Mario Yamasaki issues statement following controversial co-main event at UFC Belem

Valentina Shevchenko, Mario Yamasaki

Mario Yamasaki issues statement following controversial co-main event at UFC Belem.

Mixed martial arts referee Mario Yamasaki faced a ton of criticism following his controversial stoppage in the co-main event of last weekend’s UFC Fight Night 125 event in Belem, Brazil.

The veteran referee allowed flyweight newcomer Priscila Cachoeira to take a lot of damage from the fists and elbows of former women’s bantamweight title challenger Valentina Shevchenko without stepping in to call of the contest.

“The Bullet” would eventually put a stop the mauling when she secured a rear-naked choke in round two which forced the previously undefeated Cachoeira to tapout.

Yamasaki was showered with a bunch of hateful messages on social media, including an Instagram post from UFC President Dana White.

Today Mr. Yamasaki responded to his critics in a statement given to MMAFighting:

“During the second round, I signaled to ‘Pedrita’ that if she didn’t move I’d stop the fight, and every time I’d stop, I told her and she moved to try to escape from the punches. Unfortunately, I also can’t control the number of blows thrown — again, when a fighter is trying to come back she’s game. Fighters go through times of hard effort and dedication to be there. MMA is a contact sport and no fighter likes his fight to be stopped with no chance to revert the result. In my opinion, I allowed Pedrita to be a warrior and keep fighting. I could have stopped the fight in the second crucifix or in the mount, but she moved the whole time. I also recognize that I should have stopped when she tapped the first time to the rear-naked choke. I only stopped a few seconds later. About other people’s opinions, it’s their right to say.”

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