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Dana White hopes Mario Yamasaki won’t ref another UFC fight after Shevchenko-Cachoeira

UFC president Dana White was among many who criticized referee Mario Yamasaki and his refusal to stop Valentina Shevchenko from bludgeoning Priscila Cachoeira.

UFC Fight Night: Shevchenko v Cachoeira Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

In the UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Anders co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko was a massive favorite to defeat the undefeated but untested and woefully overmatched Priscila Cachoeira. As expected, Shevchenko won in dominant fashion, destroying the Brazilian practically from the opening seconds, then submitting her with a rear-naked choke at the end of round 2.

Most observers felt that this one could’ve been stopped much, much, much sooner by referee Mario Yamasaki. FightMetric listed the total strike count as 230-3 in favor of Shevchenko, with a comically lopsided 95-2 count in significant strikes. Cachoeira’s face was bloodied in round 1 from numerous elbows, and she was mauled on the ground from the crucifix position in round 2. Yamasaki didn’t intervene, and perhaps wouldn’t have intervened if not for Shevchenko switching things up and going for the choke and not the TKO.

UFC president Dana White went on Instagram and first praised Cachoeira for her toughness, then ripped into Yamasaki for his performance.

“Priscilla Cachoeira, you showed so much heart and toughness in that fight,” White wrote. “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.”

On FS1’s post-fight show, analyst Yves Edwards also called Yamasaki the worst referee in the sport.

Yamasaki has been the subject of criticism for several questionable decisions in previous fights, including last year’s Derrick Lewis vs. Travis Browne fight at UFC Halifax, as well as Kevin Lee’s rear-naked choke of Michael Chiesa at UFC Oklahoma City, but he’s certainly developed a reputation for late stoppages (or no stoppage, in the case of Shevchenko-Cachoeira) over the years.

UFC executive David Shaw had this to say in the post-fight press conference.

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