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Raphael Assuncao’s coach issues classy response to controversial submission loss: ‘I disagree with the restart’ | UFC Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — Controversy brewed after Raphael Assuncao’s late submission loss to Davey Grant last night (Sat., March 11, 2023) at UFC Las Vegas, which took place inside The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada (watch highlights).

Assuncao — seemingly ahead two rounds on the judges scorecards — was put to sleep late in the third and final frame by Grant with a wild come-from-behind reverse triangle. While the finish was rare and memorable, moments earlier, Grant had a point taken away for grabbing the fence, further cementing Assuncao’s grip on a likely win in what turned out to be his mixed martial arts (MMA) retirement fight.

Instead of returning them to the position they were in before the point deduction, the referee in charge of the action, Keith Peterson, stood them up, which led to Grant landing a knockdown shortly after ... and then the finish.

Assuncao’s coach, Eric Nicksick, issued a statement to about the referee’s controversial decision.

“First and foremost, congrats to Davey Grant for finding a way to get a finish with seconds left for a comeback victory,” Nicksick said via text message. “Those moments are the reason why we all love this sport the way we do; at any moment, someone has the ability to find a way to win. With that being said, it was on us to complete the 15 minutes to win the fight, and we failed to do so.

“In the questionable restarting position, I was told that Raphael wasn’t on top, so it was decided to take the point and start from neutral,” Nicksick continued. “I disagree with that assessment because when you watch it through, Raphael completed the takedown despite the fence grab. At the very least, it would’ve made more sense to allow them to restart from an over/under or a single leg position, but certainly from a similar position that represented the position before restart. Keith Peterson is a marvelous MMA referee, and I have always felt good knowing he’s in charge of one of our fights. Although I may disagree with the call, I know and understand that Keith did his job to the best of his abilities to the rules given, and I’ll continue to be happy to see Keith as our referee in the future.”

It is unknown if Assuncao, 40, will look to take further action and file an appeal with Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) or just ride off into the sunset. Nevertheless, after the submission loss, the Brazilian laid down his gloves and retired with an impressive 28-10 record.

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