Mario Yamasaki agrees with the critics after Sunday’s UFC Fight Night event in Halifax.
The Brazilian referee was the third man in the cage for the main event bout featuring Derrick Lewis and Travis Browne in Canada, and was blasted when he allowed “The Black Beast” to land a couple of punches after Browne was already done on the ground.
At the post-fight press conference, Lewis even thanked the referee for letting him punch his opponent a few more times.
“I appreciate it,” Lewis said. “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.”
Two days after the UFC Fight Night 105 main event, Yamasaki, who hasn't watched the fight yet after traveling back to Brazil, admits that he made a mistake.
"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."
Sunday night marked the fourth time Yamasaki has refereed Browne’s fights in the Octagon. In one of his previous ones, Browne was almost finished by Alistair Overeem, but came back to win by knockout in 2013.
"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."