After a week off, the UFC returns this Saturday with a Fight Night featuring two top women’s flyweight contenders. Fifth-ranked Alexa Grasso looks to extend her three-fight winning streak and keep her spot in line for a title shot by holding off Viviane Araujo in the main event. Their contest will be supported by Cub Swanson making his bantamweight debut against Jonathan Martinez in which both fighters are coming off of a win their last time out. Fans can watch UFC Vegas 62 with an ESPN+ subscription, no pay-per-view is required.
The main card for Saturday features another must-watch fight between a pair of top flyweights in the men’s division. No.4 Askar Askarov aims to bounce back from a loss and prevent No.5 Brandon Royval from passing him on the ladder to a title opportunity. Askarov has elite talent, forcing a draw with Kai Kara France in March, and debuting with a 2019 draw against the current belt-holder Brandon Moreno. He will be at a size disadvantage against Royval who has a similar resume with different results. Royval’s 2020 submission of France stands out, but so does his loss against Alexandre Pantoja who Askarov defeated. He too faced Moreno, but was TKO’d in the first round in late 2020.
Grasso vs Araujo Main Event Preview
Before moving up to the women’s flyweight division, Grasso (14-3-0) was a .500 fighter struggling to find her footing. Following her 2019 loss to the now women’s strawweight champion Carla Esparza, it was reported that she was pondering the division move to get another fight sooner. Since making the jump, however, Grasso has found a bit of momentum, winning her last three fights and breaking into the top five. Her most recent performance is also her most dominant, a first-round submission of Joanne Wood by rear naked choke back in March.
On Saturday, fans can expect the main event to go the distance. Grasso’s win over Wood was just her second fight in the UFC to end early, the other being a 2018 loss by submission to Tatiana Suarez. Her next opponent, Araujo (11-3-0) is also a decision fighter. The Brazilian has yet to experience a bout in the Octagon go less than 15 minutes, including contests with top-ranked contender Katlyn Chookagian and the now-retired Jessica Eye. With both athletes able to hang with their competition, the five-round test of the main event will provide a new test for their endurance.
The betting window is riding the win streak of Grasso, making her the favorite at -195* to open the week. Araujo isn’t counted out, however, drawing +165* as the underdog. As one could expect, the sportsbooks are anticipating a draw, setting the line for over 4.5 rounds at -230*.