Fighters were absolutely livid when two UFC stars’ illegal moves were allowed to stand and they were awarded hugely controversial wins.

Some devastating strikes and controversial finishes took centre stage at a UFC fight card in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Belal Muhammad defeated Vicente Luque via unanimous decision in the main event but before that there was a fiery end to the clash between Martin Buday and Chris Barnett, which saw the judges favour Buday on the scorecards as he scored a win by technical decision despite his opponent’s protests.

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Buday rocked Barnett with an illegal elbow to the back of the head but referee Dan Miragliotta declared it was accidental. The fight was stopped and the judges had Buday ahead at the time, so he won after landing the blow that brought a premature end to the contest.

Barnett complained after the fight was stopped and plenty thought Buday’s rogue elbow was intentional, suggesting he should have been disqualified.

UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou said on Twitter the elbow was “clearly intentional” while Junior dos Santos wrote: “Clearly intentional! I don’t know what kind of s*** is going in on those guys heads. And the referee saying it was an accident. BS.

“Elbow on the back of the head is never, never an accident. Why it’s so hard for those *** apply the f rules.”

The controversy kept coming when Caio Borralho defeated Gadzh Omargadzhiev via another technical decision in similar circumstances. Borralho’s illegal knee to his grounded opponent was ruled accidental and he escaped with the win because he was ahead on the judges’ scorecards — but nobody agreed with the call.

MMA journalist Shaheen Al-Shatti tweeted: “How on earth are we dealing with this again? If that’s not an intentional strike, no strike is intentional.

“The lesson from tonight: Always cheat. Always. Because no one in MMA knows the rules.”

Earlier, Devin Clark knocked William Knight senseless in the third round of their fight — the final bout on the preliminary card in Sin City. A left hook rocked Knight and sent him tumbling down against the Octagon, before Clark followed up with a vicious barrage of blows that forced the referee to jump in and stop proceedings.

On the main card, Andre Fialho obliterated Miguel Baeza in the first round. A left hook followed by some uppercuts saw blood pour from Baeza’s face, then another savage left hand sent him crashing to the canvas.

Results

Main card

Belal Muhammad defeated Vicente Luque via unanimous decision (49-46 x 2, 48-47)

Caio Borralho defeated Gadzh Omargadzhiev via technical decision (29-27 x 3)

Andre Fialho defeated Miguel Baeza via TKO (4:39, R1)

Mayra Bueno Silva defeated Wu Yanan via unanimous decision (29-28 x 2, 30-27)

Pat Sabatini defeated TJ Laramie via unanimous decision (30-26 x 3)

Mounir Lazzez defeated Ange Loosa via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)

Preliminary card

Devin Clark defeated William Knight via TKO (3:21, R3)

Pannie Kianzad defeated Lina Lansberg via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)

Drakkar Klose defeated Brandon Jenkins via (0:33, R2)

Rafa Garcia defeated Jesse Ronson via submission (4:50, R2)

Martin Buday defeated Chris Barnett via technical decision (30-27 x 3)

Jordan Leavitt defeated Trey Ogden via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x 2)

Sam Hughes defeated Istela Nunes via majority decision (29-27 x 2, 28-28)

Alatengheili defeated Kevin Croom via TKO (0:47, R1)

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