Thiago Oliveira used a questionable tactic during his welterweight match against Erkin Darmenov at Octagon 44 in Almaty, Kazakhstan, last Saturday. In the late stages of the opening round, Oliveira tackled Darmenov into the fence, possibly with an illegal knee to the groin, before mounting him from the back to attempt a rear-naked choke.
In a clear breach of the rules, Oliveira bit Darmenov’s ear, prompting the Kazakh fighter to signal to the referee, Dauranbek Zhakaev, that something was wrong. Oliveira persisted with the choke anyway and, when Darmenov was out cold, the Brazilian celebrated wildly in his corner. Meanwhile, an angry Darmenov roamed around the cage, trying to notify the officials and his team about what had just happened.
Oliveira even denied biting down on Darmenov’s ear, until the replays revealed otherwise, leading to his disqualification. Darmenov was declared the victor as a result. Oliveira, who has not won a bout since 2017, has now lost six fights on the trot. The undefeated Darmenov has won five in a row.