Las Vegas, NV – Former UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko believes the Mexican Independence Day theme of Noche UFC was one of the reasons why a judge gave Alexa Grasso a 10-8 score in the fifth round of their fight leading to a split draw decision.
“I think I did everything to secure the victory, and unfortunately, I think because this event it’s like Mexican Independence Day, that’s why it’s affected the decision for the judge to give 10-8 in the fifth round,” Shevchenko told reporters including Cageside Press at her post-fight scrum on Saturday night.
“And from my experience 10-8 it’s when one fighter completely kind of do nothing. It’s like looking for escape from the octagon.”
Shevchenko was clearly frustrated with the score in a fight she believes she won handedly. She did clear up that she wasn’t completely sure what brought on the 10-8 score.
“Really I don’t know what it was, but 10-8 is 10-8. 10-8 is kind of like not what it was in the 5th round,” she said.
In the fourth round while defending a takedown attempt by Shevchenko, Grasso landed a series of knees to the head that most were not sure were legal knees. In the footage you can see Shevchenko put her hand down to signal that she was a downed opponent making those knees illegal.
The rules in Nevada state that one hand alone cannot define you as a downed opponent. Shevchenko still wasn’t completely clear on that it seemed.
“It’s kind of like affected (me) because it was knees to the head. I was grounded opponent. I had my finger on the mat and this is what you cannot do with a downed opponent,” said Shevchenko.
It’s unclear if Grasso threw those knees also believing they were illegal, but Shevchenko was adamant that the knees were illegal.
“I have to rewatch that. I have to see (the exact) moment, but I remember my fingers was on the mats. I remember that it was on the floor. In that minute in the fight I didn’t think to stop, but I was kind of looking to the referee and waiting to ask something, but he said continue and I continued,” she said.
With the fight now done Shevchenko does have a case to make for a trilogy battle with Grasso, but other options are also on the table for the former champion. She mentioned that health was the top priority coming out of a five-round war with Grasso.
“First of all I don’t want to rush. I don’t want to say something that tomorrow I will change my mind. First of all I want to see how long it’s (going to take) to heal because this is most important. My next fight, when it’s going to happen, I want to perform the best way what I can,” she said.
“Right now I don’t know what is going to be next, who is going to be next, but I am here. This performance tonight I showed that I have much more forward to go. No stop, no less power, no less motivation, kind of like no matter how old I am, I am feeling great.”
Watch the entire post-fight scrum with Valentina Shevchenko above.