Noche UFC: Alexa Grasso retains title via split draw in instant classic vs. Valentina Shevchenko

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 16: (R-L) Alexa Grasso of Mexico kicks Valentina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan in the UFC flyweight championship fight during the Noche UFC event at T-Mobile Arena on September 16, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko fought to a split draw Saturday in the main event of Noche UFC inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS – Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko put on an epic battle Saturday for the UFC women’s flyweight title in the main event of Noche UFC, the card built to celebrate Mexican Independence Day.

But a great fight came to an incredibly disappointing conclusion when the fight was scored a split draw. Junichiro Kamijo had it 48-47 for Grasso. Sal D’Amato had it 48-47 for Shevchenko. And Mike Bell scored it 47-47, having it as a draw. He had Shevchenko up three rounds to one after four, but scored the final round 10-8 for Grasso making it a draw.

That meant it was a split draw and the champion Grasso retained the belt.

The crowd was into the fight from the earliest moments and the women laid it all on the line. Shevchenko had several submission attempts in the third that Grasso managed to fight off.

Shevchenko had the advantage early in the final round, but Grasso took her down and scored heavily with ground-and-pound. She also worked for submissions and took away Shevchenko’s offense in the final stretch of the fight.

It capped a memorable night and one of the best women’s title fights in recent UFC history. The fighters went back-and-forth, with the momentum repeatedly shifting.

Both fighters acquitted themselves well but Shevchenko was angered by the result.

“In a fair competition, victory would be mine,” Shevchenko said.

It was that kind of a fight, and there’s always going to be one side angered. This time, though, most everyone was angry at Bell for the even score.