Throwing up a heart symbol is how mixed martial arts (MMA) referee Mario Yamasaki begins every fight he officiates. That consistency seemingly stops there, though, as the way in which he referees each Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is as unique, and different, as a snowflake.
Hidden among a throng of fun and entertaining fights last night (Sat., Nov. 9, 2013), UFC Fight Night 32 had two bouts go to decision. One was the co-main event between Cezar Ferriera vs. Daniel Sarafian that aired on FOX Sports 1 from Goiania Arena in Goiania, Brazil.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil" season one winner, Cezar Ferreira, proved he deserved the title, dispatching of Daniel Sarafian, the man he would have faced in the show Finale had it not been for an injury. After three hard fought rounds, the judges scorecards were uneven. Two judges had it for Ferreira by scores of 29-28 and 30-28, while one had it the other way (30-27 in favor of Sarafian).
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En-route to the split decision, the fight saw referee Mario Yamasaki stand up the two fighters on multiple occasions when Ferreira was clearly working toward a submission. In one instance, combat sports fans even cried foul when Yamasaki intervened during an arm-triangle choke.
Let the Kim Winslow jokes commence.
This wasn't the first time this week Yamasaki has been under the microscope. At UFC Fight Night 31: "Fight for Troops 3," the third man inside the Octagon caught heat for his very late stoppage during Yoel Romero vs. Ronny Markes, with the latter taking two very unnecessary shots.
While everyone has bad days, perhaps we can chalk this up to Yamasaki just having a terrible week. Let's just hope he has gotten it all out of his system because he will be the man in charge of the UFC 167 main event between Georges St. Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks.