Mario Yamasaki is looking to become an MMA ref once again.
Yamasaki hasn’t reffed a fight since UFC Belem on Feb. 3, 2018, when he had a very controversial fight between Valentina Shevchenko vs. Priscila Cachoeira. The Brazilian blew her knee out and Shevchenko landed 93 significant strikes but Yamasaki never stopped the fight and UFC president, Dana White said he would never ref another UFC fight again.
Now, however, Yamasaki is looking to ref again but admits it likely won’t be in the UFC.
“I’m waiting for the pandemic to be over so I start applying to the athletic commissions again,” Yamasaki told MMA Fighting. “I’ll go back to refereeing as soon as possible. Maybe not in the UFC, but Bellator, PFL, Shooto, other promotions, so I can be in the sport. It will be up to the athletic commissions to accept me back and license me and start giving me fights to referee.”
When asked why he didn’t stop the fight, Yamasaki said he wanted Cachoeira to be a warrior which received backlash. Despite the ref no longer allowed to ref UFC events he says he has no grudge against White and the promotion.
“The UFC has given me everything I have in terms of exposure, travels and all my knowledge,” said Yamasaki, who added he guarantees there are no hard feelings towards company leader Dana White. “I lived through the pinnacle of MMA, the golden era. Only joy. I have nothing to complain, only to thank. Twenty years there, it’s not for everyone.”