There was controversy during Sunday's UFC Fight Night 112 in Oklahoma City, and Michael Chiesa was not pleased with the officiating.
He "should just crawl in a hole" and "never referee again" Chiesa said of official Mario Yamasaki, per Mike Bohn of USA Today.
The comments came after Kevin Lee submitted Chiesa with a rear-naked choke late in the first round, although Chiesa never tapped out or went to sleep, per Lucas Rezende of Bloody Elbow. Yamasaki still stopped the fight, causing Chiesa's outrage, which Fox Sports UFC shared:
FOX Sports: UFC @UFCONFOX
Was it a legit finish? Kevin Lee with a submission on Michael Chiesa that we'll be talking about for awhile! #UFCOKC https://t.co/mOFBUonnem2017-6-26 03:47:30
UFC fighters Michael Johnson, Chris Camozzi and Aljamain Sterling did not agree with Yamasaki's decision to stop the fight, either:
Michael Johnson @FollowTheMenace
Damn!! That's horrible!! Cmon ref!2017-6-26 03:43:21
Chris Camozzi @ChrisCamozzi
Is this fight in NY? I didn't see Mike tap but the ref stopped it? Wtf?? @ufc2017-6-26 03:43:06
Aljamain Sterling @FunkMaster_UFC
WTF did Yamasaki just do?!?! JESUS MAN!! Not saying that choke wasn't on but BRO, LET US FIGHT!! #UFCOKC2017-6-26 03:42:48
To be fair to Lee, he was in control throughout the first round and appeared well on his way to victory if things followed suit. While the controversial ending will be remembered, he was the better and more physical fighter before being declared the winner.
"It was coming anyway," Lee said of his victory, per Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting. "I didn't feel the tap. I never do. I just did what Mario told me."
Raimondi explained "this is the latest in a string of controversial endings involving Yamasaki, most of which are late stoppages." Raimondi pointed out UFC president Dana White even "blasted" the official for what he saw as a late stoppage last year.
For his part, Chiesa challenged Lee to a rematch after the loss, so UFC fans may get the opportunity to see this fight again—likely with different officiating.