Licensed judges in Nevada have reviewed rounds from three fights, including the controversial fifth round of Alexa Grasso vs. Valentina Shevchenko 2, in response to a controversy surrounding judge Mike Bell’s 10-8 score for Grasso in the fifth round, which led to a draw being declared and Grasso retaining the flyweight belt.
Two of the three judges who scored the fight, Sal D’Amato and Junichiro Kamijo, were present at the meeting and weighed in on their scoring decisions. D’Amato scored the bout 48-47 for Shevchenko, while Kamijo scored 48-47 for Grasso. The regulator defended Bell’s judging record while also making it clear he did not agree with the 10-8 in favor of Grasso.
The judges reviewed the criteria for a 10-8 round, which includes factors such as dominance, damage, and duration. Judges are required to give the score when all three factors are present in a round. It was also emphasized that for a fighter with “little to no offensive output” relative to their opponent and “two of the three Ds, it should be normal for judges to consider awarding that losing fighter an 8 instead of a 9.”
In the case of Shevchenko vs. Grasso 2, the judges agreed that Shevchenko was leading the round before a sudden shift in momentum. Mullen clarified that while Grasso had a minute-and-a-half of domination on the ground, it wasn’t enough to justify awarding her a 10-8 round given Shevchenko’s clear lead in the first three-and-a-half minutes.
UFC CEO Dana White intends to rebook the flyweight title fight, and the timing could depend on Shevchenko’s recovery from a broken thumb suffered in the bout’s opening round.