UFC Fight Night 112 saw some major controversy in the main event. The fight between Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee was anticipated to be a high stakes game between two fighters hoping to enter title contention with a win Sunday night. But instead of everyone speaking on how great the main event was, everyone is talking about Mario Yamasaki’s supposed “flub.”
Watch the fight the first time around, it appeared that Michael Chiesa was still conscious and willing to continue his grudge match again Kevin Lee. Yamasaki intervened and called the fight which seemed to many observers to be an early stoppage. Here’s the thing about being a ref: it’s an absolutely thankless job. No one appreciates what these refs have to go through with each and every fight they have to call. The thing about this fight was that it was apparent in multiple viewings that Michael Chiesa was on his way to blacking out completely.
The choke was locked in tight, there was thirty plus seconds left, Lee was cranking his choke and Chiesa’s arms went limp, eyes fading and rolling back into his head, a clear response from a blood choke rather than a wind choke. With Yamasaki on top of the action he had the best view out of anyone present. Rather than letting Chiesa go out like a “warrior” Yamasaki instead stopped the match. Sure, we want fighters to be given a chance at victory, at accomplishing the goals they’ve been obsessed with for weeks of training. Problem is that their ego can get in the way of their health at times and that’s what the refs are there for. As a result we have an angry fighter, angry fans, and people cursing the ref for his utter stupidity. Funny thing is, while the tough call may not be the most popular, Yamasaki had a job to do, did what he thought was right and shouldn’t be demonized for it.
On a side note, I never knew I wanted a Kevin Lee versus Tony Ferguson fight before last night. Ferguson congratulated Lee like a true class act, but the brash Detroit native took things a different way. In true McGregor form, Lee wasted no time in his additional time on television as he relegated the rest of the lightweight division as chumps and potentially set up a match between himself and Ferguson.
It was entertaining as hell and is just the kind of thing you want to see if you’re the UFC. Two personalities clashing making for a potentially exciting grudge match in the cage. It’ll sell and at the end of the day this sport is a business. Dollars and cents rule the day and Kevin Lee is setting himself up nicely to start making a nice profit.
What are your biggest takeaways from UFC Fight Night 112?