Valentina Shevchenko made her flyweight debut in the UFC over the weekend and put on a commanding performance as she outclassed Priscilla Cachoeira. But the main talking point of the fight was the referee Mario Yamasaki. Shevchenko was utterly dominant in the match up which ended up lasting late into the second round, but many thought the referee should have stepped in before Shevchenko submitted Cachoeira.
Dana White took to Instagram to praise Cachoeira for her resilience but also to criticised Yamasaki for not protecting the Brazilian:
Priscilla Cachoeira, you showed so much heart and toughness in that fight. I’m honored to have you fight in the UFC. Unfortunately the ref is there to protect you and Mario DID NOT do that. This isn’t his first disgusting performance in the octagon. Another unfortunate thing is that i can’t do anything about I️t only the Brazilian commission can and i am hoping after this scary, incompetent showing he hopefully will never set foot in that Octagon again. Strikes landed was 230-3.
That strikes landed stat really tells you all you need to know. Take a look at the submission below:
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) February 4, 2018
Journalists and fighters alike were similarly damning in their assessment of Yamasaki's performance:
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) February 4, 2018
Ohhhhhh...The 1 strike is the reason Yamasaki didn’t stop the fight. https://t.co/Wl7HkAX3vs
— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) February 4, 2018
And yet I feel totally confident that regulators will fail to do anything, wait out the controversy, and continue to hire Mario.
— Steven Marrocco (@MMAjunkieSteven) February 4, 2018
— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocicufc) February 4, 2018
In the aftermath of the controversy, UFC executive David Shaw told reporters the promotion was “a little upset” and stated that the UFC will work with Brazil’s athletic commission to avoid another controversial stoppage like the one seen in UFC Fight Night 125’s co-headliner.
We’ll be working with the commission to make sure a situation like that doesn’t happen again. First and foremost, Priscilla’s health is the No. 1 priority. We’ve got a team with her at the hospital, and we’ll be taking very good care of her to make sure she recovers quickly.