After seeing the main event finish at UFC Halifax, the debate about referees has become more intense. Following a week which saw a number of fumbles in the UFC and other organizations, UFC Halifax was the icing on the cake.
Following the terrible refereeing at UFC 208, we hoped that Mario Yamasaki could claw back some integrity for refs. Unfortunately it was the exact opposite. Derrick Lewis vs. Travis Browne was the main event, and the finish was not pretty.
Lewis Smashed Browne
Laying already out cold on the canvas, Browne took a number of un-needed shots from Lewis. ‘Black Beast’ got it done in round two, but there was criticism of Yamasaki for his late stoppage.
Having experienced an intense rivalry with Browne, Lewis would later thank Yamasaki for allowing the fight to go on longer.
Lewis Claims Browne Beats Women
“I appreciate it. Where Yamasaki at? I appreciate it, I appreciated him letting the fight go a little longer than what it should. I just wanted to get my anger out on Travis’ face because he likes to hit on women. So I appreciate him for doing that. I keep it real.”
Responding to critics of the UFC Halifax main event, referee Mario Yamasaki gave a bizarre statement to MMAFighting.com:
“Right in the moment, I already knew that I allowed two extra punches,” Yamasaki told MMA Fighting, “but the reaction time from a heavyweight is different than a lighter fighter. So when (Lewis) landed the punch where (Browne) went out, he was able to land two more before I came in to stop the fight. But, for sure, I should have stopped it a little earlier. Everyone has his days, and I can’t give excuses.”
“It’s hard to please everyone,” Yamasaki said of the debate between early and late stoppages. “I try to be as consistent as possible, but sometimes you can’t. I wanted to give him another chance because early in the fight he was getting knocked out standing and he said ‘I’m fine, I’m fine,’ and I saw that he was trying to defend himself so I let him continue, and on the ground, it went a little longer.
“I’m sure that Browne likes that we let the fight go on a little longer so he has a chance to come back,” he continued. “No fighter likes early stoppages, but it happens. There’s no excuse. I know I should have stopped it earlier, but it was so fast I couldn’t stop it.”