shots, and used her cleaner boxing technique to score.
Markos attempted some takeodown attempts late in the round, but Grasso was on point, jumping to a guillotine attempt on one of Markos’ shots, and then hitting her with a stinging combination of punches as Markos let go of her.
Grasso’s technique carried her through the fight to a split decision victory with two judges scoring the bout 29-28 in her favor, while the third scored it 29-28 for Markos.
(Photo courtesy of UFC)