Former KOTC Heavyweight Champion Tony Lopez (33-13) fought on Thursday night and it was shrouded by controversy. The 39-year-old veteran of almost 50 fights won by a Rear Naked Choke at the second round of his bout against Andenilson Clementino, but after securing a tap (twice!), he refused to let go of the choke even as the referee kept trying to pull him off to stop the fight. To make things even worse, when he eventually did release him, Lopez follows up with a punch to his beaten opponent.
Check out gifs below courtesy of @grabakahitman:
Another thing that people in the venue pointed out, was that the announcers ignored the classless and illegal actions after the fight.
Not only is it illegal and unsportsmanlike, this is truly disgusting behavior that endangers the life of his opponent. Had his opponent gone out from the choke, holding on an extra few seconds like he did could've caused his opponent permanent damage, or even death, with his brain failing to receive oxygen for an extended amount of time.
As seen on the video above, an unapologetic Lopez spoke to Aaron Tru about his actions after the fight, saying it was "payback":
"...I sink it in, he taps, but I said "it's a fight". I'm heated. He hit me. So after the choke, I gave him a little hit. Some payback."
"There's a lot more to it. Backstage, he's in the back mad-dogging my wife. My wife is just walking by, and he's mad-dogging her like he's going to fight her. So you know, he's disrespecting me right then and there, so going in, it's a lot more personal, so yeah, I want to make him pay. He got a good hit at the end of the 1st round which pissed me off even more because that one hurt and cut the eye and all that. So you know what, I want to pay him back."
"Second round, I go try to pay him back, but he's too busy hugging me and trying to survive, so it irritated me more, so that's what happened"
"...It's a fight first. People say it's a sport, but it's a violent sport, and I'm here to show the violent part of it. From now on, I'm going out there to try and hurt somebody, and make them pay for stepping into the ring with me"
Although it hasn't been confirmed, Tru goes on to say that Lopez can be suspended by the commission indefinitely pending a meeting, and stuck with an undisclosed fine.
While it's normal to people to feel ticked off or disrespected about certain things, none of those reasons warrant or excuse what he did in the cage after the fight ended. Hopefully the athletic commission follows up with a serious disciplinary action, and not just one of those "suspensions" that only put them on the bench for a couple of months.