Alexa Grasso retained her UFC flyweight title in a split draw against Valentina Shevchenko during the main event of a UFC night.
Three judges scored the fight. Sal D’Amato gave 48-47 to Shevchenko. Junichiro Kamijo scored 48-47 for Grasso. Mike Bell called it a 47-47 tie.
Daniel Cormier, former UFC champ, questioned the draw. “This close fight deserved a winner,” he said.
The first round was tight, Shevchenko had a slight edge. In the second, Grasso floored Shevchenko with a solid punch.
Round three saw Shevchenko nearly win with a tight guillotine. But Grasso broke free.
Round four was balanced. Shevchenko had ground control but lost it in the final moments. Like their first match, a mistake from Shevchenko let Grasso dominate.
Grasso led for the last 90 seconds and ended the fight strong. After the judges spoke, Grasso celebrated. Shevchenko wasn’t happy.
“I think I should have won 3-2,” Shevchenko said. “Maybe the judges felt Mexico’s Independence Day pressure. I did enough to win.”
This wasn’t the first time Grasso and Shevchenko met in the ring. Their previous fight also ended closely but had a winner.
Grasso had won that earlier match. This draw adds to the rivalry between the two fighters.
Grasso’s record in the UFC has been impressive. She won her title last year and defended it twice.
Shevchenko, a veteran, was looking for her third title. Her record also speaks volumes, with many wins under her belt.
Many fans expected this to be the fight of the year. Both fighters have large followings. Grasso is a star in her native Mexico.
Shevchenko hails from Kyrgyzstan and has a global fan base.
Commentators often compare their fighting styles. Grasso excels at boxing while Shevchenko is a Muay Thai expert.
Both have worked hard to balance their skills in grappling and ground combat.
The outcome leaves the future uncertain. A rematch could be next, given the controversy. Fans and experts alike are eagerly waiting for the next steps from both fighters.