Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC Fight Night 34 blew the roof off the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre via the Fight Pass network this past weekend (Jan. 4, 2014) in Singapore.
Many combatants were left licking their wounds after a wild night of fights, including Hyun Gyu Lim, whose legs were battered and bruised for five rounds by Tarec Saffiedine (recap here). And Sean Soriano, who was choked out by Tatsuya Kawajiri in the second round (read about it here).
But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover now two days removed from the show?
The Brazilian welterweight looked to make a splash in his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut and add to his four-fight win streak by defeating another Octagon rookie in Kiichi Kunimoto.
But what promised to be a barn-burner based on their heated staredown at the weigh-ins (watch it here) was everything but, as halfway through the opening frame, Luiz delivered five illegal elbows to the back of Kiichi's head.
As a result, Kiichi crumpled to the mat and was unable to continue, leading the official on duty to call an end to their bout. The drama didn't end there, however, as Dutra was informed that instead of getting a technical knockout (TKO) victory, he was being handed a disqualification loss for his troubles, and the 12-6 elbows.
Upon hearing the news, the emotional Brazilian burst into tears as he pleaded his case -- to no avail -- as the final decision had been made.
A few moments later, he stormed out of the cage in obvious disgust, with no regard for his fallen opponent, who was being loaded onto a stretcher due to the severity of the blows.
No one can blame Dutra for being upset and letting his emotions get the best of him; after all, that's not the way anyone wants to see a fight come to an end, much less in their UFC debut. But to not have the sense to at least check on the injured foe might be inexcusable to some.
Maybe if he had this guy in his corner, he would have.
And even though he accused the Japanese fighter of "exaggerating" and "playing it up" as a way out of the fight, a much more level-headed Dutra told MMA Junkie after the bout that he was sorry for his transgressions and realized afterward that the elbows were indeed illegal -- unlike this guys -- and he had no one to blame but himself for the loss.
So, who should Dutra fight next?
A rematch against Kunimoto sounds about right. The fight left plenty to be desired thanks to the penalty and judging by UFC's history of setting up instant rematches for fights that ended in controversy, I'm willing to bet these two men will find themselves face-to-face sooner rather than later.
Dutra wants it, and he'd be willing to put his move down to lightweight on hold to avenge the controversial loss.