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Lee's plans to fill McGregor's shoes overshadowed by controversial stoppage

UFC president Dana White blasted referee Mario Yamasaki after last night’s main event in Oklahoma.

KEVIN LEE LOOKS set to make a big move in the right direction in the UFC’s lightweight rankings, but his latest victory didn’t come without controversy.

Ranked 11th in the 155lbs division ahead of last night’s UFC Fight Night 112 headliner against sixth-ranked lightweight Michael Chiesa (14-3) in Oklahoma, Lee (16-2) emerged victorious via rear-naked choke late in the first round.

Source: UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship/YouTube

Chiesa didn’t tap to the submission attempt, but referee Mario Yamasaki incorrectly deemed that he was drifting out of consciousness and therefore intervened to award the win to Lee by technical submission.

Chiesa immediately protested but by then his complaints were in vain, as Lee celebrated his ninth victory under the UFC banner. The 24-year-old ‘Motown Phenom’ now has more wins than any other UFC lightweight since he debuted for the organisation in 2014. UFC president Dana White blasted Yamasaki on Instagram afterwards.

While Lee said in the aftermath that the tap “was coming anyway”, Chiesa insisted that he was still attempting to escape from the position when Yamasaki stepped in. He also called on Lee to agree to a rematch.

Lee, however, says his preference is now a shot at number one contender Khabib Nurmagomedov. He also clashed verbally with Tony Ferguson, who’s ranked second in the lightweight division, during an appearance on the post-fight show on FOX Sports.

Source: UFC ON FOX/YouTube

In the build-up to last night’s fight, Lee told MMAjunkie that he intends to fill Conor McGregor’s shoes while the reigning UFC lightweight champion focuses on his boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather on 26 August.

“He’s going to make some money. He’s going to do his thing. He should sit back, enjoy himself,” Lee said. “But when he gets back, I’m still here. So when he gets back, he’s going to have some trouble. But in the meantime, we’ve got to fill some shoes some way.”

Lee, who insisted he would “put McGregor on his back” after his win over Magomed Mustafaev in Belfast last November, has been training at Mayweather Boxing Club since relocating to Las Vegas from Detroit three years ago.

Elsewhere on last night’s card, 38-year-old former lightweight and welterweight champion BJ Penn suffered his fifth consecutive loss when Dennis Siver was awarded a majority decision. The demise of Johny Hendricks also continued. After failing to make weight for his second bout as a middleweight, the former welterweight title-holder lost via second-round TKO to Tim Boetsch.

Source: UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship/YouTube

UFC Fight Night 112

  • Kevin Lee def. Michael Chiesa via technical submission (rear-naked choke) after 4:37 of round one
  • Tim Boetsch def. Johny Hendricks via TKO (head kick and punches) 0:46 of round two
  • Felice Herrig def. Justine Kish via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)
  • Dominick Reyes def. Joachim Christensen via TKO (punches) after 0:29 of round one
  • Tim Means def. Alex Garcia via unanimous decisiom (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Dennis Siver def. BJ Penn via majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-27)
  • Clay Guida def. Erik Koch via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-26, 30-26)
  • Marvin Vettori def. Vitor Miranda via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Carla Esparza def. Maryna Moroz via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Darrell Horcher def. Devin Powell via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Jared Gordon def. Michel Quiñones via TKO (punches) after 4:24 of round two
  • Tony Martin def. Johnny Case via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Jeremy Kimball def. Josh Stansbury via TKO (punches) after 1:21 of round one

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