Lost in the shuffle of Nate Diaz vs. Gray Maynard 3 last night (Sat., Nov. 30, 2013) at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 Finale and the crowning of a new male and female tournament winners, was the 25-second Featherweight bout between Akira Corassani vs. Maximo Blanco on the "Prelims" under card that ended in controversy.
After being overwhelmed by "Maxi" out of the gate, Corassani ate an illegal knee to to the face (see pic here) that eventually led referee Mario Yamasaki to stop the match and award the Swede with a win via disqualification.
Maligned by mixed martial arts (MMA) fans everywhere, the "grounded opponent" rule was in play when the knee was thrown. It is described as:
"Any fighter who has more than just the soles of their feet on the ground. For example, a fighter with one shin or one finger down is to be considered a grounded fighter."
It wasn't so clear, however, to Blanco, who curiously celebrated inside the Octagon and had to be informed by Yamasaki that he had in fact lost the fight. The Venezuelan fighter's coaches entered the cage and pleaded with the referee, insisting the rule was something that was "on its way out [of MMA]."
"He knees a lot when a guy is on his way up. Listen, I don't want to be disrespectful or anything, but he has done this before, this is not the first time, he does this all the time. He did the same thing to Pat Healy -- Pat had a heel hook on him one time and he starts stomping him in Strikeforce which is illegal. I understand he trains and lives in Japan, he has a lot of fights in Japan where you can stomp and kick to the head, I don't know maybe he doesn't understand the rules -- I know he understands the rules but maybe something in his head..."
In short, Blanco is a repeat offender. And that's a bad thing, especially since Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently parted ways with Rousimar Palhares following an extended submission hold on Mike Pierce, which was the final straw in a long string of questionable actions inside the Octagon.
Blanco is now 9-5 with one draw and one "No Contest." Two of his five losses have come because of disqualification, which doesn't count the defeat against Healy where he lost via submission following illegal kicks. The first, and most telling incident came at Sengoku 8 where he kicked Akihiko Mori very late.
Check out the .gif below:
If this, the Healy incident and the Corassani knee are not convincing enough, be sure to check out this forum post for a menagerie of "Maxi's" handiwork.
Are Blanco's tendencies dangerous .... and worth punishment?