Meet Fernando Yamasaki. He’s Mario Yamasaki’s sibling, and on Saturday night the Yamasaki brothers reffed it up together at the UFC on Versus show. Unfortunately, the also sucked it up. Both brothers were responsible for some seriously shite stoppages. Let’s walk through em:
Mario screws up Walel Watson vs Joseph Sandoval: The opening fight of the night was stopped just 1 minute and 17 seconds in as Watson pushed forward aggressively with strikes and knocked Sandoval on his ass. But Sandoval was already scrambling to grab Watson’s legs when Yamasaki stepped in and stopped the fight. Premature, Mario. Premature.
Fernando screws up TJ Grant vs Shane Roller: This fight of the night candidate was stopped early when Grant transitioned from a choke to armbar. Roller was defending by clasping his hands together and was actively fighting the submission when Fernando stepped in and stopped things. Prematurely!
Mario screws up Rafaello Oliveira’s brain: While Rafaello Oliveira’s standup has improved enough that he was able to get through round 1 with Yves Edwards on his feet, the strategy was doomed to failure from the start. In round 2 Edwards hurt Oliveira and from there embarked on an epic journey of whoop-ass across the cage, hitting Tractor with punches from all angles, kicks to the face, and basically the kitchen sink. In the end Rafaello lay dazed and confused with his arm pinned behind his back as Edwards unleashed 22 unanswered blows before Mario stepped in. Late stoppage, ref!
Mario screws up Anthony Johnson vs Charlie Brenneman: It was pretty clear that Rumble was owning Charlie Brenneman from the opening bell of the fight. Things started off with Johnson pinning Brenneman’s head to the mat with his arm and unleashing a good minute’s worth of pain. Brenneman seemed quite confused as to how to escape the position, and when he finally did it was only to be met with a kick straight to the face that dropped him on his butt. Mario Yamasaki stepped in to stop the fight before Brenneman even hit the ground, which is too bad because Charlie caught his fall with his elbows and was never out. It may have just sped up the inevitable, but again: PREMATURE STOPPAGE, MARIO!
So between our two Yamasaki brothers we had four finishes fluffed. That’s four fights out of a ten fight card. Pretty impressive percentage considering there were two other refs working the night as well. Some stoppages were worse than others – Sandoval and Brenneman were probably about 30 seconds away from legit stoppages. But this is MMA, where anything can happen. Just ask lightweight champ Frankie Edgar. These guys deserve a chance to fight until they can’t fights no more. More importantly, they deserve referees who can accurately determine when that is. Otherwise we get stupid premature stoppages like TJ Grant vs Shane Roller or crazy dangerous ones like Yves Edwards vs Rafaello Oliveira.