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UFC Fight Night 112 results from last night: Kevin Lee vs Michael Chiesa fight recap

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Chiesa vs Lee Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight rising stars Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee clashed last night (June 25, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 112 inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Pushing aside all the hype of the grudge match, this was a really quality Lightweight match up. Chiesa was on a solid win streak, relying on his high level grappling to strangle his peers. The Top 10-ranked fighter was looking to move into the title mix, and this was the perfect fight to push him another step forward. Similarly, Lee entered this bout having won his last four bouts, including a trio of finishes. In the biggest fight of his career opposite his toughest opponent yet, Lee was hoping to announce himself as a title contender.

Chiesa opened the fight with some early success, cracking his opponent with a stiff cross and followed up by forcing his way into top position. Lee recovered into a slam takedown of his own, but Chiesa immediately countered with a triangle attempt.

Lee did an excellent job to posture out of the submission and subsequent attempts before moving into the back mount. He soon secured the body triangle, which allowed him to land some really heavy punches while Chiesa attempted to scramble out of the position.

In a serious lapse, Chiesa paused with his neck open and Lee capitalized. He locked onto the choke, but Chiesa fought hands well at first. Lee switched his grip to palm-to-palm, which allowed him to sink in the choke deeper. Chiesa tried to turn his back, but the referee saw fit to stop the bout in an utterly bizarre call.

Chiesa was in deep shit. He also did not tap or go to sleep. This fight was ended prematurely, as fighters have escaped seemingly locked in chokes before. Even on this very card, Justine Kish somehow wiggled out of a completely locked in choke, a worse situation than even Chiesa’s!

It was a terrible end to what was otherwise a quality fight and — thus far — a really great showing from Kevin Lee.

The real loser in this is Lee, who probably would’ve finished the submission anyway. Instead of a potentially star-making first round stoppage of a Top 10 fighter on a quality win streak, this fight will instead be remembered for Mario Yamasaki’s blunder.

Regardless, Lee’s top game is the best aspect of his attack. Once he gets on top, he tends to really dominate. Trying to force a stand up opposite Lee is a bad idea, as he’ll jump on his foe’s back and stretch them out into a miserable position. Chiesa thought his jiu-jitsu could keep him safe from that hip pressure, but he was dominated from there just like everyone else.

Don’t let Kevin Lee take your back.

As for Chiesa, he was doing well on the feet and simply rushed his grappling exchanges. Rather than be patient from top position and control first, Chiesa was too willing to scramble and hunt for submissions. That led to Chiesa giving up top position, and his later submission attempts after the initial triangle were overly aggressive as well. He was reaching for something that wasn’t really there, and that allowed Lee to pass his guard.

There’s talk of a rematch in December, which would make sense to some extent. At the same time, Lee did win via first round stoppage, so giving Lee a Top 5 opponent would be reasonable as well.

Last night, Kevin Lee finished Michael Chiesa in a very controversial way. Should their be a rematch?

For complete UFC Fight Night 112 “Chiesa vs. Lee” results and play-by-play, click HERE!

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