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After Grasso (16-3-1 MMA, 8-3-1 UFC) pulled off a sizable upset at UFC 285 in March to claim the women’s flyweight belt, Shevchenko (23-4-1 MMA, 12-3-1 UFC) got her shot at redemption Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. She nearly won, but a controversial 10-8 scorecard for the champion from judge Mike Bell in Round 5 led to the contest having no winner.
Cormier, a UFC Hall of Famer and former two-division division, was in the commentary booth alongside Jon Anik and Dominick Cruz calling the action. He praised the fight as entertaining and highly competitive, but Cormier said he couldn’t wrap his mind around Bell’s scorecard, and though it was egregious.
“Round 5 is where things get a little crazy – Round 5 is where sh*t gets crazy,” Cormier said in his post-fight review on his YouTune channel. “Mike Bell scores the fifth round for Alexa Grasso. Let’s be honest: The start of Round 5 was Alexa Grasso’s round. She was winning that round. Then she gets taken down. She gets beaten, ground-and-pound, some submission attempts and she handily lost that round. I get in the octagon, I’m waiting to interview whoever won. As I’m scoring the fight in my mind I’m thinking Alexa Grasso’s going to retain. But I get something (and) it’s a draw.
“… It felt like me, for Mike Bell, I don’t know what he could’ve watched to score that fifth round a 10-8 for Alexa Grasso. She won the round. No doubt about it. She won the round. But a 10-8 – it is honestly one of the worst scorecards that I’ve seen in a really long time.”
Cormier said the controversy and lack inconclusive result sets the table for one option: An immediate trilogy fight. Not only have both matchups between Grasso and Shevchenko been entertaining, but the pair clearly are relatively even in skill.
Although there are other 125-pound contenders such as Erin Blanchfield and Manon Fiorot waiting for an opportunity to fight for the belt, Cormier said the trilogy is essential for closure.
“Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko put on an absolute classic,” Cormier said. “(They’ve) got to run it back. We’ve got to have these two women fight again. I feel like every time we match them up, we’re in for a tremendous fight between these two.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Noche UFC.