Noche UFC Recap: Alexa Grasso retains as her and Valentina Shevchenko fight to a Split Draw

Mar 26, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, UNITED STATES; Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) reacts to defeating Joanne Wood (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Headlining the Noche UFC card tonight was a rematch for the women’s flyweight title. Flyweight champion Alexa Grasso (16-3) was looking to prove that her first title fight wasn’t a fluke as she took on the former longtime flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko (23-4).

These two first fought back at UFC 285 in March. Shevchenko entered the bout as a pretty massive favorite and really nobody that she would be dethroned. However, in her previous fight, she looked vulnerable against Taila Santos and Alexa Grasso was looking to jump in and take her title.

Grasso did very well for a challenger through the first three rounds. However, Shevchenko switched to her wrestling and really took over through the middle rounds. With just over a minute left in the fourth, Shevchenko was on her way to being 3-1. However, she threw a poor spinning back kick and Grasso jumped on her back.

Instantly, Grasso locked in a rear naked choke. The squeeze was insanely tight and Shevchenko was forced to tap awarding the UFC flyweight title to Alexa Grasso. Tonight, they ran it back.

Noche UFC Recap

Round 1

The Noche UFC main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Shevchenko takes the center and fires a low kick. Huge body kick lands for the challenger and a big 1-2 from Shevchenko. Sharp left hand from Shevchenko and the former champion is starting fast in the opening minute.

Another nice left from Shevchenko lands. Grasso fires a shot back but eats a counter left. Another nasty body kick from Shevchenko. Grasso throws a 1-2 but she misses. Combination now from Shevchenko. Grasso switches stances and eats a left from Shevchenko. Combination from Shevchenko.

They clinch and Grasso lands some pretty nice shots in tight. Halfway through the first and it’s been all Shevchenko so far. Shevchenko shoots for a quick takedown and Grasso defends. However, she eats a nasty elbow from Shevchenko. Grasso lands a nice jab and now Shevchenko lands a left.

Both fighters trade right hooks and Shevchenko circles away with a stiff jab. Both land straight shots and Grasso is throwing more now. Body lock from Shevchenko and a big takedown from the former champion. Mount from Shevchenko and Grasso gives up her back. She scrambles and they get back to the feet. Nasty knee from Shevchenko and the round comes to an end. Statement first round for Shevchenko at Noche UFC.

Round 2

Entering the second round at Noche UFC and Grasso needs to get some respect back. Shevchenko goes for another body lock here early in the second, however, Grasso finds the fence and is able to stay on her feet. Nasty left hand from Shevchenko and another big shot from Shevchenko.

Shevchenko dropped by Grasso and the champion is all over Shevchenko here. Big knees to the body and huge hooks in tight from Grasso. Shevchenko is hurt here but she’s able to get distance. Big double leg from Shevchenko and she gets the takedown. Two minutes left in the round and Shevchenko needs a big finish to try and get the round back.

She’s holding the top position but isn’t landing much here. 90 seconds left in the round and Shevchenko lands a couple of nasty elbows. Shevchenko stands and nearly eats a big upkick from Grasso. Shevchenko goes back to the top position but both fighters are landing.

Grasso staying incredibly active on the bottom. The round comes to a close and despite a ton of ground control from Shevchenko, Grasso takes the second at Noche UFC.

Round 3

Entering the third at Noche UFC and Shevchenko looked a little discouraged in between the round. Grasso takes the center to start the third round. Low kick from Shevchenko starts her striking. Grasso looking for her jab but is a little out of range. Nice 1-2 from Shevchenko lands. Sharp left hand lands for Shevchenko in tight.

Check right now from Shevchenko and Grasso lands a jab. Both ladies trade jabs and Grasso lands a low kick. Step in elbow from Shevchenko and now she shoots for a double leg and she gets Grasso down with three minutes left to work. Immediate side control from Shevchenko.

Guillotine from Shevchenko and it’s deep. Mounted guillotine and this is nasty. Not sure if Grasso can survive this. She’s fighting hard and she’s not tapping. Grasso survives as Shevchenko lets it go. Shevchenko takes the back and she gets a body triangle. Incredible control from the former champion. Grasso trying to defend but she’s not going anywhere.

30 seconds left and this round has been all Valentina Shevchenko but Grasso just about reverses things to finish the round. The round ends and it’s another clear round for Shevchenko at Noche UFC.

Round 4

Entering the championship rounds and Shevchenko is up here at Noche UFC. Grasso takes the center and she’s moving forward to start things. High kick attempt from Grasso and you have to wonder if Shevchenko burned herself a little out in the third with all that control. Jab from Shevchenko lands.

Two stiff jabs from Shevchenko. Another jab from Shevchenko and a calf kick from Grasso. 1-2 from Grasso and a right hand now from Shevchenko. Nice 1-2 from Shevchenko who is adding up the strikes here in the fourth. Grasso plots forward and then she gets a clinch.

Big knees from Grasso and then she gets a big takedown on Shevchenko. However, Shevchenko immediately reverses the position and gets the top position. Grasso uses the fence and gets back to her feet. Beautiful combination from Grasso as they separate. Sharp jab from Shevchenko lands now.

One minute left in the round and that big sequence has the round trending towards the champion. Huge combination from Shevchenko now. Another big jab from Shevchenko and now Shevchenko gets a takedown. Grasso uses the fence to get back to her feet and the round ends. It could either be 3-1 Shevchenko or 2-2 entering the final round at Noche UFC.

Round 5

Entering the final round at Noche UFC and no matter what, Grasso needs this round. The round starts and a sharp 1-2 from Grasso starts the striking. Jab from Shevchenko lands and now she doubles it up. Another jab from Shevchenko and both fighters land big when the come close.

Huge elbow from Shevchenko. Stiff jab from Shevchenko and another one. Grasso has blood coming out the eye now. Good combination from Shevchenko and that might’ve wobbled the legs of Grasso. The jab of Shevchenko is just money right now. Three straight jabs snap the head back of Grasso.

Stinging jab from Grasso now lands. Three minutes left and Grasso needs to step it up here. 1-2 now from Shevchenko. Jab behind it and Grasso lands a right hand. Halfway through the round and at this pace, Shevchenko is going to regain the title. Big combination from Shevchenko and Grasso shoots for a takedown.

Shevchenko defends and they are back to striking. Another nasty jab from Shevchenko. Grasso advances but can’t land. Shevchenko lands big and there’s 90 seconds left in the fight. Both ladies land big and Shevchenko gets a body lock. Grasso reverses things and gets back control. She’s going to hold this for the final minute and that might be enough to get it done. Going to be some interesting scorecards at Noche UFC.

Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko fight to a Split Draw (48-47, 47-48, 47-47)