Trey Ogden (16-6, 1 NC MMA, 1-2, 1 NC UFC), was on the verge of likely choking Nikolas Motta (13-5, 1 NC MMA, 1-2, 1 NC UFC) into unconsciousness at the UFC Apex on Nov. 18, but walked away without a win and half of his paycheck after an error by referee Mike Beltran.

Ogden had an arm triangle sunk deep on Motta, but Beltran thought Motta was asleep and stopped the contest prematurely. The fight was ruled a no contest in a bout where Ogden would have won by submission or on the judges’ scorecards.

“I’m trying to make peace with everything,” Ogden told MMASucka. “Whatever happens. I’m trying to focus mostly on appreciating the art of the fight and the experience of it, because it was a good fight and a great performance.”

Less than a minute into the third round, Ogden took Motta down off a clinch tie-up and began advancing his position. Just over a minute later, he began sinking in an arm triangle.

“I did have the choke,” Ogden said. “It was done. I knew it wasn’t 100% cinched in. But I knew the adjustment to make. I was going to make the adjustment, but the referee started talking to my opponent.”

Beltran told Motta, “Show me you’re there.”

“When he started talking to my opponent, I thought, ‘It must be in, so I need to lock it down.’ That’s why I locked it in,” Ogden said. “If Beltran wouldn’t have spoke, I would have made the last adjustment. I stopped adjusting the choke. I thought, ‘I should lock it down, but this is probably done, or the referee wouldn’t be talking.’ I was staring at the mat, so I can’t see what was going on. All I can do is feel and listen. Motta was making snoring sounds. The choke was very tight. It wasn’t perfect, but it was tight. I thought, ‘Well, since the ref is talking to him and he’s making snoring sounds, it’s probably in good enough. It’s probably going to put him to sleep.’ I knew the adjustment to make, and had the referee not spoken to me, I would have made the adjustment and choked Motta to sleep for sure.”

Ogden set up his dominant third round with solid jab and clinch work in the first two rounds and keeping Motta guessing. The takedowns began to come more easily, which set Ogden up for the near-submission.

“It’s as frustrating as anything could be for sure,” Ogden said. “It’s just so out of my control. I did nothing wrong, and I did everything right, actually. It was a really good fight and a really good performance. It was one of my best performances. No one’s even talking to me about the performance itself. That alone is frustrating because the whole narrative is based on a referee’s mistake, which kind of just overshadows the great work that I did. There’s a lot of sacrifice that goes into this game.”

Ogden has not been paid his win bonus as of Wednesday afternoon, though his camp has put a formal request in with the UFC.

“To be paid like you lost a fight that you won is also very frustrating. And expensive,” Ogden said.

Ogden said he executed his game plan “very well.”

“[Motta] did have a little bit better takedown defense than I thought he did have, so kudos to him there, he did well. I thought I did really well. It was a tactical masterpiece in my opinion.”

Ogden is not interested in a rematch with Motta, he said.

“I don’t think there’s anything that needs to be settled. I beat him up for 13 minutes and dominated him and then I positioned him, mounted him and put him in a submission. There’s nothing. That’s done. I beat him, handily. It wasn’t even a close fight, and the fight didn’t end by a foul. In my mind, I showed that I was levels above Nikolas Motta. There’s no question.”

Ogden is not sure when he would like to fight next. He’s a full-time coach, and his fighter, Garrett Armfield, is set to fight Brad Katona at UFC Toronto on Jan. 20.

“We’re really excited for that opportunity and that match-up. I’m focused completely on that right now. Get through the holidays and then we’ll see what’s next for me after that.”

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