Michael Chiesa believes he could have fought his way free from a rear-naked choke applied by Kevin Lee in the first round of their main event on Sunday, but he'll never get the chance to prove it.
The end of the fight came after Lee locked up the choke and referee Mario Yamasaki rushed into to stop the contest after he apparently believed Chiesa was put to sleep by the submission.
As soon as it was over, Chiesa bounced up from the mat and immediately protested the stoppage because he never tapped out much less got choked out to give the referee a reason to stop the fight.
"I just remember looking for Kevin's hands, looking up on the screen, seeing I had 32-seconds left or something, so I went from fighting the hands to just flexing up on my neck, bringing my hands up, letting him pump his arms out and I could scrape down and escape," Chiesa explained about the end of the fight when speaking to FOX Sports. "I just see Mario [Yamasaki] come in and the second I saw him coming in to break it up, I instantly knew. I mean the guy has a reputation for poor officiating.
"I'm not disappointed in myself for how I reacted like a poor sport, but not only did you rob me of an opportunity, you robbed the fans of a great main event. You robbed Kevin. I mean Kevin got a win over me and there's not many people in the world that have done that, but now it's really not a win. It's surrounded in controversy."
Chiesa was obviously livid at Yamasaki's officiating due to the controversial stoppage and he absolutely erupted when speaking about him during the interview.
"Mario Yamasaki should just crawl in a hole and never step inside of any type of professional mixed martial arts event," Chiesa said. "He should never officiate, ever again. He should spend more time going over the rules than making his stupid little heart symbols to the cameras."
As angry as Chiesa is for now, he's already turned his attention to the future where he says his team will file an appeal for the stoppage while also attempting to coax the UFC into booking a rematch with Lee in the future.
Lee has already targeted a rumored date in December in his hometown of Detroit for his next fight and Chiesa is on board for that timeline if the UFC will try this fight one more time.
"You robbed me. So I think it's only right that me and my team, we go back, we go to the commission, we do what we can to get this overturned and I'm going to look to get a rematch," Chiesa said.
"I'll fight him in Detroit, I'll fight him in December. I'll fight him right now."