UFC Fight Night Belem was a night of great action for MMA fans, but controversy did find a way to insert itself during the co-main event fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Priscila Cachoeira.
The fight was a demonstration in unnecessary blood letting after referee Mario Yamasaki apparently didn’t know when to stop the fight until Cachoeira tapped out to a rear naked choke in the second round.
Yamasaki has since issued a statement on the matter and now the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) has issued one of their own on the matter to MMA Fighting:
The Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) has discussed the stoppage with referee Mario Yamasaki at the post-fight meeting held at venue with all of the officials assigned for the event. We made it clear all of our concerns regarding the incident.
Priscilla Cachoeira demonstrated toughness and heart during the two rounds but those are two attitudes that should not interfere or confuse the referee when it comes to stoppages. In the first round, in the last couple of minutes, it was clear that Priscilla could not defend herself efficiently nor technically. That reflected directly on the judges scores, all three giving it a 10-8. Round two was the same, but obviously with Priscilla not physically recovered enough from the previous round to demonstrate her chance against Valentina, the fight should have been called off right in the initial moments. And if the fight wasn’t called off, it would have been a clear 10-7, due to what we considered a overwhelming dominance and significant impact in the round.
As to the matchmaking, the fight was approved by CABMMA. If it was not well matched and that being evidently demonstrated during the fight, it should have been identified by the referee in charge, as he is the highest authority in that moment, whose role is to protect the fighter at all times including stopping the fight at the proper moment.
CABMMA understands that errors can occur from all aspects, but they should be recognized and corrected, to avoid similar cases in the future. And in a sport where the main concern is the fighter’s health and integrity, from the regulator’s standpoint we should do everything possible to minimize the risk of a scenario such as the one of this weekend.
Mario Yamasaki has been one of the best referees in MMA for the past decade and played a key role in helping our commission build the team of officials. We will discuss the next steps together and decide what is certainly best for all parts involved in the process.
More controversy ensued when it was revealed that Cachoeira’s corner allowed the fight to continue after their fighter let them know that she had suffered a knee injury in the first round.
Cachoeira has come out in defense of her corner through Instagram:
Fala galera , passando pra dizer que está tudo bem, demorei a falar pois não estava com o cel e estava no hospital...Então... Vamos lá, peço perdão aos meus fãs e amigos e familiares que fizeram uma festa para vê a minha luta.. Peguei uma lutadora duríssima que no qual eu sou fã, e na hora da luta eu não fui a verdadeira Pedrita, Quem me conhece e está presente no meu dia a dia sabe oque eu poderia render..E mesmo tendo lesionado o joelho logo no comecinho da luta fui até o final porque não sei oque é desistir.. Vou ter que fazer cirurgia no ligamento cruzado e menisco... E Tem muita gente falando sobre eu ter lutado contra a top 1 e etc , que o mestre me mandou calar a boca e bla blá kkkk...Vamos lá.. LUTO CONTRA QUALQUER LUTADORA DO MUNDO, NÃO IMPORTA A POSIÇÃO QUE ELA OCUPE... LUTARIA COM A VALENTINA MAIS 10 VEZES SEM PENSAR DUAS VEZES..QUEM ESCOLHE BATALHA FÁCIL NÃO É UM VERDADEIRO GUERREIRO....E O TRATAMENTO E A INTIMIDADE QUE EU TENHO COM O MEU MESTRE ..QUEM TA DE FORA NÃO CONHECE NADA PARA CRÍTICAR ..AQUI NÃO É MESTRE E ALUNA.. É PAI E FILHA ..E NÃO SERA NINGUEM QUE IRA DIZER COMO ELE DEVE ME TRATAR.. E SOBRE JOGAR A TOALHA... AQUI É PRVT, E QUEM CONHECE OS MEUS LIMITES SOMOS NÓS ...JOGAR A TOALHA JAMAIS -- OBRIGADO A TODOS PELAS MENSAGENS DE CARINHO E APOIO QUE VENHO RECEBENDO, TENHO CERTEZA QUE GANHEI UMA FAMÍLIA PARA O RESTO DA VIDA ,E QUEM TA CRITICANDO , NÃO TO NEM AI , VOU VOLTAR MAIS FORTE..--."""""""NÃO SERÁ UM MOMENTO QUE IRA APAGAR UMA HISTÓRIA'""""" . . . #ufcbelem #ettosuplementos #canalcombate #prvtnoufc #prvt #prvtgirls #sportv #ufc #ensaio #photography #belem #brasil #riodejaneiro #mma #wmma #pedritanoufc #zombiegirl
Here is a translation of what Cachoeira wrote, provided by Google Translate:
Talk to people, going to say that everything is fine, I delayed talking because I was not with the cel and I was in the hospital ... So ... Come on, I apologize to my fans and friends and family who had a party to see the my fight .. I got a very tough fighter that I'm a fan of, and at the time of the fight I was not the real Pedrita, Who knows me and is present in my day to day know what I could render .. And even having injured the knee soon at the beginning of the fight I went to the end because I do not know what it is to give up .. I will have to do surgery on the cruciate ligament and meniscus ... And There are a lot of people talking about I have fought against the top 1 and etc., that the master told me to shut up and blah blah blah ... come on .. FIGHT AGAINST ANY FIGHTER OF THE WORLD, DO NOT MATTER THE POSITION THAT IT OCCUPE ... WOULD FIGHT WITH VALENTINA MORE 10 TIMES WITHOUT THINKING TWICE ... WHO CHOOSE EASY BATTLE IT IS NOT A TRUE WARRIOR ... AND THE TREATMENT AND INTIMACY I HAVE WITH MY MASTER ... THAT M TA FROM OUTSIDE DOES NOT KNOW ANYTHING TO CRITICIZE .. THERE IS NO MASTER AND STUDENT .. IS A FATHER AND DAUGHTER .. AND IT WILL NOT BE ANYONE WHO WILL SAY HOW HE SHOULD TREAT ME .. AND ABOUT TO PLAY THE TOWEL ... HERE IS PRVT , AND WHO KNOWS MY LIMITS WE ARE ... PLAYING THE TOWEL EVERYTHING THANK YOU TO ALL OF THE MESSAGES OF CARING AND SUPPORT I'VE RECEIVED, I'M SURE THAT I GAVE A FAMILY FOR THE REST OF LIFE, AND WHO IS CRITICIZING, NOT TOO I WILL BE STRONGER. "" "" "" "IT WILL NOT BE A MOMENT THAT WILL DELETE A HISTORY '" "" "" "
The fighter is expected to get surgery on the injured knee in the near future and it is unknown just how long she’ll be out of action.
There has also been no punishment levied against Yamasaki at this time and it is unknown if any will get issued to him.