Chances are if you follow UKMMA last night you would of stumbled across the below video. It shows the end of the Mario Saeed vs Azi Thomas fight from Cage Warriors 72 which has caused huge international controversy.
MMAnarchy caught up with Mario this afternoon to get his views and his reaction to the people calling the knockout a fraud. Here is what the Trojan Free Fighter had to say;
Tony – First and foremost how are you feeling today and can you talk me through what happened after the fight last night?
Mario – When I saw medical staff backstage they said that if I was feeling dizzy or being sick then I would need to see a doctor immediately. I was dizzy all night and on the way home I was throwing up. So we went to the hospital. They kept me in overnight and I had to stay awake all night as they didn’t want me going to sleep. I have a head concussion and I am not allowed to spar for 21 days.
Tony – Have you watched back the video and do you see why there has been so much controversy caused?
Mario – Yes I have watched it back loads. It’s crazy because I don’t know how it happened. I showed the doctor last night and asked him to explain it to me and he said it could be a number of things. Most likely a late reaction to the up kick as it hit me in the temple. The doctor said the concussion is probably due to how my head hit the mat and if you watch it back it hit the mat twice. Ive got some big bruises on my head this morning. I thought that he knocked me out with a punch in the guard.
Tony – Can you remember what you said to the referee before you went down?
Mario – I can’t but watching it, it seems like I was saying “Illegal kick.” When I hit mat that was it I was out. I have never been knocked out before and I just didn’t know where I was. I did some interviews afterwards and I couldn’t remember them.
Tony – Your opponent’s team have been pretty vocal in calling the knockout a fake and saying that you deserve an Oscar award for your performance. What do you make of that?
Mario – I will fight him any day in a rematch. I called him out and he didn’t want it again. He came up to me in the changing room and said how strong I was and how he couldn’t get to me. I asked him if he wanted a rematch and he no because he wants to drop to Featherweight.
Tony – Aside from the knockout did you pick up any other injuries? To me the worst part was the way you fell back on your leg. Did you do any damage to your leg?
Mario – My leg is very swollen but luckily not broke. The doctor couldn’t believe how I feel back on it. I didn’t even know I had. When I was in the cage the medic was holding my legs but I thought that he was shaking them to try help me get my head clear but he was moving them out the way as my leg was right under my body. I must be a very good actor to do that to my leg.
Tony – Graham Boylan is open to the idea of a rematch with Thomas. Is it a fight you would like to take again?
Mario – The guy was scared of me. I was beating him up for four minutes and didn’t even break a sweat. He kept taking his gum shield out to catch a break and the referee kept telling him to continue. He didn’t want to fight me.
Tony – As a professional fighter what are your views on people throwing illegal kicks? It’s not something which happens too often and how easy is it to control them when you’re in a fight?
Mario – The referee had to warn him about them and he still did it. He is a professional fighter so he should follow the rules. Not only did he land an illegal up kick but he poked me in the eyes earlier on and also grabbed the cage twice.
Tony – Any last words for the people out there who have been questioning the KO?
Mario – Sorry to all fans and people who bought tickets. It’s not my style of winning. I’m not a cheat. I want to be able to celebrate after a fight not spend the evening throwing up in the hospital. Anyone questioning me or calling me a fake you know people are entitled to their opinions. But when it’s just the cage and me in there we can see who is fake. I will fight anyone. I will rematch Thomas straight away but he doesn’t want it. I want to fight in November.
What annoyed me the most was the work I put into the fight. I trained so hard for 10 weeks for that fight. If I wanted to stack my record I wouldn’t be fighting on Cage Warriors. I would cherry pick lower level fighters.
Apologises again to all my fans and Cage Warriors. I’ll be back soon.
Be sure to follow Mario on twitter @MarioRudeboy7