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Lima urges mercy for fighter that bit him: ‘I don’t think he should be fired’

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Saturday was a rollercoaster of a night for Andre Lima, who was making his promotional debut at UFC Vegas 89 against Igor Severino.

The two men scrapped hard for a round and a half with both fighters having their moments (watch the highlights here). Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Severino bit Lima on the arm as Lima was working to pry his opponents arms from around his waist. After some confusion the referee paused the fight and then waved things off after seeing a very obvious bite mark on Lima’s bicep. The result: a DQ win for Andre Lima.

We haven’t heard from Igor Severino, who was released by the UFC immediately following the incident. But Andre Lima spoke to the press via a translator and detailed the moment and aftermath from his perspective.

“He tried to take me down,” Lima said (via MMA Fighting). “I went down but I got up, and as I was getting up, I yelled because I felt pain, very sharp pain. I really thought that the fence had gotten into me. That’s what I thought happened. I started yelling, ‘Ow, ow, ow,’ and they started looking at me.”

“I was like, I don’t know what’s happening here. I really thought it was the fence, because there was absolutely no way he would have bit me, especially with the way the fight was going. It was back and forth, it was good for him, it was good for me, it had a lot of potential to be the fight of the night. So that’s when I started yelling. I felt the pain and then realized he bit me.”

Lima didn’t seem too upset by the incident while talking to the press, but it did bum him out that the incident kept them from potentially winning $50,000 Fight of the Night bonuses.

“I actually wanted to ask him, ‘Bro, why did you bite me? Why did you do this?’” he said. “I really wanted to go up to him and ask why he did that, but they didn’t give us the chance. They really kind of separated us. When I saw that he got me, they did the separation and I was like, ‘Why did you do that? I wanted a bonus. I wanted this to be the ‘Fight of the Night.’ We had the possibility to do that.’”

UFC CEO Dana White would end up giving Lima the first ever ‘Bite of the Night’ bonus — a $25,000 bonus that he then increased to $50,000 after he learned that Lima went straight to a tattoo parlor and had the bite mark inked into his skin forever.

As for Severino, Lima called for leniency.

“I don’t think he should be cut or fired from the UFC,” he said. “Because this is a young athlete, a good athlete, someone who is undefeated. The emotions may have gotten the best out of him, the adrenaline may have gotten him.”

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