Curtis Blaydes emerged victorious at UFC 217 from Madison Square Garden, but it was anything but clear cut.
The week after New York's State Athletic Commission announced their clear rules in regards to instant replay in MMA, they needed it, after a wonky kick to the earlobe finished #12 Blaydes' bout with #9 Oleksiy Oliynyk.
Here's an excerpt from our Fightful.com live coverage.
Round Two: The round begins with Oleinik coming forward and swinging away at Blaydes, Blaydes then pops Oleinik with an uppercut. Oleinik then nails a swinging Blaydes with a counter right, Oleinik then cracks Blaydes with a two punch combination. Blaydes scores a takedown on Oleinik and he gets the full guard, Blaydes gets up and he allows Oleinik to stand as well. Blaydes nails a downed Oleinik with an illegal kick and the fight is halted, the fight is stopped by the doctor after Oleinik said he couldn’t continue.
Official Result: #12 Curtis Blaydes def. #9 Aleksei Oleinik by TKO via doctor stoppage (1:56, R2)
Blaydes barely landed the kick, which grazed Oleksiy Oliynyk's ear. The referee called a stop to the action, conferred with the replay and alternate ref, and Blaydes was determined to be the victor. This is far from the first controversy in New York MMA, as earlier this year in Buffalo, many questioned the use of instant replay as it related to Chris Weidman's loss to Gegard Mousasi.
After the fight, Blaydes said he couldn't respect Oliynyk, who walked out of the cage before the result was announced. Oliynyk moves to 52-11-1, while Blaydes improves to 8-1.
You can see our Fightful.com UFC 217 post-show at this link.
Editor's note: There are multiple ways to spell Oleinik's name.