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Twitter reacts to Mario Yamasaki’s referee return at 2023 PFL Championship: ‘Protect those fighters from this man’

One of the most notorious mixed martial arts (MMA) referees recently returned to combat sports action.

The 2023 PFL Championships went down inside The Anthem Arena in Washington, D.C., this weekend (Fri., Nov. 24, 2023), with Olivier Aubin-Mercier defeated Clay Collard to win the Lightweight championship in the main event from (watch highlights).

PFL’s “$2 Million Man” then retired on top.

Just before the first championship fight on pay-per-view (PPV) between Impa Kasanganay vs. Josh Silveira started, mixed martial arts (MMA) fans were absolutely shocked when long-time, UFC-banned referee, Mario Yamasaki, took center stage to start the bout.

Yamasaki was famously booted from working any UFC events by UFC CEO, Dana White, after he allowed Valentina Shevchenko beat the life out of Priscila Cachoeira back in 2018, landing more than 200 unanswered strikes.

The blackballed referee’s response to the non-stoppage was to, “allow Cachoeira to be a warrior and keep fighting.”

As a result, Yamasaki has been out of the limelight for several years, only working regional shows in Brazil from late 2018 to 2022. The last time he refereed for a major promotion was when PFL held its 2018 playoffs in Washington, D.C., and that is because he lives in the city and his brother own gyms in the area.

Of course, when Yamasaki was seen on the broadcast, Twitter went nuts.

Thankfully, no PFL fighters were injured, and no fighters sustained extra damage.

So ... are Steve Mazzagatti and Kim Winslow next?


For complete PFL 10: Championship 2023 results, coverage and highlights, click HERE.

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