The fight between Cristiano Marcello and Costa Rican fighter Alejandro “Mandarina” Solano at Bitetti Combat stirred up a good deal of controversy. While Mandarina felt he deserved the win, Cristiano feels the referee made a mistake in bringing the bout to a halt prematurely.
“The first round was all mine. In the second I opted for the wrong strategy. I should have taken him down, where I’m superior, because striking is a game of chance. He really did get me good with that strike, but I hit the cage and was coming back when the ref interrupted. If he would have finished or If I would have recovered, no one will ever know because the ref made a mistake. There’s no doubt his strike landed, but the doubt will always be there. There were a few times when I could have defined it in the first round; the ref could have stepped in, but there will never be an end to the fight. If the event is serious about doing what’s right, they’ll reclare it a no contest and have us fight again. It’s the only way we’ll know how it really should have ended,” said the Royler Gracie black belt, adding:
“It was a mistake to bring the fight to a close prematurely like that, but it was not ill-meaning. I think it was inexperience above all else. I feel that if it had been Mario Yamasaki in there, the fight would have played out. To have a rematch of this fight in Bitetti Combat this one will have to be declared a no contest. It was a refereeing error, but he is part of the event, so the event has to take a stand. Everyone saw what happened. A lot of shows declare no contests and, if it exists, they need to use it,” he says in finishing.