UFC returns to Sin City with a banger of a show! Celebrating Mexican Independence Day, UFC Fight Night: Grasso vs Shevchenko 2, also known as Noche UFC, will include several Mexican fighters who hope to do their best and emerge victorious.
The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, welcomes another huge UFC event on September 16, 2023. The action starts with the preliminary fights at 7 p.m. ET, and the main card kicks off at around 10 p.m. ET.
And what a main card this is; from many reputable Mexicans, including hot prospect Raul Rosas Jr., to a co-main event between Kevin Holland and Jack Della Maddalena, you definitely don’t want to miss.
Finally, for the main event, we get the sequel of the Grasso vs Shevchenko fight that took place at UFC 285, where Grasso stunned the UFC world by ending Shevchenko’s dominance in the Flyweight Division.
Will she be able to repeat her success? Or will the experienced former champion regain her title? Stick around to find out more about the main event, as well as the entire main card in our UFC Fight Night: Grasso vs Shevchenko 2 preview!
Fernando Padilla vs Kyle Nelson
We kick the main card off with Fernando Padilla going up against Kyle Nelson in the Featherweight Division. Padilla comes in with a solid 15-4 win record and a 4-1 record in his last five bouts, whereas Nelson sits at 14-5-1 with a recent form of 2-2-1.
Fernando Padilla starts off with a significant height and reach advantage, which will definitely help him keep his opponent at bay. He’s also a very aggressive fighter and is capable both on the feet and on the mat. His significant strike volume is insane, at 11.88 landed per minute, but he is also prone to taking hits.
Kyle Nelson has undergone a change in fighting style ever since his two-year hiatus. Originally, he would fight aggressively from the get-go and look for early finishes, but he would often gas out and get finished in later rounds. Recently, he’s adopted a more passive style and looks to go to decisions more often.
Unfortunately, this passive style won’t do Nelson any favors against Padilla, who’ll definitely look to apply a fast rhythm to the fight, which means Nelson will have to follow. Therefore, this fight is shaping up to be a great opener with tons of back and forth and the best striker eventually winning.
Daniel Zellhuber vs Christos Giagos
The second fight of Noche UFC includes two great fighters from the Lightweight Division. Daniel Zellhuber currently has a 13-1 win record, while his opponent, Christos Giagos, is very experienced and has a 20-10 record.
Daniel Zellhuber was an excellent prospect, but his UFC debut was uninspiring and ended with a loss. However, he has bounced back and is looking to build a winning streak. Zellhuber is a great striker with 5.44 significant strikes per minute and has a 5.5-inch reach advantage over his opponent. He’s also pretty good at defending against grapplers, with a 91% takedown defense.
Christos Giagos has had plenty of experience in the UFC, fighting the likes of Gilbert Burns and Charles Oliveira. He prefers to do most of his fighting on the mat, with a 3.16 takedown average, but is also a competent striker. That said, he’s known to gas out pretty quickly, which often leads to errors and him being finished.
This should be a very exciting bout, as both fighters will look to utilize their strengths. Giagos will need to start off strong and cause serious damage or even finish Zellhuber in the first round. Otherwise, his fatigue combined with Zellhuber finding his rhythm could see the Mexican on top.
So, it basically comes down to whether Giagos will overwhelm Zellhuber early on or if the Mexican’s takedown defense and overall fighting prowess will allow him to survive and win the match.
Raul Rosas Jr. vs Terrence Mitchell
For the next fight, UFC prospect Raul Rosas Jr. takes on Terrence Mitchell in the Bantamweight Division. Rosas Jr. has shown tremendous potential throughout his fighting career, which led to his UFC debut at just 18 years old. Things didn't go so well for him in his recent fight against Christian Rodriguez, though, with the Mexican losing by decision.
Raul Rosas Jr. will look to extend his 7-1 win record at Noche UFC against an opponent who hasn’t impressed with his fighting so far. Rosas Jr. will count on his aggression and utilize his excellent wrestling skills, evident by his 3.67 average takedowns, to swing the fight in his favor. And, if it comes down to striking, he can definitely hold his ground.
Terrence Mitchell comes off a relatively subpar UFC debut, where he was finished in the first round. He’s a decent striker and should look to utilize his huge 7-inch reach advantage to outstrike Rosas Jr. However, his defense against wrestlers has not been good, which could lead to much trouble against a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert like Rosas Jr.
This fight looks like it was set up for Rosas Jr. to pick himself up from his loss against Rodriguez. Mitchell has fought subpar competition so far, and Rosas Jr. looks like a huge step up for the American. If he manages to outstrike and defend against Rosas Jr., he may stand a chance, but if the Mexican has his way with him on the mat, things could end pretty early.
Kevin Holland vs Jack Della Maddalena
For the co-main event at UFC Fight Night: Grasso vs Shevchenko 2, we have an incredible fight in the Welterweight Division. Kevin Holland, who currently has a 25-9 win record, will go up against Jack Della Maddalena with a 15-2 record and a 5-0 win streak. Many fans have argued this could have been a main event fight, which just goes to show the caliber of fighters at hand.
Kevin Holland is a massive fighter in terms of height and reach in the division, which usually comes with huge advantages over his opponents. He’s an excellent striker with 4.11 significant strikes landed per minute and is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but you won’t see him wrestling too often.
Jack Della Maddalena has shown tremendous potential throughout his career, as evidenced by his current win streak. His striking is incredible both in volume and efficiency, at 7.27 significant strikes per minute, and he’s also capable of absorbing hits well. His greatest weakness is his wrestling, which Holland should look to take advantage of, but Maddalena’s 81% takedown defense could aid him in this aspect.
This is by far the closest fight of the night, and any of the two could come out on top. If Holland chooses to wrestle, he will have a significant advantage due to Maddalena's poor wrestling capabilities. However, the two will most likely be punching each other for three rounds, and in this scenario, Maddalena is favored since he’s a superior striker. But a finish inside the distance isn’t out of the cards, especially for Holland.
Alexa Grasso vs Valentina Shevchenko
Just six months after their previous fight at UFC 285, Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko will battle it out once again for the Flyweight title at Noche UFC. However, this time, it’s Shevchenko challenging for the belt after Grasso caused one of the biggest upsets in UFC history and ended Shevchenko’s reign as champion via a Round 4 submission. Not much has changed for both fighters, so we should see a similarly competitive match.
Starting off with Alexa Grasso she’s an excellent fighter with a solid 16-3 win record and a 5-win streak. She’s very aggressive and outputs a huge volume of strikes, at 4.88 significant strikes per minute. However, in her previous fight, the accuracy and effectiveness of her strikes were questionable. Her wrestling game isn’t anything to scoff at, either. But her takedown defense still needs a lot of work, which her opponent may look to take advantage of.
Valentina Shevchenko, is clearly the GOAT of the Flyweight Division, holding the title for four and a half years, and having a win record of 23-4. She’s a meticulous fighter who exerts control over her opponent through her excellent striking or grappling. She’s also great at defending against striking, but her otherwise good takedown defense betrayed her last fight and led to her loss.
What a main event this is; based on what we saw last time these two fought it out, this could honestly go either way. If Grasso has matured from becoming champion and comes in strong early on, she could finish Shevchenko or, at the very least, cause serious damage. But, if Valentina finds her rhythm, she should be able to control the match throughout and regain her title.
Overall, Noche UFC promises to be one of the best Fight Night events in recent history, thanks to some amazing bouts and a huge title fight between Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko. And let’s not forget about Mexican Independence Day, which should empower all Mexican fighters to perform at their peak.
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