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Does an immediate Alexa Grasso vs. Valentina Shevchenko trilogy even make sense? | Noche UFC

Deciding when rematches and trilogies were deserved in combat sports used to be easier, but it seems it’s gotten a bit complicated and more selective over time.

Max Holloway lost twice to Alexander Volkanovski and was then awarded a third fight against “The Great” after a couple of wins (which he lost), though Daniel Cormier wasn’t given that same opportunity with Jon Jones, even after his second defeat to “Bones” was overturned as a result of a failed drug contest.

Speaking of Cormier, he defeated Stipe Miocic to win the Heavyweight strap (see it), then lost to Miocic in the rematch, and then again in the immediate trilogy fight. Now, you have Israel Adesanya’s team pining for a rematch against Sean Strickland after getting swept for five rounds. Let’s not forget, “The Last Stylebender” had just won his rematch against Alex Pereira after getting knocked out in the first fight.

Aljamain Sterling is now calling for his immediate rematch after getting knocked out by Sean O’Malley a few weeks ago (see it here), leaving UFC matchmakers and agents with plenty to talk about in the negotiating room. But, as you can see, there have been several cases where rematches and trilogy fights were warranted and some were not.

Valentina Shevchenko now finds herself in a similar boat. After getting choked out by Alexa Grasso at UFC 285 she was given a rematch six months later at Noche UFC this past weekend. It’s a do-over that was well-deserved after seven straight title defenses. Unfortunately, the fight ended in a controversial split-draw, which once again prompted a great debate regarding giving a former champion yet another shot, especially because of the controversial 10-8 round.

Grasso isn’t opposed to a third title fight against Shevchenko, but she prefers to give new blood the chance to fight for the strap to keep the division from getting stagnant, and there are two worthy contenders who are grateful for that stance.

As for Shevchenko, she would love nothing more than another shot at reclaiming the strap she once held for so long. But, the fact remains, she had two chances to defeat Grasso and she came up short on both (bad judging or not). Furthermore, she suffered a broken thumb in the rematch, which means even if the promotion wanted to book it and Grasso agreed, it will be at least five or six months before it can happen again. Erin Blanchfield and Manon Fiorot could fight in the interim, but once the No. 1 contender is determined, she would have to wait for an extended period for her title shot.

That simply doesn’t make sense.

If it were up to me I would book Blanchfield vs. Fiorot as soon as possible, let Shevchenko heal from her injury and then book Grasso versus the new No. 1 contender. Once the dust settles there, Shevchenko could be ready to make a comeback and three fighters didn’t have to sit idle waiting for her to heal up. What UFC does with Shevchenko depends on what the field looks like at that time.

On the flip side, if "Bullet" defeats Grasso in the immediate trilogy we could very well have a repeat of Brandon Moreno vs. Deiveson Figueiredo because you know Grasso will be knocking down the doors at UFC headquarters demanding the same opportunity.

And do we really want another quadrilogy?

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