Newcomer Danilo Marques picked up a unanimous decision win in his debut at UFC 253. It was a clear-cut victory for the Brazilian, but not without some controversy, thanks to multiple fence grabs by opponent Khadis Ibragimov going unpunished.
Not unnoticed, mind you. The referee clearly saw the fouls and occasionally warned Ibragimov for them. Yet even after using fence grabs to prevent takedowns, he went unpunished.
Post-fight, speaking to Cageside Press in a virtual media scrum, Marques (10-2) wasn’t sweating it. “I keep my focus on the fight. It was a hard fight. He defended my takedowns very well,” he said. “I’m glad to be here, more glad to win.”
His corner did speak to the ref regarding the infractions. Marques didn’t even realize what had happened, the first time. While expressing a desire to go back and watch the fight over, he added “If that happens, and [the ref] didn’t see or didn’t do anything in the fight, of course it’s wrong. He had to do [something]. Deduct a point or something like that.”
Marques came close to finishing the fight with a choke at several points. And he admitted post-fight that he was shocked to see Ibragimov defend the submission. “The first time, yes, I was surprised,” said Marques. “But I saw he was turning his head for the same way that I hold. He did good.”
Moving forward, he added, “I have to fix that for the next one.” Ultimately, however, the Brazilian is happy with the result, given he had just “one week and a half to train. I didn’t have a camp for this fight. Of course that’s not an excuse from me.”
“I’m very happy, I had a short time, so I did good work,” he added.
Watch the full UFC 253 virtual post-fight press scrum with Danilo Marques above.