Mario Yamasaki Defends Michael Chiesa-Kevin Lee Decision

Referee and 5th degree BJJ black belt Mario Yamasaki has received quite a bit of heat for what many saw as an early stoppage during the fight between Kevin Lee and Michael Chiesa in the main event of UFC Fight Night 112.

Yamasaki, however, is defending his decision.

In an interview with the Brazilian MMA magazine Combate , Mario insisted that, as a 5th degree BJJ black belt, he was sure Chiesa was asleep:

It would be easier to just let him be, but I’m a fifth degree jiu-jitsu black belt. I’m sure he went to sleep. Everyone said he didn’t tap, but there’s no tapping when you go to sleep, otherwise he would’ve moved his arm. I only have to move an athlete when I’m in doubt and there was no doubt. I saw a guy who stopped defending himself and going limp.

He came back very fast. I was in the moment, there’s nothing I can do. That’s where the confusion and the controversy begin. Dana, as a promoter and an excellent business man, is in his right. He promotes well. I don’t have to say anything. It’s his opinion, he thinks Chiesa didn’t go to sleep. Whoever is in there at the time knows. I don’t need to answer anything. The more I talk about this, the more it’ll grow.

Chiesa’s loss back at UFC Fight Night 112 was his first in three years. It also allowed Kevin Lee to extend his win streak to five.


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