Michael Chiesa has been angry with referee Mario Yamasaki after the perceived early stoppage against Kevin Lee in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Oklahoma City.
The fighter now wants to settle things with the longtime referee and he has challenged him to a grappling match.
“Onnit is having an invitational on Sept. 30, so this is my open challenge to Yamasaki,” Chiesa said on The MMA Hour. “I would like to test his fifth degree black belt in a friendly grappling match and let’s see if he’s what he says he is. And I’m not saying it in a hostile way, I’m saying, ‘hey, if you’re a fifth degree black belt, you should back up for the decisions you made.’ As a martial artist myself, that’s my open challenge to him, to headline Onnit Invitational on Sept. 30.”
Yamasaki is over 50 years old now and he is a fifth degree black belt, but he has never competed at an Onnit event before.
Upon receiving word of the challenge from Chiesa, the longtime referee has no interest in fighting the “childish” lightweight.
"I’m 53 years old, I don’t train anymore, how am I going to do this?” Yamasaki said to MMA Fighting. "And what’s the point of him fighting me? What would that change? What does he want to prove? It’s childish. Even if he catches me or if I catch him, that won’t change anything that happened in his fight. What is he trying to prove? If he gives me some time to train, I’d grapple with him. Tell him to come to my academy, no problem. I have 10 academies in the United States, he can come any time he wants.”
It would seem for now that the longtime referee and the UFC lightweight fighter will have to leave their differences unresolved.