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Michael Chiesa challenges Mario Yamasaki to ‘friendly’ grappling match for botched call in Kevin Lee fight

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Chiesa vs Lee Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Lee submitted Michael Chiesa with 23 seconds remaining in the opening round of their Lightweight battle at UFC Fight Night 112 last month to rack up his fifth straight win and soar up the 155-pound ladder.

It wasn’t without controversy because “Maverick” never tapped, as the action came to a halt after referee Mario Yamasaki concluded that Chiesa was about to go out (highlights). Naturally, Michael didn’t agree with the call, as he immediately got up to his feet to protest.

Even company president Dana White didn’t agree with the finish, bashing the longtime official in this expletive-filled rant. Meanwhile, Chiesa’s appeal was promptly dismissed by the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission (OSAC).

Now, Michael has officially challenged Yamaski to a grappling match at an upcoming Onnit invitational jiu-jitsu event to see if Yamaski does have the skills to warrant a fifth degree black belt and justify the bad calls he’s made inside The Octagon over his career.

“It’s the past, I am moving forward and Onnit is having an invitational on September 30th and this is my open challenge to Mr. Yamasaki. I would like to test his fifth degree black belt in a friendly grappling match. Let’s see if he is what he says what he is. I am not saying that in a hostile way, I’m just saying that, hey, if you are a fifth degree black belt, back up the decisions that you made. As a martial artist myself, that is my open challenge to you to headline the Onnit Invitational on September 30th.”

According to Chiesa — who also wants a rematch with Lee — he knew he was in for a potential bad night of officiating once Mario when into his locker room for pre-fight instructions.

“To be honest, the second Mario Yamasaki came to the locker room, me, Sam and my coach all looked at each other like, ‘Oh fuck.’ I’m not trying to sit here and bash the guy, but you know he has a track record for not the best officiating,” said Chiesa on The MMA Hour.

“I know he’s a fifth degree black belt, and that’s all fine and dandy, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fifth degree black belt in officiating. I feel like he’s fallen behind a little bit and I think that is pretty sad that a ref walks into your room, you and your team are looking at each other like, ‘Oh shit we have this guy.’ I like the work of Herb Dean, Big John, Dan Miragliotta and I think the best ref we had was Josh Rosenthal and it’s unfortunate we can’t have him. It just kind of sucks when an official walks in and your like, ‘crap,’”

According to Chiesa, while he insists he’s not trying to be derogatory toward Mario, he feels he isn’t qualified to be officiating at the highest level and should just move on to something else.

Chiesa vs. Yamasaki, you interested?

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