Andre Lima reacts to being bitten at UFC Vegas 89: ‘I really thought that the fence had gotten into me’

Andre Lima had a UFC debut for the history books.

On Saturday night, Lima faced Igor Severino on the early prelims of UFC Vegas 89 in what would become one of the most bizarre events in UFC history. After a competitive first round, Severino inexplicably bit Lima during a clinch on the left arm, leaving clearly identifiable marks on Lima. After some confusion, Severino was ultimately disqualified, resulting in Lima becoming the first fighter in UFC history to win by disqualification — biting.

Speaking with reporters at his post-fight scrum (h/t MMA Junkie), Lima was just as surprised as everyone else with what happened.

“We were exchanging really well at that point, then he tried to take me down,” Lima said through a translator. “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 later realized he bit me.”

Because the whole thing happened quickly, Lima said he didn’t have a chance to speak to Severino about why he bit him, noting that UFC officials were quick to separate them. But Lima noted that he didn’t want to confront Severino so much as he just wanted to understand him.

“I actually wanted to tell him, ‘Bro, why did you bite me? Why did you do this?’” Lima 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.’ But then I realized it was a bite.”

Though he didn’t win ‘Fight of the Night,’ UFC CEO Dana White did award him a “Bite of the Night” bonus and $50,000, and Lima even chose to memorialize the event, getting the bite marks tattooed on his arm.

It’s a truly unprecedented event, but Lima appears to be in great spirits about everything. And despite being bitten, he also argues that the UFC shouldn’t release Severino just because of this incident.

“I don’t think he should be cut or fired from the UFC, because this is a young athlete, a good athlete, someone who is undefeated,” Lima said. “The emotions may have gotten the best out of him, the adrenaline may have gotten him. It’s a whole new world inside the octagon. It’s a different thing, and I think he’s an athlete that — he should stay in the UFC. I’m sure that with the great athlete that he is, he will represent Brazil just as well as I am. I think it’s just about giving him a little talking to and nothing over that.”

UFC officials, however, did release Severino, with Dana White also noting that the 20-year-old Brazilian may have to deal with repercussions from the Nevada Athletic Commission, which oversaw UFC Vegas 89.

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