In a night filled with electrifying moments and nail-biting suspense, Alexa Grasso managed to hold onto her flyweight championship following a highly controversial split draw against Valentina Shevchenko in the main event of Noche UFC. The battle that unfolded inside the Octagon was nothing short of epic, with fans on the edge of their seats for a full 25 minutes. However, the final result left many scratching their heads and debating the judges’ decisions.
The climax of the fight came down to the wire, with Grasso executing a late rear-naked choke that had Shevchenko on the defensive until the final horn sounded. When the scores were announced, it was Judge Sal D’Amato who favored Shevchenko, scoring it 48-47 in her favor. On the other hand, Judge Junichiro Kamijo saw it differently, giving a 48-47 scorecard to Grasso. The third official, Mike Bell, declared a 47-47 draw.
The plot thickened when it was revealed that Bell had awarded a 10-8 score to Grasso in the fifth round, resulting in the overall 47-47 scorecard. It was this fifth round that became the center of contention and debate among fans, pundits, and, most notably, the fighters themselves.
Valentina Shevchenko, known for her stoic demeanor, couldn’t hide her disappointment as the controversial decision was announced. She believed firmly that she should be celebrating her second reign as the UFC champion and voiced her discontent, saying, “I think it really was 3-2 on my side. 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 echoed a similar sentiment, asserting her claim to victory due to the damage she had inflicted during the bout. “I did a lot of damage,” Grasso asserted. “All of my punches were hard, and yes, I’m the winner. I think I did enough [to win].”
The fight itself was a spectacle, with Shevchenko quickly establishing dominance in the early rounds through precise body kicks and a slick jab. Grasso, however, refused to be intimidated, constantly switching stances and delivering well-timed jabs. The action escalated when Shevchenko attempted a takedown in the opening round, which Grasso narrowly escaped.
As the rounds progressed, Shevchenko turned to her grappling skills, nearly securing a guillotine choke and transitioning to a mount position. Grasso demonstrated incredible resilience, refusing to submit and forcing Shevchenko to release the hold. The fight showcased moments of brilliance on the feet from both fighters, with Shevchenko’s jab and inside elbow causing a cut over Grasso’s left eye.
In a surprising turn of events, Shevchenko’s ill-fated takedown attempt in the later rounds led to Grasso reversing her position, resulting in a dramatic struggle for a rear-naked choke. Although Shevchenko resisted, the clock ran out, ultimately becoming the deciding factor in Grasso retaining her championship.
The lingering question now is whether the UFC will schedule a rematch, given the thrilling showdown that Grasso and Shevchenko delivered. Grasso remained non-committal, stating, “It depends. I have to talk to my coaches and my manager. Let’s see what’s next.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Controversial Split Draw
What was the result of the main event between Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko at Noche UFC?
Alexa Grasso retained her flyweight championship following a controversial split draw with Valentina Shevchenko in the main event of Noche UFC.
How did the judges score the fight?
The judges’ scores were as follows: Judge Sal D’Amato scored it 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.
Why was there controversy surrounding the decision?
The controversy stemmed from Judge Mike Bell’s decision to award a 10-8 score to Grasso in the fifth round, which led to the overall 47-47 draw. This fifth round became a point of contention and debate.
How did Valentina Shevchenko and Alexa Grasso react to the decision?
Valentina Shevchenko expressed her disappointment, believing she should have won the fight with a 3-2 score in her favor. She also suggested that the judges may have been influenced by Mexican Independence Day, as Grasso is Mexican. Alexa Grasso, on the other hand, asserted her claim to victory, citing the damage she had inflicted during the fight.
What were the key moments in the fight?
The fight featured intense back-and-forth action. Shevchenko established dominance early with body kicks and a slick jab. Grasso showed resilience and even dropped Shevchenko with a counter right hand. The bout included grappling exchanges, with Shevchenko attempting submissions, but Grasso displayed remarkable defense.
Will there be a rematch between Grasso and Shevchenko?
The possibility of a rematch remains uncertain. Alexa Grasso mentioned that it depends on discussions with her coaches and manager, leaving the door open for a potential third fight between the two athletes.