Valentina Shevchenko defends UFC Belem stoppage: I wouldn’t change anything else

Referee Mario Yamasaki might the most unpopular man in MMA right now.

The MMA community brought out the torches and pitchforks after he let Valentina Shevchenko brutalize the grossly outmatched Priscila Cachoeira for far longer than necessary last Saturday, and the backlash hasn’t stopped since.

Of all the people to criticize Yamasaki, none did so with more ferocity than UFC President Dana White, who went so far as to promise we’ll never see the referee again.

“I think it’s disgusting,” White said on the latest episode of UFC Tonight. “I think he’s disgusting, and I never want to see him reffing ever again.”

“Most [fighters] stay in there, and [Cachoeira] did fight like a warrior. For that idiot to say he gave her the opportunity to be a warrior – no. No, you moron. You’re in there to protect her from herself.”

“He makes me sick,” White concluded. “That guy has no business reffing fights. And I promise you, you’re never going to see him again.”

Interestingly, however, Valentina Shevchenko herself seems to think the stoppage was fine. She believes the whole ordeal was more an issue of her opponent’s toughness than Yamasaki’s widely perceived ineptitude.

“I’m a fighter, and my job is to finish every fight,” she said on a recent episode of MMAJunkie Radio. “During the fight, I was just doing my job to make her quit. But every time she showed her character, she was moving and doing something. She didn’t want to quit easily. That’s why at the end of the second round, I knew I had to do more and went for the submission.

“I think the fight was right, and I wouldn’t change anything else.”

What’s your take on Valentina Shevchenko’s dominant win over Priscila Cachoeira? Should the fight have been stopped sooner?

This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 2/8/2018.

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