UFC judge Mike Bell has come under heavy criticism for his scoring in the highly anticipated rematch between Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko.
Grasso and Shevchenko locked horns once again last night at the promotion's first-ever event on Mexican Independence Day on September 16. As it was expected going into the fight, the bout was action-packed from the very first round.
While both fighters had their moments, it was Alexa Grasso who finished the fight strongly with a takedown and a submission attempt towards the end of the fifth round. With the fight being extremely close, the bout ended as a split draw as judges Mike Bell, Sal D'Amato and Junichiro Kamijo scored the fight 47-47, 47-48, and 48-47 respectively.
However, a rather shocking revelation was made after the fight when the scorecards were released. Mike Bell scored the fifth round of the fight 10-8 while the other two judges scored the round 10-9 in favor of Alexa Grasso. The same has made all the difference in the fight and Valentina Shevchenko would've won the fight if it wasn't for the round being scored 10-8.
It is worth noting that this isn't the first time that Bell has made a controversial decision that has changed the outcome of the fight. During the December 2022 fight between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev, he scored the fifth round of the fight 10-9 in favor of Ankalaev while the other two judges scored the fight 10-8. Had he scored the fight round like the other two judges, Ankalaev would've been crowned the new UFC light heavyweight champion.
Reacting to the controversial scoring by Bell, Ariel Helwani took to Twitter and asked the UFC judge to comment on why he scored the fight round 10-8. He said:
"Let’s send it over to Mike Bell to get his thoughts on why he thought that was a 10-8. Mike, take it away!"