Oft-maligned MMA referee Mario Yamasaki might have 19 years of experience, but that hasn’t stopped him from some epic blunders.
Yamasaki most recently came under fire after allowing Valentina Shevchenko to brutalize newcomer Priscila Cachoeira in a sustained beating back in February. Shevchenko outstruck Cachoeira 230-3. You read that right; 230-3.
Yamasaki took a ton of flack from UFC President Dana White for allowing the fight to needlessly continue, and now the Brazilian referee admitted he could have stopped the fight sooner and is now looking to improve upon his weaknesses (via MMA Mania):
“I think they’re going to know I’m still trying to be the best that I can be. I’m not cocky, just saying, ‘I’ve been there for 19 years; I can’t learn any more.’
“I should have stopped it a little earlier, but I didn’t.
“If you count for 19 years I’ve been reffing, how many were controversial? Four? Five? But people always see mistakes,” he said. “There’s nothing I can do. I just have to focus and try not to make any early calls or late calls. Reprogram. Do my job, you know?”
Yamasaki says he will be attending John McCarthey’s referee seminar during International Fight Week in Las Vegas to sharpen his refereeing skills following the Shevchenko vs. Cachoeira blunder.
In defense of the Shevchenko fight, Yamasaki says he wanted to let Cachoeira be a “warrior”, but it ended up being at the expense of her health. Fighters often don’t want to tap or have the fight stopped, but that’s where the referee comes into play for their own safety.
Do you think these referee seminars will help improve Yamasaki’s referee skills?