Last night, in the co-main event of the UFC’s anticipated stop in Belem, Brazil, former UFC women’s bantamweight title challenger Valentina Shevchenko made her debut in the new UFC women’s flyweight division opposite Brazil’s Priscila Cachoeira. The fight wasn’t close. From the opening bell, Shevchenko was an absolute predator, eating her opponent alive en route to a lopsided, second-round choke.
While Shevchenko couldn’t have been more impressive in this flyweight debut, her win wasn’t all positive. Unfortunately, many members of the MMA community had criticisms of referee Mario Yamasaki, who probably could have halted the action sooner, and protected a few million of Cachoeira’s braincells.
File UFC President Dana White into the group that wasn’t impressed with Yamasaki’s judgement. The UFC boss went off on the referee in a heated Instagram rant post-fight.
Priscilla Cachoeira, you showed so much heart and toughness in that fight. I’m honored to have you fight in the UFC. Unfortunately the ref is there to protect you and Mario DID NOT do that. This isn’t his first disgusting performance in the octagon. Another unfortunate thing is that i can’t do anything about I️t only the Brazilian commission can and i am hoping after this scary, incompetent showing he hopefully will never set foot in that Octagon again. Strikes landed was 230-3.
Of course, the blame for this beatdown can’t be dropped solely on Yamasaki’s shoulders. As many discerning fans have pointed out on social media, some of the onus lies with the UFC for booking the fight when Shevchenko was so clearly in a different league of competition than her opponent.
What did you think of Mario Yamasaki’s refereeing in Brazil, and Dana White’s subsequent outburst on social media?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/4/2018.