Fans and commentators have been left gobsmacked by one of the most dramatic finishes to a fight in UFC history.
Ricky Simon's bantamweight fight against Merab Dvalishvili at Fight Night Atlantic City on Sunday ended in controversial fashion when Dvalishvili refused to tap out during a brutal guillotine choke.
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Simon kept the choke in place for over a minute, but time finally expired in the third and final round and Dvalishvili appeared to have escaped.
Commentators were sure the Georgian fighter was about to pass out, but he defied belief to keep moving his legs and ripping his arms away from the referee to show he was still in the fight.
“He’s still trying to fight,” one commentator said.
“What is going on there?” another added.
As the final bell sounded, Simon jumped off his exhausted foe, who looked like he had passed out at the very last second before coming to.
After a lengthy deliberation, the fight was awarded to Simon via TKO at the 5:00 mark of the final round, ruling Dvalishvili was unconscious at the end.
It is officially the latest-ever finish to a three-round UFC bout.
“A little controversial,” Simon said. “I got up, I looked in his eyes, and he was gone. He was out.”
Fans and fellow fighters couldn't believe what they'd seen.
This Simon choke of Merab at #UFCAC is one of the gnarliest endings to a fight I've ever seen. Amazing it wasn't called before the bell and is headed to a decision. Merab spent a LOT of time on the mat recovering.— Oskar Garcia (@oskargarcia) April 22, 2018
That was one of the oddest fight endings I’ve seen. #UFCAC— Scott Holtzman (@HotSauceHoltzy) April 22, 2018
I'm confused. The referee stopped the fight after the fight ended? Is that even possible? #UFCAC— Mark La Monica (@LaMonicaMark) April 22, 2018