The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 saw its first controversy of the season last night (Oct. 19, 2011) on "Swagger Jacker," episode five of the Spike TV reality show.
In round one of the featherweight elimination fight between Dustin Neace and Akira Corassani, Neace rolls into a heel hook with just over a minute left in the opening frame. Corassani appears to tap out ... or does he?
Here's what he told MMA Nation in his guest blog:
"I was almost gassed just walking into the cage. Whatever, I'm a professional and I got the job done. I had double vision the whole fight. I actually don't remember anything from that fight. I just remember two things. One is the knockdown. The other was that when he had me in a heel hook it wasn't there. It wasn't in. If you watch the video again you see my knee pop out because he slipped. He lost his grip. I was thinking 'holy shit he's got it!' I changed my mind the moment he slipped. I've watched it maybe 100 times and I know for myself that I never tapped. Herb Dean has refereed thousands of fights and he didn't see a clear tap. Usually it's a horror scene when somebody taps from a heel hook. People start screaming and crying. I raised my hand and tapped one time on his thigh but it wasn't one of those dramatic taps like a metal drummer. It slipped out and I just went up on him. I would be honest and say I tapped if I did. I know the feeling that went through my body saying 'this is going to hurt, I'm going to tap.' But then I got out. One hit and then I'm out."
Referee Herb Dean made no attempt to stop the fight and Neace eventually lost the hold before going on to lose a majority decision at the end of the second round.
Check out the animated gif of the moment in question (after the jump), then decide for yourself.
Thanks to Iron Forges Iron for the gif.
Well Maniacs ... what say you?
For our complete TUF 14 recap click here.