Referee Mario Yamasaki Considering Retirement, Unsure If He’ll Return
Mario Yamasaki is thinking of retiring from being a referee and is unsure if he will come back.
Yamasaki is a referee well-known by fans, but with that, he has found himself at the center of some controversies, criticizing him for what they believe were late stoppages.
“After the pandemic, I didn’t pursue that (calling fights) anymore,” Yamasaki said. “I don’t think I’m coming back this year. I’m not sure if I’m coming back to calling fights at all. Nobody knows the future.
After UFC’s event in February of 2018, Valentina Shevchenko landed many unnecessary punches to her rival in one of the fights he officiated.
The referee was pinned for letting the fight go on too long. Schevchenko ended up submitting her opponent in the second round.
Yamasaki said officiating MMA fights is not his main job. He buys and remodels houses and works with “big” companies.
MMA is more like a hobby, he added.
“A nice hobby, and of course, I’d come back if they gave me a chance. I would come back next year, no doubt,” Yamasaki said. “I dedicated 20 years to the UFC. Not anyone will do that. I did what I had to do. Many trips opened the door to so many opportunities for me. It was excellent.”
On his resume, he has fights like Anderson Silva versus Vitor Belfort at UFC 126, Brock Lesnar versus Randy Couture at UFC 91 and Ronda Rousey versus Miesha Tate at UFC 168.
But after the Schevchenko versus Cachoeira fight, UFC President Dana White was not happy and said Yamasaki would never officiate a UFC bout again. The referee hasn’t does so ever since.
“[Priscila Cachoeira] didn’t tap and that’s the thing — the reality is when you’re a fighter and it’s one of the reasons why this sport is as big as it is, because most of you guys don’t tap. Most of you guys stay in there and she did fight like a warrior,” White said.
“For that idiot to say he gave her the opportunity to be a warrior? No you moron, you’re in there to protect her from herself. [Mario Yamasaki] makes me sick. That guy has no business reffing fights and I promise you, you’re not going to see him again.”