Disgraced Referee Mario Yamasaki Looked Back On A Year Without UFC And Valentina Shevchenko Vs Priscila Cachoeira Late Stoppage
Mario Yamasaki didn’t step officiate any fight since the match between Priscila Cachoeira and Valentina Shevchenko, which happened at UFC Belem, on February 3, 2018.
“The Bullet” landed more than 200 clean strikes, while Cachoeira’s score was only 3. Yamasaki stopped the onslaught after nine minutes when Shevchenko secured a rear-naked choke victory. But many believed Yamasaki could have stepped in much earlier.
After the fight, Mario Yamasaki explained in a lengthy statement he only wanted to give “Pedrita” a chance to fight like a warrior.
Dana White praised Priscila Cachoeira but heavily criticized Mario Yamasaki after the match.
One year later, Mario Yamasaki claims his statement was misinterpreted. (h/t MMAFighting)
”I was misinterpreted because, first, I had a public relations that asked me to say that, but it’s not what I really meant,” Yamasaki said. “I told ‘Pedrita’ in the locker room that I wouldn’t stop the fight if she was defending herself. She moved every time I said I was going to stop the fight, but I really should have stopped it earlier so it wouldn’t have [been] controversial. It was no one else’s fault but me.”
Mario Yamasaki claims he didn’t apply to any athletic commission after Shevchenko vs Cachoeira fiasco because he wanted to stay away from Dana White’s verbal attacks. Yet, Yamasaki hints he’ll return to the Octagon this year.
”I ended up focusing on other jobs and didn’t apply to any athletic commission after that fight because Dana would keep coming after me,” Yamasaki said. “I decided to take a year off to relax and reset. I think I’ll apply to an athletic commission again this year and come back after relaxing for a year.”
Mario Yamasaki admits he should have stopped the match between Valentina Shevchenko and Priscila Cachoeira earlier.
”I think I really could have stopped it earlier,” he said. “It was a mistake.”
Yamasaki is aware that there is a chance he’ll always be remembered for errors instead of successful moments.
“People always tend to remember the bad moments. If that’s the case, what can I do? It’s like saying Jose Aldo, Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort — will people remember him for the kick to the face or his entire career? It depends on who you ask.”
Would you like to see Mario Yamasaki inside the Octagon again?