Referee Mario Yamasaki on late Lewis vs. Browne stoppage: It’s hard to please everyone

Mario Yamasaki

Last weekend, in the main event of the UFC’s latest trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Derrick Lewis scored a thunderous, second-round knockout over the ever-dangerous Travis Browne. With this win, which is arguably the biggest of his career, Lewis extended his win-streak to six, and established himself as a bona fide heavyweight contender.

Unfortunately, Lewis’ fight with Browne also produced a small bit of controversy, as referee Mario Yamasaki was quite late in stopping the fight, which gave Lewis time to hit Browne with a few extra sledgehammers.

In a recent interview with, Yamasaki discussed this controversial stoppage, saying he simply couldn’t get into the action in time to stop the fight at the proper moment.

“Right in the moment, I already knew that I allowed two extra punches,” he said. “But the reaction time from a heavyweight is different than a lighter fighter. So when [Lewis] landed the punch where [Browne] went out, he was able to land two more before I came in to stop the fight. But, for sure, I should have stopped it a little earlier. Everyone has his days, and I can’t give excuses.”

“It’s hard to please everyone,” Yamasaki continued, touching on the fine line between a late stoppage and an early stoppage. “I try to be as consistent as possible, but sometimes you can’t. I wanted to give him another chance because early in the fight he was getting knocked out standing and he said ‘I’m fine, I’m fine,’ and I saw that he was trying to defend himself so I let him continue, and on the ground, it went a little longer.”

“I’m sure that Browne likes that we let the fight go on a little longer so he has a chance to come back,” he added. “No fighter likes early stoppages, but it happens. There’s no excuse. I know I should have stopped it earlier, but it was so fast I couldn’t stop it.”

What did you think of Mario Yamasaki’s refereeing in UFC Halifax’s Lewis vs. Browne main event? Sound off, PENN Nation!

This article first appeared on on 2/22/2017.