Mixed martial arts (MMA) referee Mario Yamasaki understands fans who say he stopped the UFC Fight Night 105 main event late.
Headlining this past Sunday night’s (Feb. 19) card was a heavyweight battle between Derrick Lewis and Travis Browne. Lewis knocked out Browne in the second round. “The Black Beast” finished the fight with ground-and-pound and many fans and analysts felt Yamasaki allowed Lewis to land more strikes than he needed to.
MMAFighting.com caught up to Yamasaki recently. The veteran referee didn’t argue with his critics:
“Right in the moment, I already knew that I allowed two extra punches, but the reaction time from a heavyweight is different than a lighter fighter. So when (Lewis) landed the punch where (Browne) went out, he was able to land two more before I came in to stop the fight. But, for sure, I should have stopped it a little earlier. Everyone has his days, and I can’t give excuses. It’s hard to please everyone. I try to be as consistent as possible, but sometimes you can’t. I wanted to give him another chance because early in the fight he was getting knocked out standing and he said ‘I’m fine, I’m fine,’ and I saw that he was trying to defend himself so I let him continue, and on the ground, it went a little longer.”
No one is denying that Browne likely appreciated being given every possible opportunity to recover. Yamasaki also feels “Hapa” was glad he was afforded those chances, but he isn’t using that as an excuse.
“I’m sure that Browne likes that we let the fight go on a little longer so he has a chance to come back. No fighter likes early stoppages, but it happens. There’s no excuse. I know I should have stopped it earlier, but it was so fast I couldn’t stop it.”