UFC Fight Night 112 wasn’t without controversy.
Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee did battle in the main event of UFC Fight Night 112 in Oklahoma City. Lee locked in a rear-naked choke in the opening round. Referee Mario Yamasaki called a stop to the bout despite the fact that Chiesa didn’t tap or pass out.
During the FOX Sports 1 post-fight show, Chiesa said he was fine in the choke and wasn’t going on (via MMAFighting.com):
“Go back and watch [Lee’s] fight with Al Iaquinta. He straps in palm-to-palm and really squeezes, and that choke requires a lot of arm pump, a lot of arm strength. So once he switched with palm-to-palm, I just went into this, flexed my neck, get my arms in, get my palms up, and once I feel him start to loosen up, I buckle my elbow down. I mean, I might not be ranked by a belt instructor (in jiu-jitsu), but I am a black belt level MMA fighter. I don’t lose by rear-naked choke. You’ve seen me get in this position time and time again. I was doing totally fine.”
Chiesa then went on to say that Yamasaki’s days as a referee should be over.
“And I think that it’s very unbalanced officiating when two fights before that, we see Justine Kish just get her head squeezed off and they didn’t do anything about it. Like, how are you going to let that slide, but you into the main event slot, a heated rivalry, hyped fight, and you let it crumble like this? I mean, Mario Yamasaki should just crawl in a hole and never step inside of any type of professional mixed martial arts event. He should never officiate ever again. He should spend more time going over the rules than making stupid little heart symbols to the cameras.”