Mario Yamasaki was once again on the receiving end of criticism from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White after the long-time mixed martial arts (MMA) referee allowed the beating Valentina Shevchenko put on Priscila Cachoeira at UFC Fight Night 125 in Belem, Brazil, to go on longer than necessary.
Relive the carnage here.
Many felt Yamasaki should’ve put an end to the massacre long before the Brazilian newcomer ultimately tapped to a rear-naked choke in round two because she was on the receiving end of a non-stop assault from “Bullet.”
Now, Yamasaki is giving his side of the story to MMA Fighting in an attempt to defend his decision to allow the fight to go on as long as he did.
During the second round, I signaled to ‘Pedrita’ that if she didn’t move I’d stop the fight, and every time I’d stop, I told her and she moved to try to escape from the punches. Unfortunately, I also can’t control the number of blows thrown -- again, when a fighter is trying to come back she’s game. Fighters go through times of hard effort and dedication to be there. MMA is a contact sport and no fighter likes his fight to be stopped with no chance to revert the result. In my opinion, I allowed Pedrita to be a warrior and keep fighting. I could have stopped the fight in the second crucifix or in the mount, but she moved the whole time. I also recognize that I should have stopped when she tapped the first time to the rear-naked choke. I only stopped a few seconds later. About other people’s opinions, it’s their right to say.
According to Shevchenko’s comments on “The MMA Hour,” she didn’t have an issue with Yamasaki’s officiating, saying that any fighter wants every chance afforded to them to get back into the fight.
It’s a sentiment that’s shared by Cachoeira’s team, too, which wasn't keen on stopping the fight no matter the cost. Nevertheless, after the bout it was revealed that Cachoeira suffered a torn ACL in the opening moments of the contest.
Furthermore, White went on record saying that more “mismatches” could take place in the newly-implemented women’s Flyweight division because no ones knows exactly what each fighter in the weight class is capable of.