The unthinkable happened back in March at UFC 285 when Alexa Grasso caught Valentina Shevchenko in a submission, dethroning a fighter who had been a dominant flyweight champion for years.
The end of Shevchenko’s reign might have been a surprise, but an immediate rematch between the pair was not. Shevchenko had most certainly done enough over the years to deserve that, and flyweight’s other contenders, Erin Blanchfield and Manon Fiorot among them, were still young enough that an extra six months wouldn’t set them back any.
And so at Noche UFC this Saturday, a card held in conjunction with Mexican Independence Day, Mexico’s own Grasso gets to prove that the first time around, it was no fluke — while Valentina Shevchenko looks to reestablish herself as the most dominant force in the division (and with Amanda Nunes retiring, arguably on the women’s side of the UFC).
Our picks are in for Noche UFC — here’s how we see the five-fight main card playing out!
|Writer / Fight||Padilla vs. Nelson||Zellhuber vs. Giagos||Rosas Jr. vs. Mitchell||Holland vs. Maddalena||Grasso vs. Shevchenko|
|Jamie Theodosi (100-60)|
|Alex Behunin (102-64)|
|Val Dewar (99-64)|
|Chris Prawdzik (96-64)|
|Cade Morehouse (51-38)|
|Jay Anderson (91-81)|
|Dylan Rush (82-79)|
|Eddie Law (79-84)|
|Patrick McCorry (3-2)|
Let’s get this one out of the way real quick: the lone unanimous selection among our staff this week was teenager Raul Rosas Jr. We see him bouncing back from the first loss of his career; no one sided with Terrance Mitchell this week. To be fair, this is probably a closer fight than we have it.
The main event rematch between Grasso and Shevchenko is the rare case where we have a champion as the underdog, but our writers are siding with Valentina Shevchenko by a five to four margin. That’s not entirely surprising given how dominant “Bullet” has been over the years.
The co-main event had a similar split, with a five-four margin in favor of Kevin Holland over Jack Della Maddalena. The night’s first two fights, Fernando Padilla vs. Kyle Nelson and Daniel Zellhuber vs. Christos Giagos, had just a single writer siding with Nelson and Giagos.