Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko engage in heated verbal exchange leading up to UFC Noche.

LAS VEGAS – The build up to the title rematch between Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko has mainly been a tranquil one, but things heated up Thursday afternoon.

Grasso and Shevchenko battle in an immediate rematch this Saturday in the main event of Noche UFC, which goes down at the T-Mobile arena. During a Q&A moderated by former UFC fighter Gilbert Melendez at the MGM, Grasso (16-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) and Shevchenko (23-4 MMA, 12-3 UFC) had their first tense verbal exchange.

When asked about her preparation ahead of Saturday’s event, Grasso mentioned how she took some positives from the first fight back in March at UFC 285 – something Shevchenko didn’t like.

“I did a lot of adjustments for the second fight,” Grasso said. “We already shared the octagon 20 minutes together, and we also felt what we can bring to the table, and I will do everything to keep the fight on my feet. I was doing pretty well and that first round was amazing, and I’m going to bring everyone an amazing fight this Saturday.”

Contrary to Grasso, Shevchenko thinks she had control of the fight all the way until she was submitted by Grasso, and she made that immediately known.

“I didn’t have to learn anything from the loss because Alexa, you’re saying you were doing pretty well, but I’m saying not enough for the victory,” Shevchenko said. “It’s a good point because if you see all four rounds, I was winning the fight on my side before what happened.

“It’s kind of a moment to work double hard and remember what you did in the beginning. It’s kind of like yes, everyone is speaking about the loss, but I want to remind everyone I’m a 17-time Muay Thai world champion, seven (UFC) title defenses, and you can’t get rid of this. It’s going to stay in you forever. You can do adjustments and do better and whatever you want to do, but the power the confidence and experience it’s still here, and it’s going to explode on Saturday.”

Grasso fired back. She was adamant that she was giving Shevchenko a competitive fight – and beyond that, beating the striking standout at her own game.

“Well, round one was definitely mine,” Grasso said. “The second round, even being a Muay Thai champion, I thought you wanted to strike with me, but you decided to go to the ground, so it’s fine. Fourth round, I made a lot of adjustments and I think it was 2-2. For me, it was 2-2.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Noche UFC.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie

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