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Dana White Slams ‘Disgusting’ Performance by Referee Yamasaki at UFC Belem

Mario Yamasaki is stealing the headlines following UFC Belem and not for the first time.

Yamasaki was officiating last nights co-main event between former bantamweight title challenger Valentina Shevchenko and the previously unbeaten Priscilla Cachoeira. As expected by many, Shevchenko won in convincing fashion with a dominant display lasting a little over 9 minutes. In an alarmingly one-sided fight, Shevchenko landed 230 strikes with Cachoeira landing just 3 in return. Despite the dominance displayed by Shevchenko, Yamasaki chose not to intervene and end the bout until The Bullet sank in a rear naked choke and forced the gutsy Cachoeira to tap.

Not only did Yamasaki allow Cachoeira to be systematically beaten down by Shevchenko beyond the point of reason, he also missed her tapping to the rear naked choke. It took two separate taps before Yamasaki noticed and finally stepped in to put an end to things.

Frankly, fighters deserve better than this. I find it concerning that even in the photo at the top of this article, Yamasaki is looking off to the side. Straight down the lens of the camera as he raises the hand of Shevchenko. Who is the moment about, him or the victorious fighter? It is embarrassing to the point of being uncomfortable.

Following the event, UFC President Dana White was quick to take to social media to share his thoughts on the fight and the performance of the referee.

“Priscilla Cachoeira, you showed so much heart and toughness in that fight,” White wrote. “I’m honored to have you fight in the UFC. Unfortunately the ref is there to protect you and Mario DID NOT do that. This isn’t his first disgusting performance in the octagon. Another unfortunate thing is that I can’t do anything about I️t only the Brazilian commission can and I am hoping after this scary, incompetent showing he hopefully will never set foot in that Octagon again. Strikes landed was 230-3.”

It was not just White who was upset with the performance of Yamasaki with a number of fighters and analysts taking to social media to express their outrage.

While the UFC have no say in who local commissions appoint to officiate fights, after his latest poor performance it would appear Yamasaki‘s days refereeing UFC fights are numbered.




  • Allen Rader
    05/02/2018 at 3:23 am

    i had a feeling if the girl ever got up she was gonna drop her with a haymaker ;I was rooting hard for her it should’ve been stopped but the gal is tough

  • Bradley Kaler
    04/02/2018 at 9:04 pm

    I find the entire match up a disgrace. The #1 WBW contender as your opponent for your UFC debut? Disgusting matchmaking. Dana and the matchmaker should be ashamed.

  • Jason Shwam
    04/02/2018 at 8:51 pm

    That was a mismatch

  • Aaron Christison
    04/02/2018 at 7:44 pm

    Just watched the fight. Yamasaki is a fucking disgrace.

  • Mahmoud Essam Abdel Ghani
    04/02/2018 at 7:37 pm

    She was wild – I downloaded the match if anyone is interested to see

  • Chris Heinsohn
    04/02/2018 at 12:36 pm

    That fight should never had happen. You don’t put a new fighter vs #1. That needs to be earned. UFC is sinking with the b’s fights, bad ref….

  • Gerwyn Harries
    04/02/2018 at 10:34 am

    Total mismatch from the start !!! It was her ufc debut against #1 ?? I understand that fighters will fight who ever but there has to b a Duty of care to your fighter … 200 strikes and I think 9 back says it all …