Mario Yamasaki came to the defense of Herb Dean — even though he felt the latter’s recent stoppage looked late.
Dean came under fire after letting the action continue after Francisco Trinaldo knocked Jai Herbert out in their catchweight bout this past weekend.
Trinaldo notably stopped fighting once Herbert hit the canvas after a delayed reaction as he waited for Dean to call the fight off. Once that didn’t happen, Trinaldo landed follow-up shots as UFC commentator Dan Hardy was shouting at Dean to stop the fight before he eventually did.
It has since led to a back-and-forth between Dean and Hardy and much debate in the mixed martial arts world as to whether it was actually a late stoppage or not.
As far as another referee in Yamasaki is concerned, it did look late on television. But seeing it on television is much different than actually being in there according to him.
“On TV, it looks like it should have stopped before, but it only knows who is inside,” Yamasaki told AgFight (translation via Google). “He’s in the eye of the storm, seeing everything up close, the fighter’s reaction, his eyes. So it’s hard to say, he saw things that we didn’t see.
“As for Hardy, he should have a little more class and not confront him right there. They stayed at the same hotel, I could have waited to speak to him. I don’t care, because I focus and don’t let it affect me in the comments. But it can affect (the performance) yes, depending on the referee.”
Yamasaki No Stranger To Coming Under Fire
Yamasaki’s comments are particularly interesting as he is infamous for his late stoppages where it has even become a meme now.
He even faced the wrath of UFC president Dana White following what appeared to be a very late stoppage in Valentina Shevchenko’s TKO win over Priscila Cachoeira in 2018. White hit out at Yamasaki on social media afterward and would blacklist him since.
For Yamasaki, it was simply to create controversy on the part of White.
“The fighters suffer the same prejudice, but in my case it was to create controversy and sell more pay-per-views,” Yamasaki added. “The thing is not to let controversy happen. There is no crying. But I don’t care about that. I’ve been there for over 20 years, I’ve been through everything, even their darling.
“Maybe (I was) wronged by the Athletic Commission that succumbed to (the wills) of the UFC. They hire me and not the UFC. In theory, the UFC would not be able to prevent it, but…”
The debate about late stoppages and refereeing isn’t likely to end anytime soon.