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The Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt also acknowledged Barber’s technical skill, describing her prediction for the matchup to be “fire in the cage.”

“I think she’s a very well-rounded athlete, she’s young,” Grasso said of her opponent, only five years her junior. “But I’m ready for that. I think it’s going to be a very attractive fight because we both like to go all the time. We both do great boxing, we both kick, so it’s going to be a great fight.”

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The 15th-ranked Mexican said she’d be happy to wake up on Sunday “with purple eyes and a win in her heart and for her country,” over the tenth-ranked Barber, but additionally, she has her eye on breaking into the top ten of the flyweight division.

“She has the number I want,” Grasso said with a slightly unfamiliar level of intensity. “I’ve been training so hard to get to that spot.”

Confident in the work she’s put in while ascending to a new weight class, and preparing for a hitlist of new, thorny opponents, Grasso is ready to cement her spot in the flyweight division. She said the spotlight is going to be on her, and the contenders better be watching.


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