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Valentina Shevchenko to undergo surgery after breaking thumb in Grasso rematch

Valentina Shevchenko, the former UFC flyweight champion, will need surgery to repair a broken thumb she suffered in the first round of her rematch against Alexa Grasso at Noche UFC. Shevchenko revealed the extent of her injury on Instagram, where she posted a photo of her X-ray and said that doctors diagnosed her with a “comminuted fracture that requires surgery.” Sources confirmed to MMA Fighting that Shevchenko is expected to be out of action for about three months after the operation.

Shevchenko fought through the pain and put on a valiant performance against Grasso, who had dethroned her in their first encounter. The rematch was a close and competitive affair that went the distance, but ended in a controversial split draw. One judge scored the fight 48-47 for Shevchenko, another judge scored it 48-47 for Grasso, and the third judge scored it 47-47 with a 10-8 round for Grasso in the final frame. The 10-8 round was widely criticized by fans and analysts, as Shevchenko appeared to have done enough to win the round or at least keep it even.

The split draw meant that Grasso retained her flyweight title, but left both fighters unsatisfied with the outcome. Shevchenko said that she would wait to heal before deciding on her next move, but expressed her interest in facing Grasso for a third time to settle the score. Grasso said that she was open to any challenge, but did not commit to a trilogy with Shevchenko.

The UFC has not announced any plans for the flyweight division, but with Shevchenko sidelined for the foreseeable future, it is possible that a new contender will emerge to challenge Grasso for the belt. Some of the names that have been mentioned as potential candidates are Erin Blanchfield and Manon Fiorot, who are both ranked in the top five and have been impressive in their recent fights.

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