Home MMA NewsLatest News Alexa Grasso Holds Onto Flyweight Title in Controversial Split Draw with Valentina Shevchenko at Noche UFC

Alexa Grasso Holds Onto Flyweight Title in Controversial Split Draw with Valentina Shevchenko at Noche UFC

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UFC Split Draw

Alexa Grasso emerged from Noche UFC with her flyweight championship intact, but the event will be remembered for the cloud of controversy that looms over the split draw outcome in her highly anticipated rematch against Valentina Shevchenko.

The Saturday night headliner unfolded as a fierce, back-and-forth battle that spanned a grueling 25 minutes. Ultimately, it all came down to the fifth and final round, where Grasso managed to secure a late rear-naked choke attempt that Shevchenko valiantly defended until the final horn sounded. When the scorecards were revealed, the judges’ decision left the crowd and fighters in suspense. Judge Sal D’Amato scored the fight 48-47 in favor of Shevchenko, while judge Junichiro Kamijo saw it 48-47 for Grasso.

The pivotal moment arose with the third official, Mike Bell, who scored the bout 47-47, leading to the split draw verdict. What added to the intrigue was Bell’s decision to award a 10-8 score for Grasso in the fifth round, which ultimately evened the score at 47-47.

The typically composed Shevchenko was visibly displeased after the decision was announced, expressing her belief that she should have been celebrating her second reign as the UFC champion. “I think it really was 3-2 on my side,” Shevchenko declared. “But the judges I think felt a little bit of pressure because it’s Mexican Independence Day, that’s why they gave one more to the Mexican fighter. I fought to the end, and I think I did enough. In a fair competition, the victory would be mine.”

Grasso, on the other hand, confidently asserted her victory, creating an awkward moment after an otherwise incredible five-round fight that was marred by a single perplexing scorecard. “I did a lot of damage,” Grasso stated. “All of my punches were hard, and yes, I’m the winner. I think I did enough [to win].”

Both fighters left it all in the cage, with Shevchenko starting fast, establishing her dominance with nasty body kicks and a slick jab that consistently found its mark throughout the bout. Unfazed by Shevchenko’s attacks, Grasso adapted by switching stances, keeping her opponent guessing while landing well-timed jabs to the face.

In the opening round’s final minute, Shevchenko executed a slick takedown and swiftly transitioned to a rear-naked choke attempt. Grasso, however, demonstrated effective defensive skills, managing to escape and return to her feet.

Shevchenko continued to impress with her combinations, but Grasso retaliated with a powerful counter right hand that sent the former champion briefly to the canvas. Grasso seized the opportunity but couldn’t secure a finish as Shevchenko regained composure and initiated a takedown.

As the third round began, Shevchenko shifted her focus to grappling, eventually locking in a tight guillotine choke and rolling into a dominant mount position. Grasso faced a precarious situation but refused to submit, compelling Shevchenko to release the hold before exhausting her arms.

The battle continued with Shevchenko attempting to secure a body triangle from the back, while Grasso showcased solid defensive skills. In the final moments, Grasso made a successful escape, narrowly avoiding an armbar attempt from Shevchenko as the round ended.

Throughout the fight, both fighters demonstrated effective striking, with Shevchenko consistently landing her jab and an inside elbow that caused a cut over Grasso’s left eye. Just when it appeared Shevchenko was on her way to victory in the final round, a critical takedown attempt backfired, allowing Grasso to reverse and search for a rear-naked choke. The dramatic final grappling exchange ultimately proved pivotal in determining Grasso’s retention of her belt.

The question that now lingers is whether the UFC will arrange a trilogy fight, given the unforgettable showdown between Grasso and Shevchenko on Saturday night. Grasso, however, remained non-committal, emphasizing the need for discussions with her coaches and manager before making a decision. “It depends,” she stated when asked about a potential third bout against Shevchenko. “I have to talk to my coaches and my manager. Let’s see what’s next.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about UFC Split Draw

What happened in the Grasso vs. Shevchenko fight at Noche UFC?

In the Grasso vs. Shevchenko fight at Noche UFC, it was a highly competitive and back-and-forth battle that lasted 25 minutes. Grasso secured a late rear-naked choke attempt in the fifth round, but Shevchenko defended it. When the judges’ scorecards were revealed, it resulted in a controversial split draw.

How did the judges score the Grasso vs. Shevchenko fight?

Judge Sal D’Amato scored the fight 48-47 in favor of Shevchenko, while judge Junichiro Kamijo had it 48-47 for Grasso. The third judge, Mike Bell, scored it 47-47, resulting in the split draw. Notably, Bell awarded the fifth round to Grasso with a 10-8 score, impacting the final outcome.

Why was Shevchenko upset with the decision?

Shevchenko expressed her displeasure with the decision, believing she should have won. She suggested that external factors, like Mexican Independence Day, may have influenced the judges’ decision in favor of Grasso. She felt she had performed well enough to secure victory.

Did Grasso claim victory in the fight?

Yes, Grasso proclaimed herself the winner, asserting that she had inflicted significant damage and done enough to win the fight. Her confidence in victory created an awkward moment in the aftermath of the bout.

Will there be a rematch or trilogy fight between Grasso and Shevchenko?

The possibility of a rematch or trilogy fight between Grasso and Shevchenko remains uncertain. Grasso mentioned that it would depend on discussions with her coaches and manager, leaving the door open for future bouts between the two fighters.

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MMAFan4Life September 17, 2023 - 3:07 pm

Shevchenko wuz robbed I tel ya! I agre with her, she deservd the win! Grasso wuz tough too, but Shevchenko shoulda got it!

UFCChamp2023 September 17, 2023 - 9:02 pm

Grasso sure looked strong in ther, but the judges, man, what were they thinking? Shevchenko got skillz, no doubt! Rematch plz!

SportsGeek September 17, 2023 - 10:22 pm

Split drawz alwayz mess things up. Bell’s 10-8 in the 5th round makin it more confusing. Let’s see if they run it back, could be epic!

NocheUFCInsider September 18, 2023 - 12:22 am

Controversy sells, and this fight delivered! Shevchenko’s claim about the holiday is intriguing. Will UFC make the trilogy? We’ll wait and see!


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