Michael Chiesa isn’t going down without a fight.
The top 10 ranked lightweight has formally filed an appeal with the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission asking to have his loss to Kevin Lee from this past weekend overturned to a no contest.
Chiesa filed the complaint on Wednesday following a first round submission loss where referee Mario Yamasaki appeared to stop the contest before he was choked out unconscious or actually tapped out to end the fight.
In the complaint filed, Chiesa argues that ‘referee error’ was the cause for the end of the fight after Yamasaki seemed to prematurely stop the contest near the end of the opening round.
“In my fight with Kevin Lee, Mr. Yamasaki made multiple failures, oversights and errors in officiating that ultimately led to this unfortunate situation,” Chiesa wrote in his appeal. “To be clear, I did not tap, I did not verbally submit, I was not knocked out unconscious and at no point did I go unconscious. At all times, I used my years of experience and training to intelligently defend myself.”
Chiesa also points to Yamasaki’s failure to admonish Lee from landing several “illegal downward elbows” — 12 to 6 elbows, which are not allowed — in the first round and as a result he was cut open and required four stitches to close the wound.
Chiesa details his attempt to fight out of the choke as well as providing quotes from referee John McCarthy about the proper time to stop the fight when a submission is applied.
Chiesa also references the recent decision by the Missouri State Athletic Commission, who overturned a decision in the fight between Tonya Evinger and Yana Kunitskaya after the referee improperly instructed the fighters during a submission the led to the end of the fight.
Due to Yamasaki’s actions, Chiesa is now asking for his loss to be overturned to a no contest or a no decision.