Referee Mario Yamasaki is sticking to his guns on the UFC Fight Night 112 main event stoppage.
Last month, Kevin Lee and Michael Chiesa did battle inside the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Lee earned a first-round submission, but controversy ensued. There was no tap and Chiesa hadn’t gone out.
Or did he?
Speaking to Combate, Yamasaki said he’s certain that Chiesa went limp (via Bloody Elbow):
“It would be easier to just let him be, but I’m a fifth degree jiu-jitsu black belt. I’m sure he went to sleep. Everyone said he didn’t tap, but there’s no tapping when you go to sleep, otherwise he would’ve moved his arm. I only have to move an athlete when I’m in doubt and there was no doubt. I saw a guy who stopped defending himself and going limp.”
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White wasn’t thrilled with Yamasaki’s stoppage and blasted the veteran referee. Yamasaki didn’t entertain a spat.
“He came back very fast. I was in the moment, there’s nothing I can do. That’s where the confusion and the controversy begin. Dana, as a promoter and an excellent business man, is in his right. He promotes well. I don’t have to say anything. It’s his opinion, he thinks Chiesa didn’t go to sleep. Whoever is in there at the time knows. I don’t need to answer anything. The more I talk about this, the more it’ll grow.”