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Noche UFC: Explaining Valentina Shevchenko vs. Alexa Grasso “Split Draw” Decision Controversy

10 months ago By Sports Desk

The Noche UFC headliner between Valentina Shevchenko and Alexa Grasso ended with a rare split-draw decision. This fight marked only the sixth time in modern promotional history that a title bout ended in a draw. 

Valentina Shevchenko went up against the reigning women’s flyweight champion in a bid to reclaim the title last weekend. The five-round fight was an absolute barnburner, with both women giving it their all. ‘Bullet’ started the contest strong, winning the first round with her exceptional striking and positioning. However, Grasso responded on the second screen and won the round. 

In the third screen, Shevchenko deployed her grappling skills and controlled Grasso on the ground for most of the round. Knowing how close their contest was, both fighters showed intention in the fourth round. Valentina Shevchenko won the fourth round on two judges’ cards, while one judge scored in favor of Alexa Grasso. The fifth round is where the controversy begins. 

While the final round seemed pretty in the beginning, Grasso managed to get Shevchenko’s back and dominated the former flyweight queen for the last few minutes. Her decision to grapple Shevchenko paid off on Mike Bell’s scorecard, which awarded her the controversial 10-8 score. With final scores of 47-47, 47-48, and 48-47, the contest was declared a split draw. Due to this, Alexa Grasso ended up retaining her title. 

In MMA, a split draw is declared when two judges score the fight in favor of each of the fighters while the third judge scores it a draw. In the aftermath of the battle, many contested the validity of the 10-8 score. Given Shevchenko’s dominance in the third round, many fans opined that ‘Bullet’ should’ve gotten a 10-8 for it. 

While the debate rages on, the reigning flyweight queen holds on to her throne. Only time will tell if the UFC plans a trilogy between the two or moves the division on with new contenders.  

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