UFC President Dana White didn’t hold back from criticising referee Mario Yamasaki on Sunday.
White took to Instagram to voice his displeasure at Yamasaki’s officiating of the UFC Belem co-main event bout between Valentina Shevchenko and Priscila Cachoeira.
The bout was always seen as a mismatch on paper and people were right to think that. Former UFC bantamweight title challenger Shevchenko outstruck the plucky Brazilian, landing 230 strikes to Cachoeira’s paltry three according to FightMetric, on her way to a second-round submission win.
Cachoeira showed unshakable and impressive heart to last as long as she did in the Octagon with Shevchenko, but it was a beatdown bad enough to make the most hardened fight fan squeamish.
There were ample opportunities to call a rightful end to the fight, but Yamasaki saw fit to allow Cachoeira take such a horrific one-sided beating.
White, rightly or wrongly, stated Yamasaki wouldn’t officiate at a UFC event again if it were up to him.
Priscilla Cachoeira, you showed so much heart and toughness in that fight. 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.
Addressing Cachoeira, White said: “You showed so much heart and toughness in that fight. 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,” White continued. “Another unfortunate thing is that I can’t do anything about it 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.”
This isn’t the first time White has called Yamasaki out for his questionable decision making in the cage.
Last year, White was infuriated by Yamasaki’s refereeing in the fight between Kevin Lee and Michael Chiesa. The contest, which ultimately determined the next interim title challenger, was won by Lee after Yamasaki called off the fight when Lee had Chiesa in a rear-naked choke before the latter had tapped to the submission.
The Brazilian referee adjudged Chiesa to have went limp, something Chiesa furiously protested and he later appealed the decision with the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission. Like Chiesa, White was not pleased with Yamasaki’s performance as referee.
“Mario Mazzagatti does it again!” White said of Yamasaki, making reference to infamous referee Steve Mazzagatti, who had previously earned White’s ire.
“This guy is more concerned with doing his dumb ass heart bullshit then (sic) Ref’n the fight!” White continued. “Steals a great moment from Lee or let Mike fight it or tap. Nobody gives a shit that u can make a heart with ur hands like a 12 year old girl they want u to pay attention to what’s going on in the fight and do ur job.”
Yamasaki has yet to comment on the fight and the rough criticism he has garnered.