Veteran MMA referee Mario Yamaaaki stopped by the MMAjunkie.com Radio studio hours before he officiated the UFC 141 main event between Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem.
"I think it's going to be great," Yamasaki told MMAjunkie.com Radio. "Two big guys in a huge fight. The aspect (I consider), Brock Lesnar is pretty aggressive, so this fight is going to go really fast. I don't know which way, but I don't think it goes past the first round."
"You don't want to make a mistake, especially now that [MMA] is worldwide and the fighters train all year and everything. As referees, we just try not to make mistakes."
"I'm watching their eyes, their hands, their movement – whether they're trying to protect themselves," said Yamasaki, who then referenced Dan Henderson's memorable win at UFC 100, in which Michael Bisping was blasted with an unneeded shot before Yamasaki could stop by the fight. "When a guy gets knocked down, it gives me time to get there and assess things. But sometimes it doesn't, like with Bisping.
"I would have stopped that fight earlier, but I didn't have the time to get there. But usually, that distance gives me enough time."
"When you stop it too early, there's always that thought, 'What if, what if? But it's part of the game. We're not machine, but you just want to keep guys from getting too hurt."
Read entire article...
Listen to entire interview...
Yamasaki did indeed stop the fight in the first, as predicted, but Dave Meltzer's F4Wonline says the remarks did not go over well.
Ref Mario Yamasaki is in hot water over comments he made predicting that the Lesnar vs. Overeem fight would end quickly, given he's the referee for the main event tonight and will be the person who has to step in to stop it provided it doesn't go five rounds.
Read entire article... (subscription)
MMA gear now available at the UG Store