Valentina Shevchenko is headed for surgery.
According to Shevchenko in a post on Instagram, doctors revealed a “comminuted fracture that requires surgery.” Additional sources speaking to MMA Fighting on Tuesday confirmed the injury allows Shevchenko to resume contact approximately three months after surgery.
Despite the hand injury, Shevchenko still battled to a split draw with Grasso after five hard-fought rounds.
If not for judge Mike Bell giving Grasso a controversial 10-8 score in the fifth round, Shevchenko would have reclaimed the UFC flyweight title by split decision. But with that scorecard intact, the result was a split draw, with Grasso still retaining her title.
In the aftermath of the disappointing result as well as the hand injury, Shevchenko stated that she would wait to decide what’s next, although ideally she would like face Grasso in a trilogy once she’s healthy again.
Grasso said she’s open to whatever the UFC wants for her next title defense.
The UFC has made no decisions regarding the flyweight title, although Shevchenko being sidelined for the next few months after surgery may open the door for a top-ranked challenger like Erin Blanchfield or Manon Fiorot to earn the next shot at the champion.
For now, Shevchenko will prepare to undergo surgery before plotting her return in 2024.