TUF 18 Finale results: UFCs Akira Corassani brands Maximo Blanco repeat illegal striker, 'might have something in his head'

Photo by Esther Lin for MMAFighting.com

Akira Corassani beat Maximo Blanco at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 Finale last night because of a disqualification. And it isn't the first time something like this has happened with "Maxi," begging the question as to whether or not it will be the last.

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."

While clearly the statute is one that is open for interpretation (think Roger Bowling vs. Abel Trujillo), Corassani wasn't playing a cat-and-mouse game at TUF 18 Finale -- his hand was clearly on the mat and Blanco definitely landed an illegal strike.

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]."


Moments later, Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) Executive Director Keith Kizer interrupted the dialogue and live microphones overheard him imploring Yamasaki to watch replay if he needed to, but it wasn't necessary.

For Corassani, who spoke with FOX Sports 1 after the event, the way the fight ended shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone.
"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?

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