Chael Sonnen defends Mike Bell scoring Grasso-Shevcheno fifth round 10-8 ‘in one regard’

Chael Sonnen argues that, contrary to popular belief, judge Mike Bell might’ve had a good reason for his 10-8 score at Noche UFC.

Judge Bell cost Valentina Shevchenko (23-4-1 MMA, 12-3-1 UFC) the win against flyweight champion Alexa Grasso (16-3-1 MMA, 8-3-1 UFC) when he gave Grasso a 10-8 in Round 5. His scorecard read a draw, resulting in a split draw in this past Saturday’s headlining rematch.

UFC CEO Dana White was outraged by the 10-8 score and plans on booking a trilogy fight between Grasso and Shevchenko. While Sonnen doesn’t agree with the 10-8 round, he gives Bell the benefit of the doubt based on the visual of the final seconds of the fight.

“I have to defend Mike Bell in one regard,” Sonnen said on ESPN’s “DC & RC.” “That fight was eligible for stopping when she (Shevchenko) was being teed off on. I realize title fights don’t get stopped, and she was going to be shown the benefit of the doubt, but if you’re curled up and you’re taking shots, and that’s what Mike Bell saw – maybe he had a vantage point. I would listen to what he has to say.”

White confirmed that the Nevada Athletic Commission will hold a meeting on Wednesday to address 10-8 scoring, and Sonnen sees it as a very positive step.

“This is a big deal, but there is still some room to learn from there,” Sonnen said. “There is a reason perhaps that Mike Bell has – perhaps there was a vantage point. I didn’t get to see this thing live, so I was at the discretion of whatever the camera angle was. I saw Shevchenko win the round, but maybe there was a different way to see it. That’s all that I’m offering.

“As far as what the checks and balances are, they’ve agreed to hold a meeting, they’re going to do that on Wednesday, and while that doesn’t sound like much, that’s the most I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen a commission step up, step forward, and take any kind of an action. I’ve seen them regulate, bring in fighters, fine them, suspend them, embarrass them, but I’ve never seen them do it with their own personnel. I’ve got to commend them at least to a small degree for even holding this meeting.”

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie