The Oklahoma State Athletic Commission has dismissed Michael Chiesa’s appeal of his UFC Fight Night 112 submission loss to Kevin Lee.
Lee defeated Chiesa via rear-naked choke 4:37 into the opening round of their headlining lightweight bout in Oklahoma City on June 25. At the time, Chiesa neither tapped nor appeared to be rendered unconscious when referee Mario Yamasaki elected to halt the bout. “Maverick” claimed that “referee error” led to an early stoppage and that he was still defending the maneuver.
OSAC executive director Joe Miller released a statement explaining the commission’s decision to deny Chiesa an appeal hearing. ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto first reported the news on Thursday.
“In the referee’s opinion, just prior to the stoppage, your hands stopped defending the choke, were in mid-air, wobbly and limp, and were moving toward your waist,” the statement read. “This is confirmed by watching the tape in super slow motion.
“The referee had no way to know that you were actually relaxing, engaging your core and shoulders to shrug or release the pressure and flex your neck muscles. At that point, he was in perfect position and acted to what he was seeing.”
Chiesa’s appeal letter also mentioned that Yamasaki allowed Lee to land illegal downward elbows from back mount at the 3:46 mark of round one. While Miller acknowledged that the blows were illegal, he claimed they “did not impact the outcome of the bout.”