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For a fight that ended in controversial fashion, it was certainly off to a great start before it was unfortunately halted. The first round saw Weidman control most of the action with repeated takedowns, forcing Mousasi to scramble up to his feet and provide openings for potential submissions in the process.
In the second, however, Mousasi managed to turn things around with an aggressive attack on the feet, hurting Weidman with punches up against the fence and forcing him backward as he charged forward behind his combinations.
Weidman would use that aggression against Mousasi, nabbing another takedown and taking Mousasi’s back before the two visibly weary fighters eventually worked their way back to the feet. But with a standing front headlock on Weidman, Mousasi launched a pair of damaging knee strikes just as Weidman was struggling to get both his hands on the mat in order to make himself a grounded opponent who could not legally be kneed in the head.
Initially, at least one of Mousasi’s knees seemed illegal, prompting intervention from referee Dan Miragliotta, who paused the bout and called in a doctor to evaluate Weidman while he warned Mousasi about the illegal knees. But upon further review, the knees proved to be legal strikes, as Mousasi had successfully lifted Mousasi’s hand from the mat before the knee landed, making it a legal strike.
With the bout already halted but no foul committed, officials then had no choice but to declare it over, handing Mousasi the TKO victory, much to the dismay of the crowd. In his post-fight speech Mousasi apologized for the confusion and offered up a rematch, while Weidman expressed doubt over the legality of the knees and frustration over the indecisive ending in a bout that was turning into a fierce battle just as it was halted by a referee error.