Noche UFC: Conor McGregor, other UFC fighters react to Alexa Grasso vs. Valentina Shevchenko main event draw

Alexa Grasso retains her UFC flyweight title after her fight goes to draw with Valentina Shevchenko.

Alexa Grasso fought Valentina Shevchenko to a split decision draw (48-47, 47-48, 47-47), at Noche UFC on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.

"I did a lot of damage and I'm a winner. I thought I was very close. I think I did a lot of damage so I think I did enough. I will have to talk to my coaches and my manager to see what's next," said Grasso.

"Yeah, I think it was 3-2 on my side. I think the judges felt a lot of pressure because it's Mexican Independence Day. In a fair fight, I would win that fight," said Shevchenko.

Shevchenko opened with a kick to the body and a left hand. Shevchenko continued to come forward and attack, landing another body kick. Grasso switched stances and blocked a takedown attempt from Shevchenko. On the break, Shevchenko landed a strong elbow. The two women engaged in a clinch, with Shevchenko being able to wrestle Grasso to the ground. Shevchenko transitioned to the back but Grasso was able to slip out and return to her feet.

Grasso landed a combination to open the second round. After a clinch, the action returned to the middle. Grasso landed a powerful shot that sent Shevchenko summersaulting over. Grasso landed several strikes in the clinch before Shevchenko escaped and landed a takedown. Shevchenko slowed the action down, just staying active enough to keep referee Herb Dean from standing the fight up and allowed Shevchenko to recover from the knockdown. Grasso landed a good up kick but Shevchenko soon returned to a position on top of Grasso but could not move into full mount.

Shevchenko landed a couple of leg kicks to open the third round. The two women traded punches, with Shevchenko landing a few snapping jabs. Shevchenko landed a takedown and was able to transition to full mount with a guillotine choke. Shevchenko eventually gave up on the choke. Grasso could not get up, as Shevchenko took her back and landed a few strikes but could not take advantage of the position.

Like their first first, Shevchenko led 2-1 after three rounds. Shevchenko landed the jab while Grasso answered with a leg kick. Shevchenko landed a two-punch combo and moved out of danger. Grasso blocked a takedown and then landed several knees to the head that looked like they might have been illegal. Shevchenko protested but Dean said her hand was not down. A cut was opened up after Shevchenko landed a big elbow. Shevchenko landed another takedown with a trip. Grasso was able to transition to a kneebar but the round ended.

The two women traded punches to start the final round with both women knowing the final round could decide the judges' scorecards. The blood covered part of Grasso's face around her eye. Shevchenko used her speed to land several jabs and get out of distance. Grasso failed on a takedown attempt. Shevchenko looked like she was much fresher in the final round, moving out of danger with ease. Shevchenko went for another trip but Grasso flipped position. Grasso was able to take the back and started landing strikes. Grasso locked in the body triangle and continued to throw strikes.

Conor McGregor loved the fight, but others hated the decision

At UFC 285, Grasso capitalized on a mistake by Shevchenko, submitting her and winning the UFC women's flyweight title. Since moving up to flyweight, Grasso won her first five straight fights.

Shevchenko had been the division's champion for over four years, making seven successful title defenses and winning nine straight fights. Prior to her loss at UFC 285, Shevchenko had not lost a fight since UFC 215 against Amanda Nunes.

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