Valentina Shevchenko, a former bantamweight champ made her flyweight debut in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 125 on against newcomer Priscilla Cachoeira on (Feb. 3, 2018).
Valentina was a huge favorite to defeat Priscila Cachoeira, dominated from the opening seconds, brutally battered Brazilian’s face, then submitted her with a rear-naked choke towards the end of round 2. Shevchenko hit hundreds of punches on debutant Priscila Pedrita while referee Mario Yamasaki just watched. Many have criticized Yamasaki for not calling the bout earlier.
In a recent statement to MMA Fighting, he explained what led to him not halt the fight early.
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.
Aside from absorbing criticism from fans even UFC president Dana White slam him for not halting the fight in an early round and hopes the referee never officiates a UFC contest again.
What do you make of Mario Yamasaki’s recent statement?