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 MMAFighting.com, 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 BJPenn.com on 2/22/2017.