4 Fights We Must See After UFC Struggle Evening 227
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Alexa Grasso (left) and Valentina ShevchenkoChris Unger/Zuffa LLC by way of Getty Photos
On Saturday evening, the UFC celebrated Mexican Independence Day with an thrilling 11-fight card in Las Vegas.
The occasion was topped by a flyweight title rematch between Mexican champion Alexa Grasso and the girl she gained the title from in a surprising upset earlier this yr, Valentina Shevchenko. After 5 back-and-forth rounds, their second encounter was dominated a break up draw, which meant that Grasso retained the title, but in addition that we have been disadvantaged of a definitive finish to their entertaining rivalry.
Within the co-main occasion, rising welterweights Jack Della Maddalena and Kevin Holland engaged in a aggressive three-round combat, with Maddalena successful a break up choice that ought to set him up for one more massive step up the rankings.
Past the highest two fights, the one ranked fighter on the invoice was once-beaten flyweight Tracy Cortez, who defeated Jasmine Jasudavicius by choice within the third bout of the evening. Like Maddalena, she will be able to sit up for an enormous alternative in her subsequent Octagon look.
Preserve scrolling for the fights we’re hoping to see when the mud has settled.
Alexa Grasso vs. Valentina Shevchenko III
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Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC by way of Getty Photos
Alexa Grasso’s March submission win over Valentina Shevchenko was one of many largest upsets of the yr. Shevchenko was using 9 straight victories heading into the combat and was thought-about one of many high fighters within the sport.
These accolades earned her a right away rematch with the brand new champ, which landed in Saturday’s primary occasion, and was speculated to reply all our questions on whether or not Grasso’s March win was a fluke, or whether or not any person has lastly caught as much as Shevchenko.
Sadly, it did not give us the closure we hoped for, as the 2 girls battled to a break up draw, which technically counts as a title protection for Grasso however did not actually clear up which lady is the superior fighter.
After their draw, it is considerably tempting to recommend Grasso ought to defend her title in opposition to a brand new contender like Erin Blanchfield or Manon Fiorot. As superb as Shevchenko has been, it is all the time thrilling when a dominant champion falls from their perch and the title will get handed round a bit.
Nevertheless, denying Shevchenko a 3rd combat with Grasso looks as if an error. She deserves one other shot primarily based on her earlier accomplishments and the truth that many viewers believed she did sufficient to win on Saturday evening.
As soon as she and Grasso have settled their rating for good, Blanchfield or Fiorot can have their flip.
Jack Della Maddalena vs. Vicente Luque
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Jack Della Maddalena (left)Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC by way of Getty Photos
Australian welterweight contender Jack Della Maddalena picked up the largest win of his profession on Saturday evening, scoring a break up choice in opposition to common finisher Kevin Holland.
It was Maddalena’s second split-decision win in a row, after a hard-fought victory over short-notice opponent Bassil Hafez in his final combat, however it ought to nonetheless set him up for an enormous combat subsequent outing.
On condition that he is already ranked No. 14 within the division, we might prefer to see him matched up with No. 10-ranked contender Vicente Luque, who’s recent off a powerful choice win over former light-weight champion Rafael dos Anjos.
Luque, who is a superb striker with slick submission abilities, looks as if an amazing check for Maddalena at this stage. The actual enchantment of the reserving, although, is that each guys have a behavior of participating in extraordinarily thrilling hanging battles. It is arduous to think about this one being something wanting a thriller, and the chance of any person hitting the deck appears excessive.
E-book it for a pay-per-view primary card, and if Maddalena comes out on high, it will likely be time to begin serious about pitting him in opposition to one of many division’s high canines.
Kevin Holland vs. Neil Magny
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Kevin Holland (left)Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC by way of Getty Photos
Kevin Holland was using back-to-back finishes in opposition to Santiago Ponzinibbio and Michael Chiesa heading into his combat with Jack Della Maddalena, however after he suffered a split-decision loss, it is again to the drafting board for the favored American welterweight.
Holland has loads of choices—he matches up nicely with lots of his fellow welterweights—however our decide could be a combat with long-time contender Neil Magny.
Magny truly holds the document for many wins in UFC welterweight historical past however suffered one of many worst losses of his profession in his final combat, as he was handily crushed in a call loss by rising contender Ian Garry.
He’s absolutely very keen to place that robust setback behind him, and a combat with a preferred contender like Holland could be an amazing alternative to try this. It looks as if a wise matchup for each fighters proper now, and it might inform us so much about the place they belong of their division.
Tracy Cortez vs. Maycee Barber
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Tracy Cortez (proper)Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC by way of Getty Photos
After a strong choice win over Jasmine Jasudavicius on Saturday evening, No. 14-ranked flyweight contender Tracy Cortez is now 6-0 within the UFC and 11-1 general. That document features a split-decision win over high contender Erin Blanchfield earlier than both of them arrived within the UFC.
Evidently, Cortez has lots of momentum behind her and appears more and more like she might develop into a title menace within the subsequent couple of years.
She’s not fairly there but, however a combat with No. 8-ranked contender Maycee Barber could be an amazing alternative to get nearer.
Barber has lengthy been seen as a future title contender herself, and after battling consistency within the earlier chapters of her UFC profession, has now gained 5 straight, together with a TKO defeat over Amanda Ribas in her final combat.
She could also be leery of taking a combat with a lower-ranked opponent like Cortez, however it appears to be like like a troublesome matchup for each of them on paper, and it is one of the crucial attention-grabbing choices accessible for both of them, as lots of their fellow contenders are booked up with different obligations.