Michael Bisping is not impressed with the judging he witnessed during Noche UFC’s main event between Alexa Grasso vs. Valentina Shevchenko last night (Sat., Sept, 16, 2023) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Grasso and Shevchenko engaged in a fun back-and-forth scrap that saw both women have their moments (watch highlights here). In the end, the judges scored it a split draw. No one likes to see a draw — especially in a title fight — and there’s been a lot of controversy over how judge Mike Bell gave Grasso a 10-8 score in the fifth.
Not only does Bisping disagree with the 10-8, he disagrees with Grasso winning round five at all.
“Shevchenko won the 5th,” Bisping wrote on Twitter immediately after the fight. “Dominated most of the round. Messed up and got mounted, but escaped pretty quick. I’d still say Shevchenko won round five.”
In a follow-up video released on his YouTube channel, Bisping explained his reasoning.
“Opinions are like a—holes, everyone’s got one,” he said. “And apparently I’m the biggest a—hole because if you go on Twitter, they’re ripping me a new a—hole because I say Valentina Shevchenko should have won that fight three rounds to two, maybe even four rounds to one. Round four was a close one.”
As for round five, which many felt Grasso won?
“I can maybe understand because the shots from [Grasso] on top were more damaging, I’ll concede that,” he said. “Let’s go with that, let’s go with Grasso wins that. Well, Shevchenko would have still won the fight three rounds to two, and that’s official when you look at the judge’s scorecards. But judge Mike Bell gave a 10-8 round to Alexa Grasso in round five, and there’s just no way. There’s no way that was a 10-8 round.”
“The new criteria is, and I don’t have the actual documentation on the verbiage right in front of me, but it’s something like this: you just have to have a clear winner. A clear winner where you can look at it and very comfortably say ‘That lady won.’ Simple as that. That makes it a 10-8 round. Well, I don’t think round five was a 10-8 round. Far from it.”
The biggest problem with 10-8 rounds is the lack of consistency when one is awarded. To have Bell throw a 10-8 into the mix during a title fight resulting in a split draw? It’s peak mixed martial arts (MMA) Gong Show. Even if we kinda agree that a draw is the right result for this fight, the way it came about is undeniably ridiculous.