“I think it really was 3-2 in my side,” Shevchenko said after Noche UFC main event. “But judges I think felt a little bit of pressure because it’s kind of like Mexican Independence day, that’s why they gave it to the Mexican fighter.
“I think I did enough,” Shevchenko stated. “In a fair fight, victory would be mine.”
Grasso ended up retaining her title after the draw was read, but how did the judges come up with that score?
Noche UFC: Alexa Grasso vs. Valentina Shevchenko 2 official scorecards
Grasso and Shevchenko fought a back and forth fight that honestly could’ve gone either way. Two of the judges’ scorecards reflected that, with one scoring for Shevchenko, and another scoring it 48-47 the other way for Grasso.
Either of those 48-47 cards would’ve been more than acceptable as it was indeed a very close fight, with the close 4th round that should’ve been the swing round that decided the contest. In the end, the deciding factor that made it a draw was a different round, and a 10-8 score that didn’t seem warranted at all.
As the official scorecards below show, Junichiro Kamijo and Sal D’Amato both scored the fifth round 10-9 for Grasso, who rightfully won the round by having back control and better positioning at the later moments.
Mike Bell, however, was the only judge who scored that stanza differently, turning in a very controversial 10-8 score for Grasso, and ending up with a 47-47 score that ended the fight in a split draw.
Valentina Shevchenko would’ve won the title without the 10-8
The color commentators thoroughly slammed Mike Bell’s 10-8 score during the broadcast, believing it Grasso’s punches and positional control wasn’t enough to warrant anything more than a 10-9. UFC matchmaker was also seen in disbelief after he was informed of the decision.
For what it’s worth, while the media members compiled by MMA Decisions were split in the middle on who won the fight, none of the 23 listed scored it like Bell did.
The judges were unanimous in picking a winner for rounds 1, 2, 3 and 5, with the fourth round being the close round that swung the scores in either direction. Had judge Mike Bell scored that fifth round a 10-9 for Grasso, he would’ve had it 48-47 for Shevchenko, and overall it would’ve been a split decision verdict instead of a split draw.
Without that 10-8, Shevchenko would’ve reclaimed the UFC flyweight title.
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