Years after being ostracized by the UFC, veteran referee Mario Yamasaki has spoken out.
One of the first referees to appear as a mainstay in the UFC, Yamasaki has been the third man in the Octagon for some of the biggest fights in promotional history.
Of course, that would all change after a 2018 contest between Valentina Shevchenko and Priscilla Cachoeira, in which the Brazilian ref caught flak from the UFC, particularly Dana White, for letting the fight go on way longer than it should have.
Mario Yamasaki Responds To Dana White
The amount of anger expressed towards Mario Yamasaki by Dana White at this time was rarely seen before, with the only exception being the famous rant the UFC President went on about Steve Mazagatti. As a result, this would be the final UFC fight refereed by the veteran ref, at the behest of White, despite the UFC not having control over who the athletic commissions employ.
Speaking with Talkin’ MMA, Yamasaki spoke about his experience with the UFC, and how things devolved. Here, he detailed how this is a sport that will always remind you of your mess ups and mistakes when you are a referee but never rewards you when you do things correctly.
“Let’s say I referee 800 fights, and I fucked up in four. The only thing that shows in my history are the four fucked up fights that I did, because those are the ones they keep pushing, pushing, pushing,” Yamasaki said. “What Dana said about me, ‘Oh, he’ll never step foot in the Octagon again, blah, blah, blah,’ those are the things that show most, not my 796 fights that I did right. They don’t care. They only care what you did wrong.”
From there, Mario Yamasaki made it clear that he has no regrets from his time in the UFC, and is happy for what he was able to accomplish. However, he does ultimately feel like the way Dana White handled the situation with his departure, as well as the things said about his referring skills, were a bit harsh and unfair.
“I think Dana was a little too harsh on me, because I’m not that bad. 20 years there and he always came to me, we’d talk a lot, and for him to just be a media guy, and destroy a guy… That wasn’t that bad.”
Each person will draw their own conclusions about the referring skills of Mario Yamasaki and whether or not his UFC departure was warranted. That said, he does bring up some interesting points speaking on this issue after having years to reflect.
Do you think Mario Yamasaki was treated unfairly by Dana White?
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