Valentina Shevchenko is searching for answers from one of the judges who saw her fight with Alexa Grasso as a draw at Noche UFC this past Saturday. After it ended, the general consensus was that a 48-47 for either woman was fair. Two of the three judges thought so, with judge Junichiro Kamijo having it 48-47 for Grasso and judge Sal D’Amato scoring 48-47 for Shevchenko. It all came down to judge Mike Bell, who turned in 47-47 after awarding the reigning UFC champion a 10-8 for her efforts in the final round against Shevchenko.
That led to the fight resulting in a split draw, which left fans and fighters, including Shevchenko, scratching their heads at the controversial result.
“From my experience, a 10-8 is when one fighter completely cannot not do nothing,” said Shevchenko during her post-fight press conference. “It’s like running around, waiting, looking for an escape from the Octagon; it’s miserable. In the fifth round, it was, like, four minutes or however many minutes in stand-up, and she didn’t land one punch. She could only take the back position in the last minute, minute and a half. I don’t remember now. But even there, it was not damage. It wasn’t too much damage to succeed with this 10-8.”
Valentina Shevchenko stunned by 10-8 scorecard
In the final round, Alexa Grasso was indeed in control of Valentina Shevchenko, who found herself seemingly on the verge of getting tapped again. That said, the ‘Bullet’ survived, and was sure she had done enough to dethrone Grasso. In her eyes, the fight-ending attempts from Grasso should not have outweighed her effort in the first three-and-a-half, four minutes of that round.
When they did, especially to the tune of getting a 10-8 against her, Shevchenko was surprised.
“I couldn’t believe that it happened in the fifth round,” said Shevchenko. “It’s a 10-8? It was surprising for me, very surprising.
“I feel that to give a 10-8, you have to be very sure that it is a 10-8, but it was not in our case,” continued Shevchenko. “It kind of wasn’t even close to a 10-8. And yeah, I hope [judging] is going to change. I know many fighters go through the same frustration when it goes that way. But, you cannot do nothing. The official decision is the official decision. As I mentioned, it’s a draw. It’s not a loss. But in my case, it’s not a victory.”
Valentina Shevchenko is now 0-1-1 against Grasso. Considering how this fight ended, a trilogy is an option for the 35-year-old, but only after she has healed from an injury she suffered early on. Shevchenko revealed she broke her thumb, so she wanted to wait until she was ‘100 percent’ before deciding what to do next.
Grasso addresses her options after Shevchenko rematch
As for Alexa Grasso, a trilogy with Valentina Shevchenko is something she would consider. However, the 30-year-old says it should happen after she has fought other contenders in the division, such as Erin Blanchfield or Manon Fiorot.
“It’s an interesting question,” said Grasso at her post-fight press conference. “I wouldn’t like to stop the division. There’s a lot of girls fighting a lot to have this opportunity like I did. I wouldn’t like to stop it, but whatever the UFC says, I’m in.”
Blanchfield and Fiorot have both requested a championship opportunity against the winner of Grasso vs. Shevchenko after their most recent wins. The ‘Beast’ defeated Rose Namajunas at UFC Paris, while ‘Cold-Blooded’ staved off Taila Santos at UFC Singapore.
“I’m really happy they’re both doing amazing,” Grasso said of her next potential challengers. “I have to talk with my coaches, my manager, and also with the UFC, but definitely, I would like to fight with a new contender if that’s the next step. And yeah, it’s going be an amazing fight.”
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