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UFC 302: Michal Oleksiejczuk refuses to tap the arm bar even after Kevin Holland appears to injure his arm

Kevin Holland did not let go of Michal Oleksiejczuk’s arm. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

You can say this for Michal Oleksiejczuk after UFC 302: He doesn’t give up easily. Possibly to his detriment.

The final fight before the co-main event at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, saw a bizarre first-round finish between the Polish fighter and UFC veteran Kevin Holland, with Holland emerging victorious via submission.

Oleksiejczuk connected with what looked like a fight-changing punch, giving the Netherlands a chance to end the fight on the ground. He jumped in, but left his right arm a little too close to Holland, who grabbed him for an inevitable armbar.

Oleksiejczuk tried to slip out, but ended up on the mat as Holland squeezed his arm back. Anyone familiar with MMA knows how that can end, but Oleksiejczuk refused to tap. Even after his arm gave way from an apparent dislocation or a complete fracture.

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Referee Herb Dean stopped the fight shortly afterwards, a decision that Oleksiejczuk immediately protested, despite his right arm becoming non-functional. You can watch the video of the ending here, but be warned: it’s not for the squeamish.

“Dude cracked me with a good shot. Somehow we ended up on the ground and got his arm in a little too far. You know what they say, too much or too much in,” Holland said after the fight.

β€œJust like in a regular jiu-jitsu class, I tried not to go too fast and then I realized he wouldn’t tap, so I hugged him a few times. But overall, Chihuahua the pit bull got out of there. “

It was a stunning series of events to watch, even among MMA fighters. Randy Brown, who won the fight to open the main card, watched the fight with the media and urged Oleksiejczuk to tap out.

Oddly enough, this wouldn’t be the first time a fighter has been angry at Dean for quitting a fight in the first round due to a broken arm.

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At UFC 48 20 years ago, Dean stopped a heavyweight title fight between Frank Mir and Tim Sylvia after he saw Sylvia’s arm clearly broken. Sylvia repeatedly protested the decision, even after the ringside doctor assessed the arm and agreed with Dean’s decision.

X-rays later revealed that Sylvia’s arm was indeed seriously broken, resulting in a layoff of several months. Sylvia later admitted that he knew the arm was broken and said Dean saved his career by intervening when he did.

We’ll see if Oleksiejczuk’s arm is damaged in the same way, and if he’s grateful in the same way. No one ever becomes an MMA referee to have fighters like that.

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