The great thing about reffing an unregulated event is that you just collect a paycheck and fuck off. There’s no ‘being accountable’ for your actions, there’s no commission to face afterwards. Instead of ‘the safety of the fighters’ being your number one concern, your main concern is whatever you feel like. In Mario Yamasaki’s case at EliteXC Uprising, it seemed like he was mainly concerned with getting someone killed.
First, there was the Shields/Verissimo fight: For thirty seconds, Jake Shields sat in full mount on Verissimo and unloaded over 60 unanswered punches. No, I’m not exaggerating … i went back and counted. Yamasaki stood watching, waiting for the ‘oh fuck I’m stuck’ look in Verissimo’s eyes to change to the ‘who am I / where am I / I can has cheeseburger’ look.
Next up we have the Robbie Lawler vs Ninja Rua fight. Lawler dropped Ninja with a pretty brutal combo and then went in for the kill. While Lawler pounded away, Ninja waved his hands in the air like he just didn’t care. He looked like an epileptic Jim Henson puppet rather than a fighter intelligently defending himself. After Yamasaki stopped it, Matt Hughes did a very Christian thing and took Yamasaki to task for allowing Ninja to turn the other cheek … and the other, and the other, and the other:
Though his man had won, former UFC champ Matt Hughes (Pictures) charged into the cage, where he got into Yamasaki’s face and berated the official for letting the fight continue the way it had.
Anyways, it sucks that you’ve got refs like Herb Dean stopping fights too early and guys like Yamasaki who won’t stop the fight until someone’s been beaten half dead. Is there any high profile ref out there who consistently hits the sweet spot?
**UPDATE** I had to remove a whole paragraph of fun because once again I’m a stupid retard who doesn’t fact check my work. I accused Yamasaki of being the ref in the Heath/Sobral fight, when it was obviously Pornstache Mazzagatti. Thanks to the better educated Ryan for correcting me, and not being mean about it!