This past Saturday in the co-main event of UFC Columbus, we saw a pivotal matchup in the women’s flyweight division. Top contenders battled it out as Joanne Wood (15-8) took on the surging Alexa Grasso (14-3).
Grasso was looking for her third straight win while Wood was hoping to avoid her third straight loss. The narrative surrounding JoJo Wood in the UFC has changed drastically from where it was a couple of years ago.
Wood’s gone from being the next in line for a title shot to barely holding a spot in the top ten. She was hoping to defeat Alexa Grasso and get back on track towards another run to the title.
However, that didn’t happen on Saturday night. Wood had some good spots at UFC Columbus including landing a beautiful spinning back elbow. However, that elbow allowed Grasso to get a body lock that ultimately decided the fight.
Grasso was able to get Wood down to the ground and eventually she was able to get her back. Once there, it didn’t take Grasso long before she locked up the rear-naked choke and secured the win at UFC Columbus.
What’s next after UFC Columbus?
As mentioned, this was a huge fight for JoJo Wood to try and right the ship after this recent stretch. Wood was originally supposed to get a crack at UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko in June of 2020.
However, Shevchenko injured her knee and needed a couple of additional months before the fight was to take place. The UFC went to Wood and said she could wait, but JoJo wanted to fight and decided to take a tune-up fight against Jennifer Maia to stay sharp.
Well, she was submitted in the first round of that fight. She was able to defeat Jessica Eye after that loss, but starting with a loss to Lauren Murphy, she’s dropped three straight fights. Wood’s gone from a UFC title shot to 1-4 in her last five fights.
So, what’s next? I think it’s time for Wood to take a step back in competition to reset. Perhaps a fight with someone like Miranda Maverick could be next. Maverick snapped a two fight losing streak in her last one and I think the fight makes sense for both fighters.