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‘Not cocky’ Mario Yamasaki out to prove himself to UFC by attending John McCarthy’s referee seminar

Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards 2011 Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) referee Mario Yamasaki fell out of favor with Dana White and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) after he allowed Valentina Shevchenko to put a one-sided beating on Octagon newcomer Priscila Cachoeira at UFC Fight Night 125 in Belem, Brazil on February 3, 2018 (recap), in a bout many believed should have been stopped sooner than it did.

Now, Yamasaki will look to prove he wants to learn from his mistakes by attending one of John McCarthy’s referee seminars during International Fight Week in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“I think they’re going to know I’m still trying to be the best that I can be,” Yamasaki today told MMAjunkie. “I’m not cocky, just saying, ‘I’ve been there for 19 years; I can’t learn any more.’”

According to comments made to MMA Junkie, “Big” John -- who is long considered the best MMA referee in the business — doesn’t plan on passing Mario based on his experience alone, as he actually has to pass the course by completing all the requisites.

After initially issuing a statement saying he was allowing the Brazilian fighter to be a “warrior,” Mario — who hasn’t worked a UFC event since then — now admits he should have stopped the fight a bit sooner.

“I should have stopped it a little earlier, but I didn’t,” he said.

And though he admits to making a mistake that fateful night, Yamasaki says all of the criticism against him isn’t warranted, as his good outweighs the bad throughout his entire career.

“If you count for 19 years I’ve been reffing, how many were controversial? Four? Five? But people always see mistakes,” he said. “There’s nothing I can do. I just have to focus and try not to make any early calls or late calls. Reprogram. Do my job, you know?”

As a resident of Brazil, Mario says he will look to spend more time stateside in order to get caught up with any and all changes regarding the unified rules to make sure he is at the top of his game.

Not a bad idea.

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