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Noche UFC: Grasso vs Shevchenko 2 - Sep 16 🇺🇸🇲🇽


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It’s the Mexican Independence Day card. So where better to hold the show than…Las Vegas?


Alexa Grasso©️vs Valentina Shevchenko - Flyweight Title

Kevin Holland vs Jack Della Maddalena 

Raul Rosas Jr vs Terrence Mitchell

Daniel Zellhuber vs Christos Giagos

Fernando Padilla vs Kyle Nelson  

Loopy Godinez vs Elise Reed

Roman Kopylov vs Josh Fremd

Edgar Chairez vs Daniel Lacerda

Tracy Cortez vs Jasmine Jasudavicius

Charlie Campbell vs Alex Reyes

Josefine Knutsson vs Marnic Mann  


First off, I really like that poster. One of the better posters they’ve done in a while. Card’s not bad either. It’s a bit thin below the top two fights but there’s some decent stuff lower down. And it’s worth remembering this is just a Fight Night. That main and co-main combo is pretty sweet for a Fight Night. In fairness as well, the card’s taken a few hits. We were meant to get Shavkat Rakhmonov vs Kelvin Gastelum and Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Daniel Rodriguez on this one but both fell apart.




Alexa Grasso vs Valentina Shevchenko 2 then. The rematch. Looking forward to this. Always interesting to see how a dominant champion responds to getting their winning streak and title reign broken. Big fight for a Fight Night as well. Obviously the whole Mexican Independence Day thing is why they’ve gone this route. Although you know, maybe actually doing a card in Mexico would’ve been better. But whatever, it’s a good fight and a fascinating rematch.


They met at UFC 285 back in March and I really wasn’t giving Grasso much of a chance. I liked her and thought she was decent but I never saw her levelling her game up to the point she’d be the one to end the Shevchenko reign of terror over the Flyweight division. I can’t remember the fight in great detail now but what I do remember is, as big of an upset as it was, it definitely didn’t feel like a flukey win. Grasso tagged her early, I remember one punch in particular that really seemed to wobble Shevchenko and I don’t think I’d ever seen Shev stung like that by a punch before. She got back in it and I recall her winning some rounds after that, then in the 4th…



It was all over. The fight and Shevchenko’s 4+ year run as champion. Wasn’t Serra-GSP or Pena-Nunes level as far as shocking upsets go but it was definitely a surprise. In hindsight, the signs might’ve been there going in though. Shevchenko had all kinds of trouble with Taila Santos in her previous title defence. And in particular, Santos was able to get her back and maintain that position for a while. No doubt Grasso and her coaches took note of that and were able to exploit it on the night and get the submission. Amazing result and a hell of a moment. I never saw it coming and I don’t think many did. That Santos fight might’ve been the first sign of Shevchenko maybe starting to slip a bit but, still, I just never saw Grasso being the one to reap the benefit of it. I thought we were still a couple of fights off Shev losing and maybe Santos in a rematch would be the one to stop the reign. Or maybe a Tatiana Suarez or Erin Blanchfield with their grappling strengths. Grasso being more known for her striking, I just didn’t think it would work out well for her. But she played a blinder on the night. The question now is can she do it again?

“Mexican Independence Day means to fight for your dreams. My goal is to inspire, especially young women. I want to show that, with enough discipline, you can reach your dreams.

I’m excited to see her gameplan. I was doing my best on my feet, so she decided to bring it to the ground. I also have a good arsenal on the ground. Our fight, it wasn’t a mistake. I’m going to prove that when we fight again.

Every single fight is different. You always have a plan in your mind and you never know how your opponent is going to respond. One thing I can tell you is I’m going to finish the fight. I’m going to submit her or it’s going to be a knockout.” - Alexa Grasso


Shev’s coming for redemption. I don’t have any doubt that mentally she’ll be all in for this. She’s always seemed mega dialled in when it comes to her career. Even after she became champion and might’ve fallen into the trap so many fighters do, she didn’t seem to lose focus or motivation and didn’t seem to become complacent at all. You never hear of her having any bad habits outside the cage, she’s always training and I think she just throws herself 100% into the lifestyle of being an athlete and fighter. I’m not sure if she’s even married or has any family around other than her sister. Maybe she just keeps all that private but, from the outside looking in, it seems like her whole life revolves around this shit. So make no mistake, she’s going to be coming in determined to avenge that loss in March and reclaim the gold.

“I’m getting ready for this rematch and I know what I have to do. I’m refocused and retaking everything. I am in martial arts for so long, like 30 years. But I’m still here. I’m still saying I’m the best. For me, she (Grasso) is a great fighter. She did what she did in the fight, but she is a chance fighter. During the fight, she’s doing not much, conserving the energy and waiting for a chance. But if there is no chance, where is the victory? There is no victory. I know she’s going to be ready for this exact chance. But the question, if she will be given this chance? No.” - Valentina Shevchenko


Repeat or revenge? I’m not sure how this goes. I’m guessing a lot of people are gonna be picking Grasso because of how the first fight went. I totally get that. But I don’t know. It wasn’t like she completely outclassed Shevchenko from start to finish last time. And you just know Shev’s leaving no stone unturned in training camp for this rematch. If she beats Grasso here she can claim the first fight was a fluke. That’d be bollocks, of course, but she can kind of rewrite the narrative. If she goes 0-2 though, it leaves no doubt and puts a bit of a dent in her legacy. I could see Shev winning this one. But then again, she’s 35 now. Not ancient by any means but she’s been fighting for such a long time, no matter how clean a life you lead, there’s a shelf life on every fighter’s prime and Shev’s already had a good innings. Maybe her time is just coming to an end.



Kevin Holland vs Jack Della Maddalena is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** and it was a piss easy choice to make. It’s not the most stacked of cards but this fight would stand out anyway, to be fair. It’s been added late in the day as well. Only got announced a few weeks out from the show. The card badly needed it though. Obviously it’s not a PPV so it was never gonna be stupidly loaded up but the card definitely needed a boost and this has given it just that. Seems a bit weird though that they’ve chucked Maddalena on here when they’re in Sydney just a week before.


Big fan of Maddalena and this feels like a step up for him. His first ‘name’ fight and on a card that should get some promotional hype. Holland’s hit and miss but this is the kind of fight he usually excels in. Everyone knows that wrestling has been his kryptonite. He certainly has some submission skills, we saw that in his last fight when he subbed Michael Chiesa. It’s when he comes up against wrestlers who can nullify that and overpower him that he struggles most. But he really does well against strikers. Maddalena is class though. Genuinely think he’s one of the best boxers on the UFC roster. So on paper, this sounds like an awesome standup fight. But Holland does have some crafty tricks in the grappling that he might try here. I wanna see JDM’s ground game but this is most likely playing out on the feet. I think he beats Holland but who knows? He was taken to a split decision by late replacement Bassil Hafez in his last fight in July so fuck knows? Might’ve been the last minute switch up throwing him off, or maybe Hafez is better than anyone knew. Regardless, this’ll be a fun one.



Raul Rosas Jr vs Terrence Mitchell is worth a gander. This is Rosas attempting to bounce back from the first defeat of his young career so we’ll see how he responds to that. The hype on him just coming through the door was a lot, maybe too much really. He was only 17 when he fought on DWCS about a year ago. Won his UFC debut in December but then came unstuck when he ran into Christian Rodriguez at UFC 287 in April. Not the end of the world obviously. He’s 18, for fuck’s sake! And it wasn’t like he got wrecked or stopped in that loss to Rodriguez. It’s all rounds in the bank and experience gained. He’s 7-1 now with 6 finishes and, although I’ve only seen Mitchell once, it feels like a fight Rosas should win. You never know though. Mitchell is 14-3 and came into the UFC on an 11 fight winning streak. He got absolutely steamrolled by Cameron Saaiman in his Octagon debut though. Only lasted a couple of minutes. Saaiman’s a prospect himself so it’ll be interesting to see how Rosas performs here compared to how Saaiman dealt with him.



Daniel Zellhuber vs Christos Giagos is alright. Zellhuber’s a bit of an unknown and I haven’t seen much of him but he’s 24 years old, 13-1 with 9 finishes and I remember him looking pretty slick in his points win over Lando Vannata in April. Giagos is nothing special. 20-10 record, tough guy and will give up and comers some rounds and cage time but loses whenever he steps in with anyone of real substance. Pretty much the definition of a journeyman and I don’t even mean that as a knock. He’s coming off a first round KO win over Rick Glenn in April and has been in with the likes of Gilbert Burns, Charles Oliveira and Arman Tsarukyan among others. From what I’ve seen I’d expect Zellhuber to come out with a W here but Giagos should be a decent test and it’ll probably be entertaining enough for however long it lasts.



Fernando Padilla vs Kyle Nelson could be good. Padilla’s obviously gonna be the crowd favourite being Mexican. He’s 26 years old with a record of 15-4 and 13 finishes. Hasn’t beat a who’s who of opposition and wasn’t really on my radar at all until his last fight in April. He knocked out Julian Erosa in less than 2 minutes and that got my attention.


Bonus points for that t-shirt! He’s up against Canadian Kyle Nelson here. Fuzzy memories of him. He’s 14-5-1 and has had a right rough run of results since signing with the UFC a few years back. He’s gone 1-2-1 in his last 4 fights but finally stopped the rot last time out with a decision win over Blake Bilder in June. I’ll be checking this out for Padilla but hopefully Nelson gives him a test.



Loopy Godinez vs Elise Reed is nothing to write home about but I like Loopy so I’ll give it a chance. Not sure what happened here. Loopy was gonna fight Sam Hughes and Hughes pulled out but instead of finding a fresh replacement they just broke up the Reed vs Lucindo fight and made this one. Whatever. It’s one of those fights, again, where I feel like Loopy should be winning but fuck knows at this point. She’s got the skills but she’ll look great one fight and flat the next. Doesn’t help that she’s the type who will step in on short notice at the drop of a hat. I get wanting to stay active and get regular paycheques but it’s cost her a couple of times. And here we are again and her opponent has been switched on a couple of weeks notice. Not ideal. She’s 10-3 now and coming off a couple of uninspiring decision wins over Cynthia Calvillo and Emily Ducote. I guess wins are wins though, hopefully she can stay on track and start finally building some momentum. I’m hazy on Reed but I don’t remember rating her much. She’s 7-3 and coming off a points win over last legs Jinh Yu Frey. She’s already got UFC losses to Loma Lookboonmee, Sam Hughes and Sijara Eubanks and was finished by them all. So I see no reason Loopy should be losing to her. She needs to be beating these no hopers if she’s ever gonna climb the ladder. I think she does win this one but she’s so hot and cold I can’t say I’m confident.



Roman Kopylov vs Josh Fremd is the ‘Trigger’s broom’ of fights. None of the original components exist anymore. This was supposed to be Chris Curtis against Anthony Hernandez but Curtis dropped out. Then it was Hernandez vs Kopylov and Hernandez got injured. Now this. This isn’t as good as the other fights they had planned but what can you do? It’s a patch up job cobbled together on short notice from the rubble of other fights that crumbled to bits. To be fair, I’ve enjoyed watching Kopylov lately. He’s a guy I’ve done a complete 180 on.


There he is in his last fight channeling his inner Cro Cop against Claudio Ribeiro. Mirko Cro Kopylov. He battered and stopped Punahele Soriano and Alessio Di Chirico before that as well. He was so nondescript and dull to me early in his UFC career but he seems to have well found his form now. Really enjoyed watching his last couple of fights. His kicks especially are brutal. Fremd doesn’t do much for me. He’s 11-4 with 8 finishes. He went 0-2 initially in the UFC but finally got his first win submitting shitehawk Sedriques Dumas early this year. He followed that with a decision win over Jamie Pickett that happened as recently as mid August and I’ve already forgotten everything about it. So yeah. Hopefully Kopylov makes this worth watching.



Edgar Chairez vs Daniel Lacerda might well be the sleeper FOTN contender on this card actually. Only seen Chairez fight once, he lost on points to Tatsuro Taira at UFC 290 in July. But 1) Chairez took the fight on short notice and 2) Taira is a proper handful and a real prospect. And although Taira grappled the arse off him, Chairez looked dangerous every time they were striking and was even threatening with submissions on a few occasions.


Definitely interested in seeing what he can do coming off a full training camp. And Lacerda’s been fantastic to watch pretty much every time out. There’s a reason they’ve kept him around despite him losing and being finished in his last 4 fights in a row. Never a dull moment. His last fight against CJ Vergara in March was mental. If you missed it, get it watched immediately. Genuinely one of my favourite fights so far this year easy. A Mexican madman vs a Brazilian nutcase.



Tracy Cortez vs Jasmine Jasudavicius is whatever. Not expecting a great deal from this really. It’s a nothing fight but Cortez is Mexican so there’s that. Neither have been particularly entertaining to watch from what I vaguely remember of their fights though.


Mamacita! Sounds harsh but Cortez definitely looks better in pictures than her fights are in reality. She’s on an alright little run. She’s 10-1 and hasn’t lost since her MMA debut back in 2017. But it’s not like she’s been beating strong opposition really either. Her standout win is definitely her points victory over Erin Blanchfield back in their Invicta days. But Blanchfield was green as grass and only 19 at the time. Cortez won by split decision. Never seen it but heard the judging was harsh on Blanchfield. Whatever. In the UFC, Cortez’s best win to date is probably her last fight, another decision over Melissa Gatto. But…yeah, that’s not saying very much. And that was well over a year ago now. Jasudavicius is Canadian and has a 9-2 record. She’s coming into this fight off the back of two forgettable decision wins over Gabriella Fernandes and Miranda Maverick. The most memorable fight I’ve seen of hers so far was the night she played the role of a punchbag for 15 minutes against Natalia Silva last year. Yeah. Maybe it’ll be a pleasant surprise but I can’t say I’m feeling this one.



Charlie Campbell vs Alex Reyes is a very late card change. Reyes was supposed to fight Natan Levy here but Levy’s dropped out just a week before the show. In steps Octagon newcomer Charlie Campbell. Never heard of him but I’m reading he got knocked out by Chris Duncan on DWCS last year. He’s since bounced back with a quick KO win of his own on a Cage Fury card in June. He’s 28 years old, a New Yorker fighting out of the Longo/Weidman gym and he’s 7-2 with 5 knockouts. Reyes is 13-3 and apparently fought once in the UFC but it was back in 2017 and he got sparked in about a minute by Mike Perry. Zero recollection of that and Reyes hasn’t fought since. So over 5 years on the shelf. Seems proper random him popping up again now. Surprised they even kept him on the books, to be honest.



Josefine Knutsson vs Marnic Mann is a completely new fight thrown together after both the original fighters withdrew. This was scheduled to be Iasmin Lucindo vs Elise Reed and I think the original matchup had Cynthia Calvillo against one of them but I can’t even remember now. Anyway, Lucindo and Calvillo are off the card and Reed’s been rebooked against Loopy. This is what we’re left with and I don’t have a clue about either. Both are making their UFC debuts here. Knutsson is Swedish, 27 years old, currently undefeated at 6-0 and just won by decision on DWCS in late August. She’s a striker apparently, with a Kickboxing record of 27-5. Mann is nicknamed the ‘Sawed-Off Savage’. I’m guessing because she’s a 5’0” hobbit. She’s 6-1 with 4 finishes and got headkicked into oblivion by Bruna Brasil on DWCS last year but won a decision in her last fight on a LFA show in April.



And then there was one 🇲🇽


Edited by wandshogun09
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Got to go with my girl in the poll, but strangely I'm not as sure with this one as I was with the last one. I know I've said this before, but I genuinely did believe Grasso would win the first fight. But the loss might have motivated Valentina to have taken it up a level. 

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Got a few hours to myself so thought I’d give this another look ahead of the rematch tonight…


They fought back in March at UFC 285 as co-main under Jon Jones’ big return against Ciryl Gane. Under those circumstances, it’s not surprising that this fight didn’t get a whole lot of attention going in. With Jones coming back after 3 years away and it being his long talked about Heavyweight debut, a routine Shevchenko title defence wasn’t getting a look in. And it really felt like that. I know with hindsight it might seem different now looking back, but going into this show, there weren’t many giving Grasso much hope. Shevchenko was coming in as the dominant champion, had defended her title 7 times and was unbeaten at Flyweight. That combined with her going the distance with Amanda Nunes twice, a weight class up, and taking her to a split decision the second time, made her hard to pick against. She was coming in off a surprisingly close decision win over Taila Santos in her previous defence, which many felt she lost. But given that Grasso was mostly known as a boxer, I really didn’t see her being the one to trouble Shev like some of the strong grapplers coming up might in the future. Basically, I saw this as little more than a tick-over title defence to keep Val busy before the trickier tests in Blanchfield, Suarez and the Santos rematch.


Valentina Shevchenko©️vs Alexa Grasso - Flyweight Title

UFC 285: Jones vs Gane

March 4th 2023

Las Vegas, Nevada

Decent little pre-fight video package which paints the picture of Grasso being the plucky underdog and Shevchenko being the Iron Lady, still going strong after “30 years in martial arts.”

Commentators are the usual PPV team of Jon Anik, Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier. Referee is Jason Herzog.


Round 1: They both seem content to keep it on the feet early on. Shevchenko’s looking confident and throwing a fair bit of spinny shit. We’ll see how that works out for her. Grasso starting to find her timing about the midway point of the round. She’s switching stances to keep the champ guessing and she’s connecting with some nice lefts here and there. Nothing major but you can almost see her confidence growing as each minute passes. Shev putting the jab out there and…


Big punch from Grasso lands and Shevchenko looks a little bit shaken up by it. I mean, fair play she takes it well. She puts a decent poker face on and she’s not wobbling all over the place but she definitely looks a bit stunned momentarily. And I can’t think of many other examples where we’ve seen her hurt in the striking before. Shev’s soldiered on and got through it though and she has a decent last minute. In the dying seconds, Grasso gets a bit of a takedown that goes nowhere and Shev responds with an attempted headlock throw. And that’s the opening round done. Definitely a Grasso 10-9 for me. I felt like she landed slightly more and she definitely landed the more effective strikes.

Round 2: Shevchenko wisely switches things up here and gets a takedown in the opening seconds of the round.


And that’s where the fight stays for a bit. Grasso’s trying. She’s moving and doing everything she can to get out, she’s not just accepting it and conceding the position. But it’s clear Shev is the more experienced ground fighter here and within seconds she’s got Grasso in a crucifix. That’s almost been a death sentence for some of Shev’s past victims but Grasso is refusing to go out like that and manages to squirm and buck just enough to escape to her feet.


We’re back in business!

She looks slower and tired though, as you’d expect given the energy she used in the first half of the round to get Shevchenko off her. She’s throwing strikes out there but they’re all coming up short. She finally starts looking like she’s recovered and Shev takes her down again with about 30 seconds left on the clock. And that’s the round. Easy Shevchenko 10-9 there.

Round 3: All standup for the first couple of minutes here and Grasso is looking good in the exchanges. She’s getting caught with the jab but she’s avoiding most of the heavier strikes and landing her own. And again…


Shev responds angrily and a headkick just whizzes past Grasso’s head. But every time they’re striking, Grasso is doing just fine, if not getting the better of it. Certainly the more memorable and eye catching strikes so far in the fight have come from Grasso. But about halfway through the round…


The look on Grasso’s face as she hit the canvas said it all. Pure frustration. Smart from Shevchenko though. She probably should’ve went this route right from the start of the round, to be honest, because as much as I admire Grasso’s activity on the bottom, she doesn’t appear to have much in the way of answers for either stopping the takedowns or doing much off her back other than survive. Weird moment late in the round where Herzog stands them up. There wasn’t a whole lot going on but if you’re on bottom and can’t get up that’s on you. Might not be the most entertaining thing to watch but I feel like it should be left to play out and refs shouldn’t really interfere with the natural flow of the action. Even if there isn’t much action. Shev lands a naughty punch after the break and then pretty much immediately takes Grasso down again on the restart. She gets Grasso’s back but doesn’t have much time to work and Grasso somehow recovers back to full guard within seconds. Shev 10-9 again but an interesting round.

Round 4: The commentators seem to have resigned themselves to this being another run of the mill successful title defence for the ‘Bullet’ at this point. She misses a spinning body kick…more on that later. She then tries to go back to the trusty takedown but this time Grasso is able to stuff it. That’s big! Bit of a jab battle now and, just purely talking about the hands, Grasso is definitely the better boxer of the two. I didn’t remember it being so clear but rewatching this she seems to be getting the better of it pretty much every time they’re in boxing range and just exchanging hands. With about a minute to go in the round, ‘Spinning Shit’ Shev strikes again…



I kind of remembered this fight as that big punch from Grasso early then pretty much a Shevchenko domination until the finish. Rewatching it now, it wasn’t really that way. Yeah, I had Shev 2-1 up on the cards heading into the championship rounds but Grasso was always in it, always game, and I don’t know whether it’s just benefit of hindsight shit now but Shev looked a tad unsure of herself to me in the striking after that first round. And the spinning attacks, fuck me. It sounds overly basic and mega obvious but one thing her coaches are surely drilling into her going into this rematch is to knock that shite on the head. She must’ve spun at least 3 or 4 times in this fight, backfists and kicks, I don’t think any of it landed clean and the last one led directly to her demise. Sure she gave up the back that way in the Santos fight as well. Team Grasso obviously did their homework because Alexa was ready to pounce the nanosecond she turned her back in that last sequence.

But yeah…


Winner - Alexa Grasso by submission. Round 4 - 4:34.

Bless her.

Like I said, I thought there were some potentially tricky challengers ahead for Shevchenko but I never really looked at Grasso as one of them. I think I said it at the time but this for me was like the babyface version of when Julianna Pena upset Amanda Nunes. A shocker but one I didn’t mind because Grasso seems cool and I’ve been souring a bit on Shev for a while. She’d been being very dismissive of the challengers on the horizon going into this Grasso fight. I’m all for talking your shit but it was almost condescending. Dare I say it had a bit of a Frank Mir tone to it 🤢 is it any wonder I’ve started liking her less? Usually I’d probably pull for Shev to win and the score to be tied at 1-1 here, just so we get the trilogy. But the way the UFC does things now, the trilogy would no doubt be immediate and I can’t be arsed with that. They love tying titles up in endless rematches with the same two fighters.

Plus they just made this snazzy new belt for Grasso…


And I’d like to see Grasso go on a little run with it if she can. If she loses tonight then Shevchenko’s gonna be chalking that first fight up to a fluke. She’s already said as much in the buildup to this rematch. It’d be nice if Grasso can go 2-0 tonight and really solidify and legitimise herself as the champ and kill off any talk of her being a one hit wonder. I don’t know where that would leave Shevchenko, maybe another go at 135? That division needs all the help it can get. But Grasso defending against the likes of Blanchfield, Fiorot, Santos, maybe Rose if she gets back on track, there’s some interesting matchups to make. Not to mention the potential ultimate babyface clash between Grasso and Zhang Weili but that’s way down the road and we might never get there. Basically, a Grasso title reign would be fresh. And after years of Shevchenko dominance, it might be just the shake up the division needs.


As for what I think happens tonight, fuck knows? Watching this first fight back, there’s definitely an obvious blueprint for Shevchenko to get her revenge. Unfortunately for us, it’d be the least exciting way the fight could play out but I really think if Shev comes out with pretty much a tunnel vision, wrestling heavy mindset tonight, the odds tip massively in her favour. Might seem odd if you’re just looking at it in black and white on Wikipedia or wherever, because Grasso won by submission. But that came from a mistake Shev made on the feet. Whenever she went with a one-note grappling approach, she was putting those rounds in the bank. Unless Grasso has improved massively in that area, and in 6 months I’m not sure how she could, I see no reason why Shevchenko can’t have a ton of success with basically that gameplan here. If Shev stands for significant spells of time I think Grasso probably has even more success on the feet this time. Having been in there with Shev for the best part of 20 minutes she’ll probably get a read on her much faster here and no doubt she’ll be more confident than ever and fancying the job, having already beaten her once. I’m actually leaning towards Shev winning in a more grappling heavy fight but we’ll see. I hope I’m wrong. I just think she’s the type who will have studied that first fight like an obsessed maniac and seen what worked and what didn’t. She’s not too proud to make a fight boring to get the result either so don’t be surprised if she tries to just grind this one out Jake Shields style. Hopefully it’s better than that.

Edited by wandshogun09
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Didn’t catch the prelims but this wasn’t a bad show. Thought the Nelson/Padilla fight was a bit slow but the card picked up after that. 

Didn’t think the Holland/JDM fight was as close as it was made out to be, I thought JDM won and was the right call.

The main event, that was close to call. I had it 3-2 to Grasso but honestly could have gone either way. Given how close it was and the draw, I suspect we see them run it back again. 

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I had 3-2 for Grasso. They'll probably go straight for the trilogy fight next, then a fourth fight if Valentina wins. I'm so bored of rematch title fights though. I'd much rather Grasso fought Blanchfield next. 

Great night of fights though, from the prelims to the main event. 

Edited by Panhead
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I guess we’ll be seeing Part 3 then.


Draws in title fights shouldn’t be a thing. Do an extra round or something. Flip a coin, play a game of Pogs for all I care. A title fight ending in a draw just feels like a big fat waste of everyone’s time. Going straight into Grasso vs Shevchenko 3 next isn’t ideal and wouldn’t necessarily be my choice. But then again, a draw in a title fight kind of forces it. How do you go a different route?


Have it.

For what it’s worth I had Grasso winning 3-2. I thought Shev won 1 and 3 and I had Grasso winning 2 and 5. The 4th round is the tricky one and I can see the argument either way. So I had Grasso edging it but wouldn’t have had an issue with Shev getting the nod. It was very close. I don’t even really have a problem with scoring it a draw. When I heard it was a draw I thought maybe there was an even scorecard for that 4th round. Turns out one of the judges gave Grasso a 10-8 for the 5th round. Which is complete bollocks. Shevchenko giving up her back again though? Christ. It’s something she does a lot and got away with up until recently. Feels like Santos and especially Grasso really exposed that and it’s something Shev’s future opponents are all gonna look to exploit though. 

Shev bitterly banging on post-fight about the judges being “pressured to score for the Mexican fighter on Mexican Independence Day” came across badly and made her sound a right sour grapes twat. But when you see that baffling 10-8 handed out for Grasso, it’s hard to even really blame Shev for thinking there’s some fuckery going on. Not Grasso’s fault, of course, but that 10-8 was weird.

Think Anik said they’re going to Mexico City in early 2024. Fully expecting the UFC to target that card for Grasso vs Shevchenko 3. No doubt Shev will argue against that. And to eliminate any talk of biased judging, a neutral setting probably would be better. But I can see why they’d want Grasso on that Mexico card and that’s what I expect to happen. If Shev won’t go for it, I’m sure the UFC will just throw a Blanchfield or Fiorot in there.

Had no problem with Jack Della Maddalena getting the decision in the co-main. Little bit disappointed in the fight though. Wasn’t awful or anything but just lacked that spark I think everyone was expecting. I was all geared up for a barnburner and it ended up resembling a sparring match for big spells of the fight. Don’t really get the supposed controversy around the decision. It was a fairly close fight that I felt JDM won. Yet once again the word ‘robbery’ is being bandied about all over social media. Every time. The hype seems to have cooled off a tad on JDM after that Hafez fight and now this. But I still think he could be a player at 170. Seen people on about him fighting Shavkat though and I think he should leave that the fuck alone. We still don’t know much about Maddalena’s ground game, he doesn’t need that test to come against Shavkat. I think Maddalena, Shavkat and Garry are all gonna be kept apart for the time being anyway. And they probably should be. Let them all build themselves up separately for now and see what’s what. They’re all coming along at roughly the same pace so no doubt they’ll all cross paths sooner or later. If it was up to me I’d do Maddalena vs Wonderboy or Luque next.

Chuffed to see Raul Rosas bounce back in style after suffering his first setback last time out. Couldn’t have asked for a better rebound performance.


54 seconds. Wild while it lasted and Rosas is still very green and needs a ton of time on the mats and in the cage but he’s clearly got the raw skills and to come back from that first loss so strongly, he’s obviously mentally strong. For an 18 year old kid, you have to give him his due. Saw all sorts of cobblers being said after he had that first loss. As if he was on the scrapheap at 18 FFS! Hopefully they move him along slowly though.

Daniel Zellhuber looked good. This was one of those fights that always looked like it was designed for the young up and comer to shine against the tough journeyman. So the result didn’t surprise anyone. But I liked what we saw out of Zellhuber. He’s got that lanky frame that makes him awkward and he looked pretty sharp on the feet before he slapped that anaconda choke on and Giagos had no choice but to tap.

Loopy Godinez definitely had one of her ‘on’ nights. I say it every time she fights but when she’s on form, she looks like a potential title challenger. Granted, Elise Reed isn’t the best of opposition but the way Loopy just bulldozed her here, she looked like a monster.


Dropped her, slammed her, subbed her. Just a miserable experience all around for Reed this. If Loopy looked like this on a consistent basis I genuinely think she’d be in the title mix by now. Sadly, she’ll probably look flat and lose a split to some no hoper next time out now. It’s how she rolls.

Man, what’s happened to Roman Kopylov? He’s becoming a real issue. He came into the UFC undefeated but really didn’t look much good in his first couple of fights from what I remember, and he went 0-2 initially. Since then he’s been fucking fools up. Fremd got killed to the body. Just fucking brutal.


I’m chalking it up to Kopylov growing out the curls. Ever since he let that white man afro grow he’s been unstoppable. On a serious note, that’s 4 wins on the trot now, 4 finishes and this surely earns him a crack at a ranked opponent. The rankings on the UFC site haven’t been updated yet, I don’t think, but looking at the Top 15, throwing him in with a Chris Curtis, Paul Craig or Jack Hermansson doesn’t seem crazy. Can’t be arsed to check who’s already booked out of those names but regardless, it’s time for Kopylov to get a step up.

Really unfortunate ending to the Edgar Chairez vs Daniel Lacerda fight. I felt like that had legit show stealer potential but it was over before it ever got properly heated up and then the ref called it prematurely. Worst bit about all this though, was it gave old Sadsack Cruz the perfect excuse to once again bring up how he was wronged by a referee’s quick stoppage against Cejudo. 3 fucking years ago. Never misses an opportunity to bring that one back up. Wouldn’t mind seeing them just rebook this fight for one of the upcoming cards soon.

Tracy Cortez had probably the strongest performance of her UFC career so far but I’m still not convinced she’s that good. Seen people raving about her showing last night but you’ve got to take into consideration the level of opposition and Jasmine Jasudavicius, while tough and durable, isn’t much good. Cortez had been on the shelf over a year though so whatever. Hopefully she stays more active now but I don’t think she’s the prospect some are hoping she is.


Solid night of fights all around. Back at the Apex next week but even that looks a tidy card on paper. 

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That one is going to sting for Shevchenko. She was cruising to victory in that 5th round before attempting that throw. If she'd just stayed on the feet peppering away she wins. She was hard done by though as I don't see how they score that a 10-8 for Grasso. Good fight though, they'll fight again. 

Della Maddalena/Holland was a bit of a letdown. Holland just fights so laid back, he almost makes it look like he isn't even trying to win. I think it cost him here because the real intent seemed to be coming from Maddalena. It was basically even, but I think body language and way JDM was carrying himself made the difference. Who would have thought these two would get boo'ed?

Highlight early for me, Roman Kopylov, easily. The guy is looking like a beast now at at 185lb. Those two early UFC losses are probably helping him out abit now, as it's allowing him time to sneak in through the back door and properly get used to being in there, but the guy is looking like a straight up assassin. Great to watch.

The main talking point for me on the prelims was the Chairez/Lacerda fight. As @wandshogun09alluded too, Cruz went on one of his referee rants and laid into Chris Tognoni after the stoppage. They reviewed it and the result was overturned. However, I didn't quite see the outrage:


What am I missing here? Lacerda's arm clearly goes limp. It even looking likes Lacerda arm is behaving weirdly before the arm drops, he's not signalling to the ref (lots made of this point too), it's just seems to be involuntarily moving like he's slowly going out. Could Tognoni have lifted the arm one more time after the drop? possibly. If Lacerda was not out though and dropped his arm on purpose, for me the stoppage is more on him. You can't do that in a choke situation, you are asking the ref. to jump in and stop it. I think if Tognoni had waited 2-3 more seconds we wouldn't be having any kind of discussion and Lacerda would have been out-out.

I thought Cruz was bang out of line, and i'm surprised they overturned it on the night. Cruz was taking digs all night, he even seemed to be jumping in to protest the Rosas stoppage initially but he quickly stepped back on that one.

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Looking at that again there, you might be onto something. It still seemed very quick for the ref to jump in though, literally the second the arm dropped he waved it off. Like you say, all this could’ve been avoided if he’d just given it a few more seconds. The outcries of sympathy all seem to be aimed at Lacerda but I feel worse for Chairez than anyone here because it robbed him of what looked like a guaranteed submission win. Lacerda wasn’t getting out of that. 

1 hour ago, Egg Shen said:

She was cruising to victory in that 5th round before attempting that throw. 

Yeah she does that a lot in fights. It’s amazing that nobody made her pay for that up until the Taila Santos fight. She really took advantage of that bad habit and had Shev’s back a lot in that fight from what I remember. And that basically laid the blueprint for Grasso to exploit it in their first fight. Feel bad for Santos in a way because the initial talk after her fight with Shev was that they’d do an immediate rematch. If they had, she might’ve been the one to end the reign. She got frozen out, Shev took what she probably saw as the ‘easier fight’ in Grasso and look what’s happened. Now Santos has lost to Blanchfield and is out of the running for a bit but she really was the one who made Shev look human. She was so close to being the one who stopped the reign before Grasso swooped in. 

1 hour ago, Egg Shen said:

Roman Kopylov, easily. The guy is looking like a beast now at at 185lb. Those two early UFC losses are probably helping him out abit now, as it's allowing him time to sneak in through the back door and properly get used to being in there,

Good point. In the long run those couple of losses have probably been a blessing in disguise. He came in undefeated at a time when Khabib was still ruling the world and every unbeaten Russian was being hyped up as the possible next Khabib. If he’d won those first two fights they’d probably have had him in with the top guys before he was ready and he’d likely have ended up in a slump he might never have got out of. The losses scaled him back and he’s been moved along slower and it’s benefited him massively. He still mightn’t beat those top guys now but he’s in a better position to take those steps up now he’s had time to find his feet, grow in confidence and gain experience. He’s beat some fairly tough opponents already and it’s not like 185 is a stacked division. It’ll be interesting to see how far he can go.

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