'I allowed her to be a warrior!' Ref in charge of bloody UFC bout defends his officiating

The referee who was in charge of a bloody mixed martial arts fight at UFC Fight Night 125 on the weekend has spoken out about his decision-making in the bout where he allowed the fight to continue despite safety concerns for one of the fighters.

Mario Yamasaki said in a statement after the co-main event between Valentina Shevchenko and Priscila Cachoeira on Sunday he wanted to give Cachoeira every chance to come back before stopping the fight.

"During the second round, I signaled to Cachoeira that if she didn't move I'd stop the fight, and every time I'd stop, I told her and she moved to try to escape from the punches.

"Unfortunately, I also can't control the number of blows thrown — again, when a fighter is trying to come back she's game."

Shevchenko dominated the fight from start until the submission finish late in the second round, with the UFC recording she landed 230 punches in just under two rounds compared to Cachoeira's three.

But Yamasaki said it was all part of the journey for Cachoeira.

"Fighters go through times of hard effort and dedication to be there. MMA is a contact sport and no fighter likes his fight to be stopped with no chance to revert the result.

"In my opinion, I allowed her to be a warrior and keep fighting. I could have stopped the fight in the second crucifix or in the mount, but she moved the whole time."

Yamasaki was heavily criticised by UFC boss Dana White for how he handled the fight between Shevchenko and Cachoeira.

"I am hoping after this scary, incompetent showing [Yamasaki] hopefully will never set foot in that Octagon again," White wrote after the fight.

Cachoeira received a potential six month medical suspension after the fight and is reportedly looking at surgery for tears in her ACL and meniscus.


'I hope he's fit' - Anthony Joshua warns Joseph Parker not to get dropped in early rounds and disappoint public

Anthony Joshua has sent a message to Kiwi WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker, telling him to turn up to their unification fight next month fit and ready to give their fans a show.

Joshua, 28, spoke to SKY Sports UK and said Parker better give the people what they want, an entertaining fight.

"I hope he is training well, I hope he's fit," said Joshua.

"Because you know what it is right, people wait 10-12 weeks for us to come together and no one wants to lay down the first or second round."

The two unbeaten champions will face off in Cardiff on April 1.
Source: 1 NEWS

Parker, 26, takes on Joshua at the end of next month at Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

"I hope he’s fit and he’s ready for a good fight because I am."

Joshua holds the IBF, WBA and IBO heavyweight titles, the winner out of Parker and Joshua moves one step closer to becoming the first undisputed heavyweight world champion since British boxer Lennox Lewis in 1999.


Graphic warning: Ref under fire for not ending bout despite fighter pummelling UFC rival's bloodied face continuously

UFC boss Dana White has slammed a referee officiating at Sunday's UFC Fight Night in Belem, Brazil for failing to end a bout, labelling his decision-making at the event as "disgusting".

White couldn't believe Mario Yamasaki allowed the flyweight bout between Priscila Cachoeira and Valentina Shevchenko to continue despite Cachoeira continuously copping blows to the head and bleeding significantly throughout the fight.

The UFC president said on social media after the fight Yamasaki should never step foot in an octagon again, adding Shevchenko landed 230 punches in the fight compared to just three landed by Cachoeira.

"Priscila Cachoeira, you showed so much heart and toughness in that fight," White wrote on Instagram.

"I'm honoured to have you fight in the UFC. Unfortunately the ref is there to protect you and Mario DID NOT do that."

White said despite his position in the UFC, he wouldn't have a final say on Yamasaki's future.

"Another unfortunate thing is that i can’t do anything about it - only the Brazilian commission can and I am hoping after this scary, incompetent showing he hopefully will never set foot in that Octagon again."

Shevchenko eventually ended the fight near the end the second round with a submission, using the rear naked choke hold to make Cachoeira tap out.

Cachoeira is reportedly looking at surgery for ACL and meniscus tears following the loss.