Priscila Cachoeira made her UFC debut on Saturday night at UFC Belem. The fight has made the headlines due to a dominant one sided performance by Valentina Shevchenko who landed at will for two rounds, the fight finished with under a minute to go in the round with a rear-naked choke.
DanaWhite said he was disgusted referee Mario Yamasaki didn’t intervene earlier in the fight.
Yamasaki issued a statement to MMA Fighting in which he said he was trying to let Cachoeira be a warrior but agreed he could have stopped it earlier.
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.
CABMMA ( The Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission) issued a statement to MMA Fighting, in which CABMMA COO Cristiano Sampaio says he discussed the stoppage with Yamasaki directly afterwards and Sampaio agreed Yamasaki should have stopped the fight earlier.
The Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) has discussed the stoppage with referee Mario Yamasaki at the post-fight meeting held at venue with all of the officials assigned for the event. We made it clear all of our concerns regarding the incident.
Priscilla Cachoeira demonstrated toughness and heart during the two rounds but those are two attitudes that should not interfere or confuse the referee when it comes to stoppages. In the first round, in the last couple of minutes, it was clear that Priscilla could not defend herself efficiently nor technically. That reflected directly on the judges scores, all three giving it a 10-8. Round two was the same, but obviously with Priscilla not physically recovered enough from the previous round to demonstrate her chance against Valentina, the fight should have been called off right in the initial moments. And if the fight wasn’t called off, it would have been a clear 10-7, due to what we considered a overwhelming dominance and significant impact in the round.
As to the matchmaking, the fight was approved by CABMMA. If it was not well matched and that being evidently demonstrated during the fight, it should have been identified by the referee in charge, as he is the highest authority in that moment, whose role is to protect the fighter at all times including stopping the fight at the proper moment.
CABMMA understands that errors can occur from all aspects, but they should be recognized and corrected, to avoid similar cases in the future. And in a sport where the main concern is the fighter’s health and integrity, from the regulator’s standpoint we should do everything possible to minimize the risk of a scenario such as the one of this weekend.
Mario Yamasaki has been one of the best referees in MMA for the past decade and played a key role in helping our commission build the team of officials. We will discuss the next steps together and decide what is certainly best for all parts involved in the process.
It would appear blame could be given to several parties regarding the controversy, the UFC for the mis match, the ref for not stopping the fight earlier and Cachoeira’s corner for not stopping the fight.