UFC CEO Dana White said at Tuesday’s Dana White Contender Series 63 post-fight press conference that a trilogy is coming soon, given the draw in the championship rematch between Grasso (17-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) and Shevchenko (23-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) this past Saturday.
“You have to do the rematch,” White said. “We will rematch them. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the fight that needs to happen, and yeah.”
In one of the biggest upsets of the year, Grasso submitted Shevchenko in shocking fashion in their first meeting at UFC 285 in March. They would rematch again this past Saturday, and after a closely contested fight, each fighter earned a 48-47 scorecard. However, the third was a 47-47 tie, causing a split draw.
The 47-47 scorecard, which was rendered by judge Mike Bell, was made possible giving Shevchenko three 10-9 rounds and a Grasso 10-9 along with a 10-8 in the fifth – which many found puzzling. White is on that same boat, and went off about the scoring of the final round.
“I was on vacation when this thing happened,” White said. “When I found out one of the judges scored it 10-8, this guy should be f*cking investigated for this. This is the craziest sh*t I’ve ever seen in my life.
“As I was talking to people, there’s a seminar tomorrow with the athletic commission on 10-8’s. Especially with a title fight, there’s so much at stake in a title fight. It’s more than just money, show and win, pay-per-view, championships and legacies. It’s just you have to have the best of the best in title fights. They’ve assured me this guy isn’t a bad guy. He just fucked up and made a mistake. It’s unfortunate. There’s no way in hell that was a 10-8 round.”
White didn’t give a timeline for the trilogy fight, but both Shevchenko and Grasso expressed interest in fighting each other after the event. Shevchenko revealed Tuesday that she suffered a fracture on her right hand and that it will require surgery. While the former champion did not give a timeframe for her return, White believes she will be able to resume striking in three months.