Alexa Grasso Retains UFC Title in Controversial Split Decision

by | Sep 19, 2023 | MMA

Alexa Grasso successfully defended her UFC Women’s Flyweight title! In the main event of Noche UFC, the Mexican fighter fought to a controversial split decision (with scores of 48-47, 47-48, 47-47) against Valentina Shevchenko, securing her position as the champion.

The three judges responsible for scoring the fight were Sal D’Amato, who scored it 48-47 in favor of Valentina, Junichiro Kamijo, who gave it 48-47 for Grasso, and Mike Bell, who recorded a 47-47 draw, which was pivotal to the final outcome of the fight. However, Bell’s decision to award a 10-8 round to Grasso in the last round stirred controversy.

During the official broadcast, Daniel Cormier, also a commentator, expressed his bewilderment regarding the decision. “I don’t want to be tough on the guy, but I don’t understand. The fight was close and deserved a winner. A draw? I don’t know. I don’t understand the 10-8. Why?” questioned the former light heavyweight and heavyweight UFC champion.

In the first round, the fight was closely contested, with Valentina holding a slight advantage. In the second round, Grasso came close to victory with a powerful punch and a takedown of Shevchenko.

In the third round, it was Valentina’s turn to almost win the fight. She applied an impressive guillotine and came very close to finishing Grasso, who displayed remarkable resilience and managed to escape.

In the fourth round, there was more balance, and Valentina continued to dominate in the ground game, securing a crucial takedown and maintaining control. In the final round, a turnaround occurred.

Valentina appeared to be in control of the fight until the last 90 seconds when, similar to their first encounter, she made a critical mistake that allowed Grasso to take control on the ground.

The Mexican fighter capitalized on the advantage in the final moments and ended the fight with more momentum. After the decision, Grasso celebrated while Valentina expressed her discontent.

“I believe I won 3-2, but I think the judges felt pressured due to Mexico’s Independence Day. I believe I did enough. In a fair fight, with fair competition and judging, the victory would have been mine,” said Valentina Shevchenko in the octagon.

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