What’s Next: Noche UFC Losers

Valentina Shevchenko, Noche UFC
Valentina Shevchenko, Noche UFC ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Noche UFC was held to celebrate Mexican Independence Day, and as such, women’s flyweight champ Alexa Grasso headlined the event, in an immediate rematch with Valentina Shevchenko.

As is often the case with such situations, the MMA Gods opted to sow a little chaos, with the fight scored a draw thanks to an inexplicable 10-8 scorecard for Grasso by judge Mike Bell in the third round. What’s next for “Bullet,” who would have won the fight on the scorecards otherwise? Read on.

Valentina Shevchenko

Valentina Shevchenko may not have lost the fight against Alexa Grasso but she came out the loser nonetheless, since she does not have the belt and Grasso still does. She has a right to feel slighted, the 10-8 scorecard in the fifth round from judge Mike Bell has been widely panned as a bad decision and if not for that score then ‘Bullet’ would have won the fight and regained her throne.

Still, if she had won then the next move would be no different: a trilogy bout with Grasso. After a draw a rematch is almost always in order, and this series has been closely contested throughout. The worry is that this would lead to a fourth fight which would hold up the division if Valentina wins, but the women’s flyweight GOAT deserves it regardless.

Shevchenko’s Next Fight: Alexa Grasso 3

Kevin Holland

One of the UFC’s budding stars faced a setback against a fellow rising welterweight star in Noche UFC’s co-main event as Kevin Holland lost to Jack Della Maddalena by split decision. Although a competitive fight, most fans and pundits seem to agree with the Aussie, Maddalena, getting the nod the back of his clean boxing, especially in the first and third rounds.

With not a single fighter in the top-15 at welterweight currently booked to fight, thirteenth-ranked Holland has many options. He called for a fight with Neil Magny in the aftermath of this loss and that fight does make sense. Magny has long since been the unofficial gatekeeper of 170-lbs, is right next to Holland in the rankings at the moment, and is also coming off of a recent loss to a fellow contender. This fight would test Holland and potentially put him back on track as a rising star.

Holland’s Next Fight: Neil Magny

Terrence Mitchell

Terrance Mitchell has had a tough schedule in his first two UFC fights, but a third consecutive loss would still likely spell the end of his run with the promotion. He should fight a fellow inexperienced fighter, likely one making his UFC debut or with a similar losing record in the promotion. One solid option is Charalampos Grigoriou, a fighter who just won his UFC contract on the sixth season of Dana White’s Contender Series with a first round knockout. Both fighters like to come out swinging, making this potential fight a likely candidate to produce fireworks.

Michell’s Next Fight: Charalampos Grigoriou

Christos Giagos

Christos ‘The Spartan’ Giagos started strong but ultimately fell victim to a choke from the long arms of Daniel Zellhuber at Noche UFC. His 6-7 UFC record in one of the sport’s toughest divisions is certainly respectable and there are a plethora of talented lightweights he would be well-matched against. One such fighter is Marc Diakiese, who is now 7-7 in the UFC after back-to-back losses in the last year. These two well-rounded and experienced martial artists would make for an interesting and competitive fight in the shark tank that is the lightweight division.

Giagos’ Next Fight: Marc Diakiese

Fernando Padilla

Padilla started strong at Noche UFC but ultimately lost the decision against his Canadian opponent as Kyle Nelson’s veteran tactics won the fight down the stretch. Padilla is now 1-1 in the UFC and clearly has a propensity for violence, especially in the early going as seen in his highlight reel knockout of Julian Erosa. There are any number of unranked featherweights with similar record in the UFC whom he could face next, such as Luis Saldana, Lucas Almeida, or Melquiazel Costa.

Of these options, Melquiazel Costa makes the most sense. ‘Melqi’ is also 1-1 in the UFC with a win over Austin Lingo after a short notice debut loss up a weigh class to Thiago Noises. The striking-heavy styles of both men will make for a compelling and exciting clash at 145-lbs.

Padilla’s Next Fight: Melquizael Costa