What is Noche UFC? Breakdown of Mexican Independence Day event featuring Alexa Grasso vs Valentina Shevchenko 2

A rare non-PPV event will take over the T-Mobile Arena when the UFC puts on an event on September 16. That date is significant for being Mexican Independence Day. 

The main event features a UFC flyweight title rematch between Alexa Grasso and former champion Valentina Shevchenko. Grasso became the first Mexican-born women’s champion in the UFC’s 30-year history when she beat Shevchenko at UFC 285.

She was also the third Mexican-born champion to get crowned this year, joining Brandon Moreno and Yair Rodriguez. The 30-year-old is the last one holding gold of the three, though. 

Now she headlines on a day previously reserved in the world of combat sports for boxing greats Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez.

WATCH: Noche UFC: Alexa Grasso vs. Valentina Shevchenko 2 on ESPN+

“I don’t call it pressure, I call it motivation,” Grasso said when asked if being the last Mexican champion standing adds pressure to her title defense. “We have done so much in the sport and this keeps me with tons of motivation to keep the belt in Mexico.”

UFC President Dana White, now CEO under the recent TKO Holdings deal with WWE, has looked to produce events in Mexico and honor some of the best fighters to come from the country. The UFC sent out a release discussing plans for a Performance Institute in Mexico, with more to come.  

The first step to honoring the country and talent to come out of it was Noche UFC. “Mexican fans are some of the biggest and most passionate fans in all of combat sports,” said White.

“For years, I’ve wanted to truly honor their love for the athletes and the sport by bringing an incredible UFC event with Mexican athletes. It’s happening this year, and we are bringing a massive Mexican card to Las Vegas on Mexican Independence Day.”

What is Noche UFC? 

In Spanish, the term “Noche” translates to “night.” Essentially, the event is a typical UFC Fight Night. It is the first event of its kind, with celebrations leading into the Grasso vs. Shevchenko rematch. 

The UFC has looked to go all-out for the event. White presented Grasso with a custom belt titled “Tribe Belt No.1,” produced by Taller Jacobo y Maria Angeles.

“The UFC belt is the hallmark of those who, on the arduous road to success, demonstrated the preeminence of their skills within the competition,” the UFC sent in a release. “Therefore, this award is the consecration of all those fights defeated inside and outside of the octagon.

“The Tribe Belt No.1 seeks to exalt the courage and determination of the leader who puts her abilities and skills to the test; but just as important, to materialize the responsibility that becomes in a belt who the winner puts on her shoulder as weight of her memories, tears, and glories.”

Alongside Grasso, several fighters of Mexican descent are on the card, including the young Raul Rosas Jr., Fernando Padilla, Lupita Godinez, and Trace Cortez. 

WATCH: Noche UFC: Alexa Grasso vs. Valentina Shevchenko 2 on ESPN+

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