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UFC Fight Night 112: Kevin Lee chokes Michael Chiesa until referee botches ‘OKC’ main event

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Tinaldo vs Lee Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Lightweights Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee got after it tonight (Sun., June 25, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 112 inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., on FOX Sports 1.

The pair had generated some heat at the summer kickoff press conference, Chiesa becoming enraged the moment Lee said that his mom had tickets to the fight. Chiesa rushed Lee, and Lee punched him in the face. The very stupid scuffle was given full play by the UFC before the fight, who were hoping to hype a bout between two of lightweight’s rising prospects. Chiesa had won three straight, while Lee had won four in a row.

The ending of this bout would only heighten the controversy between them.

Kevin Lee opened with an outside leg kick, then another. Lee tried a high kick, then Chiesa landed a straight left, and on his next combination bowled Lee to the canvas. Lee scrambled back up, pushing Chiesa against the cage, then picking him up. He held Chiesa up for a moment, then slammed him down into guard. Chiesa tried a triangle attempt, but Lee defended. Lee was initially having a hard time landing ground and pound, with Chiesa tying up his limbs, but then passed the guard and took Chiesa’s back. He locked in a body triangle. Chiesa bucked and rolled, and Lee landed hooks to the side of his head. He really began opening up, landing hard hammerfists and hooks from back mount. He even landed downward elbows on the top of a sitting Chiesa’s head. Chiesa tripoded, but flopped to his back again. Lee locked up a rear naked choke under the chin. Chiesa fought the hands, and Lee switched to a short choke. Mario Yamasaki thought he saw a tap, calling off the bout. Chiesa, livid, immediately protested, and the crowd booed the finish. That one will remain controversial. Chiesa looked moments away from being finished, but clearly did not tap.

In the post-fight interview, Lee said that even if Chiesa hadn’t tapped, it would have been four more rounds of dominance. He said he didn’t feel the tap, and said he never does, simply obeying the referee. He also called out Khabib Nurmagomedov for a headliner in Detroit, and said if Khabib wasn’t ready, Chiesa could get it in Detroit. Chiesa, meanwhile, refused to contest the finish, but said he would see Kevin Lee in December, then made sure to tell his mom in the front row, “I freakin’ love you.”

Official result: Kevin Lee def. Michael Chiesa via rear-naked choke at 4:37 of Round 1

For complete UFC Fight Night 112 coverage, including play-by-play, click here.

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