Raphael Assuncao closed out his pro MMA career on a technical submission loss, but it wasn’t without controversy.
Assuncao shared the Octagon with Davey Grant on the UFC Las Vegas card on March 11. Assuncao appeared to be closing in on a decision victory when the drama ensued. In the final frame, referee Keith Peterson deducted a point from Grant for grabbing the fence.
The point deduction wasn’t what caused controversy, rather Peterson didn’t restore the position, and instead had both men stand up. Grant scored a knockdown, which led to the reverse triangle that put Raphael Assuncao to sleep.
Raphael Assuncao’s Coach Speaks
Assuncao’s coach, Eric Nicksick, discussed the situation with MMAMania.com, but first, he sent a congratulatory message to Grant.
“First and foremost, congrats to Davey Grant for finding a way to get a finish with seconds left for a comeback victory,” Nicksick said.
Nicksick remained all class when sharing his opinion on what transpired in the fight and how he feels about referee Keith Peterson.
“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.”