Now that UFC Fight Night Chile has concluded, the main event of that evening still has some MMA fans talking, mainly about how dominant “The Nigerian Nightmare” Kamaru Usman looked over wiley veteran and BJJ Black Belt Demian Maia, or so it seemed.
At the start of the contest, Maia looked to have the upper hand with the grappling and possibly another submission victory as he managed to have Usman in his grasp; however in the midst of this exchange, controversy arose when referee Leon Roberts made a questionable call by having the two combatants break as Maia was inching his way onto Usman’s back.
This call became very crucial throughout the remainder of the fight causing Maia to not only lose a good position that could have led to a finish, but actually ended up causing Maia to being manhandled by Usman and lose the fight. This issue was overlooked and unnoticeable at the time by those who saw the fight. But one man in particular who knows a thing or two about fighting in the octagon, and also won the UFC welterweight championship, is a BJJ Black Belt himself, and the UFC’s latest inductee into it’s Hall of Fame, took full notice of the situation and took the time to speak his mind about it.
That man I’m referring to?
Who else but Matt Serra? Matt Serra is the host of an exclusive podcast for the UFC titled, ‘UFC Unfiltered’. On the latest episode of the show, Serra expressed he anger over how he thought the referee handled the moment of when Demian Maia had control of the fight for that split second.
“This is the thing, he had his back.”
“I was not surprised the way things went after that. You have one shot sometimes in a fight like this, especially because he didn’t have a camp. People do not understand. That’s why I predicted a first-round choke by Demian Maia. He was on his way there.”
“They weren’t just holding each other up against the cage,” he continued. “It might have looked like it but Kamaru had an overhook and that overhook was the only thing stopping Demian from taking that back. It was a very awkward position where [Usman] was not getting out of that. The only way he could look to free himself was to let go and expose his back. Otherwise, you’re just stalling. Now, could he keep that up for another minute and 15 seconds or whatever it was? Maybe. If so, alright, let’s see what happens in round two. Or, with thirty seconds left, he could try to scramble and still get strangled.
“Just in the montage before [Maia] walks out, look at how many times he’s strangled guys — powerful wrestlers like Rick Story, gutsy, gritty guys who do not tap easily like Carlos Condit or Matt Brown. This is not a coincidence. So for [Roberts] to take away his one shot, Leon Roberts, you should be ashamed of yourself and I think you possibly could have cost him the fight. Leon, you f**ked up, Leon. You really did.”
Serra continued his rant of the referee stating:
“I am so livid! I’m livid over this ref! This was [Maia’s] shot and he had him in a position! People can say what they want, that ref screwed him. Maybe he would have rode out the round but you never know. It was such a horrible thing to do to him because he never got that position back.”
What do you think about the referee’s decision separate Demian Maia from his position?
Do you feel it was premature?