UFC Vegas 75 took place on June 17th, 2023 and although the majority of the attention went to the main event and it’s supporting card, a truly bizarre incident happened in a preliminary fight when a referee actually caused a fighter to tap. It was only the second fight of the night, with Dan Argueta and Ronnie Lawrence competing against one another in the bantamweight division. Veteran referee Keith Peterson was overseeing the action and everything seemed to be going completely normally at first.
Argueta started off strongly and managed to land a takedown early on in the first round. He managed to control Lawrence from top mount and started to set up a guillotine choke from the top, but Lawrence managed to fight his way free. It didn’t take long for Argueta to lock up the same choke again though, and this time seemed significantly tighter than before. Lawrence was definitely struggling to free himself and the submission may very well have ended up forcing him to tap, but sadly we’ll never know if that was the case.
Keith Peterson could see that the choke was causing Lawrence some trouble, so he lifted his hand in order to make sure that he was still conscious. When doing so, Lawrence’s hand snapped back into position and indicated that he was awake and still trying to fight against the choke. The force of Lawrence’s hand returning to position meant that it made contact with Argueta’s back in a tapping motion. Peterson saw this and immediately waved the fight off, initially claiming that Argueta had tapped. As soon as the footage was reviewed it became clear what had happened, and the fight was declared a no contest as a result.
The UFC uploaded some footage of the aftermath of the embarrassing moment from UFC Vegas 75 in a recent post to their official Twitter account:
Bit of controversy here at the APEX! 😳
— UFC (@ufc) June 17, 2023