Dana White Slams Mario Yamasaki After Kevin Lee Stoppage Win over Michael Chiesa

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2017

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 28: UFC President Dana White speaks to the media during the UFC 207 Ultimate Media Day at T-Mobile Arena on December 28, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

UFC chief Dana White has lambasted referee Mario Yamasaki after the official's controversial call in UFC Fight Night 112's main event between Kevin Lee and Michael Chiesa.

Yamasaki came in for criticism after he called the bout in favour of Lee after he had secured a rear-naked choke on Chiesa near the end of Round 1; Chiesa, however, didn't appear to tap out or lose consciousness.

Needless to say, White wasn't pleased with the decision when he reflected on the fight on Instagram *Warning, contains expletive language*:

As reported by MMA Junkie, White referred to Yamasaki as "Mazzagatti" in his social media post in reference to referee Steve Mazzagatti, who he has criticised in the past, too.

Here is a look back at the controversial stoppage that saw Lee take a big win at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, per Fox Sports: UFC:


Was it a legit finish? Kevin Lee with a submission on Michael Chiesa that we'll be talking about for awhile! #UFCOKC https://t.co/mOFBUonnem

After the call, there are audible boos from the crowd, while Chiesa can be seen exclaiming that he "didn't tap."

In the post-fight press conference the beaten man said Yamasaki should "never referee again" after this controversial call, per MMA journalist Mike Bohn.

Lee was in control of the bout for much of the first round, and given the hold was locked in tight, it's likely the contest would have ended with this manoeuvre anyway.

However, as noted by referee John McCarthy, in line with UFC laws, the fight was ended prematurely:

Big John McCarthy @JohnMcCarthyMMA

In pro fights we don't stop a submission unless we have a tapout, the fighter goes unconscious or we see damage like a dislocation #AskBJM https://t.co/DszDIGVlcW

MMA journalist Luke Thomas was one of the few on social media to show some sympathy for the maligned referee:

Luke Thomas @lthomasnews

The problem is that it seemed like Yamasaki never made verbal or physical attempts to verify if Chiesa was actually out.

As noted by the initial source, Chiesa suggested he would be keen on a rematch in December after this controversial ending. However, Lee made it clear he wants to take on the impressive Khabib Nurmagomedov next.


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