One can only imagine being in the room when Dana White was watching the UFC Fight Night 112 main event Sunday night.
Kevin Lee locked in a rear-naked choke on Michael Chiesa in the waning seconds of the first round. Before Chiesa could tap or go unconscious, both of which would signal the end of the fight, referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the action and gave Lee a submission victory in Oklahoma City.
Was Chiesa on the way to going unconscious from the choke? Maybe, but we’ll never find out. Yamasaki prematurely ended the bout between two of the top lightweights in the world and an obviously livid White absolutely undressed him in a scathing post on social media.
Mario Mazzagatti does it again!!! This guy is more concerned with doing this dumb ass heart bullshit then Ref'n the fight!!! Steals a great moment from Lee or let Mike fight it or tap. Nobody gives a shit that u can make a heart with ur hands like a 12 year old girl they want u to pay attention to what's going on in the fight and do ur job.
White refereed to Yamasaki as “Mario Mazzagatti,” in a reference to now little-used ref Steve Mazzagatti, who made a series of poor calls in his career. Yamasaki has been panned multiple times over the last few years about late stoppages and this was an early one.
In the post, White pointed out Yamasaki’s trademark move of making a heart with his hands for the camera before every round.
“This guy is more concerned with doing this dumb ass heart bullshit then Ref'n the fight!!!” White wrote. … “Nobody gives a shit that u can make a heart with ur hands like a 12 year old girl they want u to pay attention to what's going on in the fight and do ur job.”
It’s worth noting that the UFC does not assign referees or judges. That duty falls on the athletic commission regulating the event, in this case the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission (OSAC). Yamasaki gets high-profile fights in many places, though, not just Oklahoma.
On the FS1 post-fight show, Chiesa said Yamasaki “should never officiate again.”