Mixed martial arts referee Mario Yamasaki has responded to his critics after his controversial stoppage of the Valentina Shevchenko-Priscila Cachoeira fight at UFC Fight Night 125 in Belem, Brazil.
Yamasaki has been widely criticized by former and current MMA fighters, as well as by UFC President Dana White himself, who called Yamasaki’s late stoppage “disgusting.”
Mario, however, defended his decision by saying “no fighter likes his fight to be stopped with no chance to revert the result.”
In a statement to MMA Fighting, Yamasaki said:
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.
In his defense, early stoppages can earn a referee serious criticism. Refs are in the position where they (quite literally) have to make life or death decisions in a matter of seconds. To make matters even worse, they have to do it alone.
But was Mario Yamasaki’s decision justified?
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