Alexa Grasso wants to follow in the footsteps of one of the all-time greats.

During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, the flyweight contender was asked about her admiration for UFC legend Georges St-Pierre and she revealed that he was one of the fighters who has inspired her in her career. Grasso is carving out her own legacy and currently holds the No. 9 spot in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings after a quick submission win over Joanne Wood at UFC Columbus.

Not only does Grasso admire St-Pierre’s in-cage success, she hopes that she can live up to his ideals too and set an example for athletes in her native Mexico as he did for Canada.

“Georges St-Pierre is someone that, the respect, the discipline — I had his book too, I read it,” Grasso said. “All my respect, I want to be like that. I also used to fight with my gi, because of that, because he’s someone I admire so much and I want to be like that in sports for Mexico and for the women.”

Grasso made her pro debut 2012 at the age of 19 and soon made short work of her overmatched competition, winning her first three fights by knockout in a combined 63 seconds. Less than two years later she signed with Invicta FC, where she compiled a perfect 4-0 record before making the jump to the UFC.

The MMA scene in Mexico is much different now than it was when Grasso was starting off, and she is ecstatic to see that there is legitimate support for the sport at the grassroots level.

“Yes, I’ve seen it,” Grasso said. “Even in tournaments, we have a few tournaments here in Mexico, there are kids like so small they are competing, there are girls, now the white belts there are a lot of white belts, blue belts, it’s growing so fast.

“Also, we have MMA tournaments in Mexico City and we also had [earlier this year] in Guadalajara, an MMA tournament for amateurs, for teenagers, and I’m glad because the parents are starting to see that this sport gives your kids discipline and it’s growing so fast.”

St-Pierre isn’t the only name that Grasso mentioned as being one of her inspirations. She also cited women’s MMA pioneer Gina Carano as well as Wood, the woman that she defeated at UFC Columbus.

Grasso describes the fight week interactions between herself and Wood as cordial, though she understands that some fighters may not want to fraternize too much with their upcoming opponents. However, Wood holds a special place in her heart, as she closely studied the Scottish veteran before her first Invicta FC outing in 2014.

“I remember when I made my debut at Invicta FC, I had to fight against a girl named Ashley [Cummins],” Grasso said. “When you are going to fight against someone — I don’t know if everyone but me — I like to watch all the fights that they have. So one of those fights was against ‘JoJo’ and that’s when I [first saw Wood] and I was like, ‘Whoa, she has crispy striking and elbows and kicking.’ Now I’m like, ‘OK, I’m gonna try and use that. I want to be like that.’

“So she’s someone I’ve been looking up to for a long time and I’ve been watching all her fights. I saw when she moved from 115 to 125 and to fight with her means a lot.”

Source link