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Silva calls out ‘rude’ referee Jerin Valel for ‘cruel’ point deduction at UFC Vegas 20

Flyweight fighter Mayra Bueno Silva wasn’t happy about referee Jerin Valel’s officiating at UFC Vegas 20.

Mayra Bueno Silva has some words for referee Jerin Valel, who officiated her fight at UFC Vegas 20.
Mayra Bueno Silva has some words for referee Jerin Valel, who officiated her fight at UFC Vegas 20.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC flyweight Mayra Bueno Silva got the first draw result on her record on Saturday at UFC Vegas 20. It was a result of a blatant fence grab as she was being taken down by opponent Montana De La Rosa in the first round.

The fence grab prevented De La Rosa from completing the takedown. It was when referee Jerin Valel took action and deducted a point on Silva.

While she admitted to committing an error, “Sheetara” also called out Valel for not being “fair” in the judgment call he made. She pointed out the punches she absorbed at the back of the head in the second round, which De La Rosa only got a verbal warning for.

“I just wish he was fair,” Silva told MMA Fighting in a recent interview. “The same way he was fair with her by taking a point away from me, I don’t think he was fair with me when I took six punches to the back of the head.

“I made a mistake and he punished me by deducting a point, not even a verbal warning. She landed six punches to the back of the head and he punished her with three verbal warnings and no point deduction, so I think that math is wrong.

“I think he was too rude to me, but rules are there to be followed. I think he was quite rude. If you watch the video, I didn’t [hold the cage] for two seconds. I held it by instinct and immediately let it go. I think he was too cruel to me, but rules are rules. What can we do.”

Silva says the point deduction affected the way she performed thereafter.

“I was kind of lost after he took that point,” she said. “You’re not ready for something like that, to lose a point.

“I lost focus. I watched the entire fight yesterday and realized I lost focus after the point deduction, I lost strategy. I had to switch things up because I was already losing in there. I had no strategy, I went for a brawl. I was really shaken up with that point deduction.”

Here are MMA’s unified rules on fence grabs, which are considered fouls that warrant a point deduction:

When a fighter’s fingers or toes go through the cage and grab hold of the fence and start to control either their body position or their opponent’s body position, it now becomes an ILLEGAL action.


If a fighter is caught holding the fence, cage, or ring rope material, the referee shall issue a one-point deduction from the offending fighter's scorecard if the foul caused a substantial effect in the fight.

Judges Derek Cleary and Sal D’Amato both gave the bout a 28-28 tally. Judge Eric Colón, however, scored it 28-27 in favor of Silva and gave her a 10-8 tally for the final round.