The first fight of UFC Fight Night 220 saw some drama, as Nurullo Aliev lost a point for a rare foul.
UFC Vegas 70 saw Aliev become the first fighter from Tajikistan to compete in the UFC, making his debut after a successful appearance on the Contender Series, taking on gritty veteran Rafael Alves in the first fight of the night. However, the first round would see a pause called to the action, when Alves alleged that Aliev bit his finger.
The replay was inconclusive, as Alves was trying to lift up the chin of Aliev when the bite apparently occurred, causing an angle to not be visible of the moment. Nevertheless, veteran referee Mark Smith insisted that he saw bite marks on the finger of Alves, taking a point from the undefeated prospect.
In the end, the point deduction meant very little, as Nurullo Aliev would still earn a majority decision win over Rafael Alves. Of course, that did nothing to stop the flood of reactions from fans and fighters alike, with mixed opinions on how the situation was handled.
“‘I see a mark’ If I put my finger in your mouth you will see a mark as well. Are you sure he actually bite him?,” Marcel Dorff tweeted, before adding, “Clown sh*t by Tognoni and Smith. ‘I can see a mark’ They are not even sure Aliev bite him or Alves put his fingers in Aliev’s mouth…but ‘I can see a mark’”
Conversely, Jillian DeCoursey tweeted, “He obviously bit down cause there’s a mark. But I don’t wanna judge him too harshly because without a view we can’t see if Alves put his hand in the mouth or what. But it was clearly a bite and I agree with the point deduction.”
“Biting should honestly be an automatic DQ,” suggested Adam Martin.
“Oh we biting now ?” wrote Jason Williams.
“Power Bite coming soon,” joked Jedi I. Goodman.
“‘I can’t wait for the UFC fights tonight!’ The fights:” chimed in MacMally, sharing the iconic “Charlie Bit My Finger” video.
This was obviously an unexpected start to UFC Fight Night 220, as biting is not a common occurrence at the highest level of the sport. That said, it did not appear to prevent Nurullo Aliev from making a big splash in his UFC debut.
Did you agree with the decision to deduct a point?