Joanne Wood and Alexa Grasso get another chance to square off inside the octagon.
The UFC announced Wednesday via press release that Wood (15-7) and Grasso (13-3) — the No. 10 and No. 13 flyweights in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings — will fight at UFC Columbus on March 26. The two were originally scheduled to fight at UFC Vegas 43 in November, but Grasso was forced to withdraw for undisclosed reasons.
Three other bouts were announced for UFC Columbus, a key men’s flyweight bout between No. 10 Matheus Nicolau (17-2-1) and No. 13 David Dvorak (20-3), a bantamweight bout between No. 9 Sara McMann (12-6) and No. 11 Karol Rosa (15-3), and a middleweight bout between UFC newcomers Aliaskhab Khizriev (13-0) and Abusupiyan Magomedov (24-4-1).
Instead of fighting Grasso, Wood found herself in a matchup with up-and-coming flyweight contender Taila Santos at UFC Vegas 43. Santos went on to defeat Wood by first-round submission. It was the second straight loss for Wood, who has lost three of her past four fights.
Grasso looks to return to action for the first time since February of last year after seeing a pair of bookings fall through. She was also scheduled to fight Viviane Araujo at the upcoming UFC 270 card, but Araujo withdrew from that bout due to an injury. Since moving up to the flyweight division, Grasso is 2-0 with decision wins over Maycee Barber and Ji Yeon Kim.
Nicolau and Dvorak both bring impressive win streaks into their clash with Nicolau having won four straight and Dvorak going 3-0 to start his UFC career. Overall, Dvorak has won 16 pro bouts dating back to 2012.
McMann competed once in 2021, losing by third-round submission to Julianna Pena. The one-time UFC title challenger now has to face the hard-charging Rosa, who is 4-0 in the UFC so far with six straight wins overall.
UFC Columbus marks Khizriev’s first fight since earning a contract on the Contender Series with a fast first-round submission of Henrique Shiguemoto in September 2020. “The Black Wolf” has seen his UFC debut delayed several times, with three potential matchups falling through last year.
Magomedov is coming off of a second-round submission of Cezary Kesik in December 2020. He was supposed to fight Gerald Meerschaert at a UFC event in December, but withdrew for undisclosed reasons. He previously competed for the PFL and makes his UFC debut with just one loss in his past 13 outings.