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Tap or no tap? The Brandon Royval vs. Rogerio Bontorin fight had fans freaking out

A razor close fight. A ghost tap in the third round. What do you think happened?

UFC Fight Night: Royval v Bontorin Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

After a nearly unheard of four weeks off for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), there was a lot of excitement going into UFC Vegas 46 last night (Sat., Jan. 15, 2022). Yes, even with 10 fights falling apart and the loss of backflipping maniac Michel Pereira.

Alas, the ESPN+-streamed card was a relatively lackluster affair with just two finishes across 12 fights. Main event? Fantastic. Prelims? Pass.

One bright spot on the main card was the hard-fought battle between Flyweight contenders Brandon Royval and Rogerio Bontorin. But, it wasn’t without controversy: coming into the final minutes of the fight, Royval caught Bontorin in a tight armbar ... so tight that the Brazilian seemed to tap to the submission in the heat of the moment before managing to escape the hold.

The announcers saw it. Everyone watching on TV saw it. But, the referee did not ... and the fight continued to a decision with the phantom tap ultimately unaddressed by officials.

Take a look:

The moment caused a whole lot of confusion and consternation on Twitter, especially since the fight was so close and it looked like Royval needed a stoppage to avoid a “L.”

Fortunately we don’t have to get too bent out of shape because the judges saw things in favor of Royval via split decision. Two gave Brandon the first and third rounds while the dissenting judge gave Bontorin rounds one and two (which was how I saw it).

Honestly, it’s one of those fights that definitely could have gone either way ... but given the controversy over the ghost tap, we’re glad it went to Royval.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 46: “Kattar vs. Chikadze” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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