Mario Yamasaki believes Herb Dean could have stopped Jai Herbert fight sooner

Mario Yamasaki

Veteran MMA official Mario Yamasaki believes that Herb Dean could have stopped last weekend’s fight between Jai Herbert and Francisco Trinaldo sooner.

After Trinaldo dropped Herbert with an overhand left in their catchweight bout at UFC Fight Island 3, Dean didn’t immediately stop the fight and instead required Trinaldo to land several ground strikes on a seemingly defenseless opponent before stepping in and waving off the contest. UFC color commentator Dan Hardy was quick to criticize Dean for the late stoppage, and Hardy and Dean were then caught on camera getting into a heated argument after the bout.

The late stoppage has drawn plenty of controversy in the MMA community. Many fans, fighters, and media believe that Dean should have stopped the fight as soon as Herbert went down to the mat, but Dean recently posted a video saying that the stoppage was just. According to Yamasaki, another long-time referee who is also known for his controversial stoppages, the fight could have been stopped sooner based on what he saw on TV.

Speaking to AG Fight, Yamasaki gave his thoughts on the stoppage and explained why he believes Hardy was out of line when he lashed out at Dean after the fight.

“On TV it looks like it should have stopped before, but it only knows who is inside. He’s in the eye of the storm, seeing everything up close, the fighter’s reaction, his eyes. So it’s hard to say, he saw things that we didn’t see. As for Hardy, he should have a little more class and not confront him right there. They stayed at the same hotel, I would have waited to speak to him. I don’t care, because I focus and don’t let it affect me in the comments. But it can affect (the performance) yes, depending on the referee,” Yamasaki said.

“Yes (it happened to me), with Matt Hughes when I was in the corner and thought I stopped it late. He entered the Octagon to get satisfaction. But the fighter was his opponent.”

Yamasaki has not officiated in the UFC since a highly controversial late stoppage in the Valentina Shevchenko vs. Priscila Cachoeira fight in February 2018. At the time, Yamasaki said he wanted to allow Cachoeira “to be a warrior,” but UFC president decried the stoppage and blacklisted Yamasaki from officiating any UFC events going forward.

Do you agree with Mario Yamasaki that Herb Dean could have stopped Jai Herbert vs. Francisco Trinaldo sooner?