Thiago Oliveira is adamant he never bit his opponent’s ear during a controversial bout in Kazakhstan this past weekend.
Oliveira celebrated a first-round rear-naked choke victory over Erkin Darmenov at Octagon 44 and before getting disqualified after replay showed him biting Darmenov’s right ear to adjust the position, and told MMA Fighting he’s innocent.
“If you watch the video you’ll notice it never shows me biting him,” Oliveira told MMA Fighting. “I move closer to his ear so the rear-naked choke gets tight. There’s no point saying I didn’t bit him because everyone will draw their own conclusions, but watch the video and you’ll see I didn’t bite him.”
Check the fight highlights and the controversial scene below.
“Those who know me know I never needed anything like that to win,” he added. “And I wouldn’t do something crazy like that now. He was about to give up anyway, I didn’t need to bite him.”
Oliveira dropped to 16-10 in the sport with the DQ loss, his sixth straight defeat after having a 80 percent winning rate prior to 2019.
The one-time Bellator fighter claims referee Dauranbek Zhakaev wanted to restart the contest after the melee, but he insisted he didn’t do anything illegal and decided to leave the cage. Oliveira was not paid his win bonus.
“They didn’t disqualify me [for biting],” Oliveira claims. “I said I wouldn’t continue, and then they disqualified me. Believe me if you want, and life goes on.”
The Brazilian fighter said he isn’t sure if he still has any bouts left in his contract with Octagon, but wants nothing to do with the promotion after this past fight.