Michael Chiesa didn’t just suffer a controversial loss at UFC Fight Night: Oklahoma City, but the lightweight has now lost the appeal to that fight.
The Oklahoma State Athletic Commission (OSAC) has denied the fighter’s appeal to overturn his loss to Kevin Lee into a no contest.
OSAC administrator Joe Miller, in a statement to MMA Junkie, said that referee Mario Yamasaki had no way to tell whether or not Chiesa was just relaxing while in the rear naked choke or out cold.
“In the referee’s opinion, just prior to the stoppage, your hands stopped defending the choke, were in mid-air, wobbly and limp, and were moving toward your waist,” the statement read. “This is confirmed by watching the tape in super slow motion. The referee had no way to know that you were actually relaxing, engaging your core and shoulders to shrug or release the pressure and flex your neck muscles. At that point, he was in perfect position and acted to what he was seeing.”
Referee Mario Yamasaki has stood by his decision to stop the fight the whole time, despite the negativity surrounding the whole scenario.
Chiesa also based his appeal on some illegal elbow strikes Lee threw in the bout, but the OSAC says the illegal elbows didn’t lead to the ending of the fight.
“I do concur that two 12-to-6 elbows were thrown,” the statement said. “But those strikes did not impact the outcome of the bout and I have addressed this mistake with Mr. Yamasaki.”
Neither Chiesa or the victorious Kevin Lee have had another fight booked since their encounter in the Octagon.