A cage grab cost Mayra Bueno Silva the win at UFC Vegas 20, which took place Feb. 27 in Las Vegas. And even though she recognizes her mistake, “Sheetara” still doesn’t think referee Jerin Valel was entirely fair throughout her flyweight fight with Montana De La Rosa.
Silva says she grabbed the cage out of “instinct” when De La Rosa went for a takedown, so “I don’t think I have much to complain.” The point deduction led to a 9-9 first round on all the scorecards and a 28-28 draw for two judges.
“I just wish he was fair,” she said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “The same way he was fair with her by taking a point away from me, I don’t think he was fair with me when I took six punches to the back of the head [in the second round]. I made a mistake and he punished me by deducting a point, not even a verbal warning. She landed six punches to the back of the head and he punished her with three verbal warnings and no point deduction, so I think that math is wrong.”
“I think he was too rude to me, but rules are there to be followed,” she continued. “I think he was quite rude. If you watch the video, I didn’t [hold the cage] for two seconds. I held it by instinct and immediately let it go. I think he was too cruel to me, but rules are rules. What can we do.”
“Sheetara” will stay in Las Vegas to help her girlfriend Gloria de Paula prepare for her upcoming fight with Jinh Yu Frey at UFC Vegas 21 on March 13, and describes the feeling of leaving the octagon with a draw as “great for not losing, but terrible for not winning.”
“I was kind of lost after he took that point,” Silva said. “You’re not ready for something like that, to lose a point. I lost focus. I watched the entire fight yesterday and realized I lost focus after the point deduction, I lost strategy. I had to switch things up because I was already losing in there. I had no strategy, I went for a brawl. I was really shaken up with that point deduction.”
The Chute Boxe talent won’t discuss her next move right now, whether or not she wants to run it back with De La Rosa or move on to a different opponent. She won’t contact the Nevada Athletic Commission about not having Jerin Valel as a referee again either.
“Everybody makes mistakes,” she said of Valel. “This is a good opportunity for him to grow, to become more professional and maybe become one of the best referees in the UFC. I just hope he looks back at this mistake and doesn’t make it again because we know how hard we work to win a fight, and it’s not easy. It probably isn’t easy for him either, but I just want him to think about it and be more fair when he punishes other people. May this be a lesson for him, more than for me.”