Last Saturday, in the co-main event of the UFC’s trip to Belem, Brazilian flyweight Priscila Cachoeira stepped into the Octagon for the first time. Despite the fact she was making her UFC debut with just 8 pro fights behind her, her opponent was the vastly more experienced Valentina Shevchenko, who is widely regarded as one of the best female fighters on earth.
In the end, Cachoeira’s experiential deficit manifested itself in a truly lopsided win for Shevchenko. The Kyrgyzstani contender out-landed her young Brazilian adversary by an insane 230-3 margin en route to a second-round submission win. It was one of the most brutal beatdowns to hit our screens in a long, long time .
In the opinion of many, referee Mario Yamasaki was in arguably the worst form of his career that night – which is saying something given his many blunders in the past. The widespread perception is that the referee could have stopped the fight earlier and prevented such a grievous beatdown from occurring. This, at the very least, is what UFC commentator Joe Rogan believes.
“Mario Yamasaki said [in his statement] he gave her the opportunity to, ‘Be a warrior,’” Rogan said on the latest episode of his podcast. “That’s what he said. That was his take on it. I mean, not just beat up. Did you see the stats? The actual physical striking stats? It was some unbelievably overwhelming number, like one vs. several hundred, in the significant strike department. Like literally, she landed one decent punch.”
“They should have stopped that fight a long time ago. That fight should have been stopped 15 or 20 times.”
Rogan also criticized the UFC matchmaking team for putting such a clear mismatch together.
“It was a bad matchup, because that girl, I believe it was her UFC debut,” Rogan said “To have a UFC debut, to have a woman that’s fought for the title and is a world-class striker, I mean literally one of the very-best strikers on the planet earth – male or female – it’s just not fair.”
“Valentina is one of the most well-rounded women in the sport,” he added later. “She subbed Julianna Pena off her back, she stands up and out-strikes Holly Holm. She went toe-to-toe with Amanda Nunes, she went toe-to-toe with some of the best kickboxers in the world. She’s a world champion muay Thai fighter. She’s just a (expletive) beast. She’s an all-around just bad-ass fighter.”
What do you think of Joe Rogan’s take on the Valentina Shevchenko vs Priscila Cachoeira fight?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/7/2018.