Category Archives: Michael Chiesa

'He smoke too much:' Mairbek Taisumov's callout of Nate Diaz, others was as great as his KO win

It’s clear Mairbek Taisumov had a lot of pent up emotions following a career-long layoff ahead of UFC Fight Night 115. From his performance to his post-fight interview, he let it all out.

Taisumov (26-5 MMA, 6-1 UFC) picked up his fifth consecutive win in the lightweight division – all by stoppage – when he put Felipe Silva (8-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) away in just 84 seconds at UFC Fight Night 115, which took place at Ahoy Rotterdam in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Following his incredible one-punch finish, Taisumov put the 155-pound division on notice.

“Really happy to be back in this octagon,” Taisumov told UFC commentator Dan Hardy. “I say this before, and I’m going to tell this again: I’m here not to talk, I’m here to smash, smash anyone who steps into the octagon with me. I need top 10 (opponent). I need top 10. Anyone. These guys don’t want to fight me. I ask all top-10 fighters; nobody want to fight me. I am five finishes in a row, all knockouts, TKOs. Hey, UFC, Sean (Shelby), I think I deserve that.”

Taisumov followed that energetic statement by naming a few specific foes he would like to get his hands on next. Michael Chiesa and former champ Anthony Pettis were among those, but no callout had the zest of that directed at Nate Diaz.

“Michael Chiesa, he say if I beat someone else he wants to fight me,” Taisumov said. “But since I finish three guys in a row, he doesn’t answer anymore. Anthony Pettis, he says I’m not famous enough to fight me. (Nate) Diaz says he’s the best, Nate Diaz is the best; he says if UFC pays him $20 million he’s going to fight me in my home country, but I think he smoke too much.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 115, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Source: MMA Junkie

OSAC dismisses Michael Chiesa's appeal to overturn controversial UFC Fight Night 112 loss

Controversial or not, Kevin Lee’s rear-naked choke finish of Michael Chiesa at UFC Fight Night 112 will stand.

After discussing Chiesa’s (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) request for a formal hearing to try and change Lee’s (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) submission win into a no-contest, the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission decided there “wasn’t enough evidence” to overturn referee Mario Yamasaki’s decision to stop the headlining contest in the first round.

The lightweight bout took place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City on June 25.

In a statement obtained by MMAjunkie, OSAC administrator Joe Miller wrote that officials reviewed the tape of the bout “in detail” and read the statements from both Chiesa and Yamasaki before the consensus ruling.

“In the referee’s opinion, just prior to the stoppage, your hands stopped defending the choke, were in mid-air, wobbly and limp, and were moving toward your waist,” the statement read. “This is confirmed by watching the tape in super slow motion.

“The referee had no way to know that you were actually relaxing, engaging your core and shoulders to shrug or release the pressure and flex your neck muscles. At that point, he was in perfect position and acted to what he was seeing.”

Chiesa cited Yamasaki’s “long history of failing to meet the standards officials are held to” in his formal appeal. The lightweight was very vocal in his outrage with the ref’s stoppage from the get-go, claiming he was never unconscious and was still defending himself. UFC president Dana White shared the lightweight’s discontentment.

Yamasaki, in turn, stood by the decision in an interview with MMAjunkie. The ref maintained that it’s his job to intervene whenever a fighter is no longer capable of intelligently defending themselves, and said that he stepped in as soon as Chiesa “went out.”

The OSAC administrator, however, did agree with Chiesa in another bit of his appeal – in which the fighter said the ref failed to see a number of “illegal downward elbows” that later required stitches.

“I do concur that two 12-to-6 elbows were thrown,” the statement said. “But those strikes did not impact the outcome of the bout and I have addressed this mistake with Mr. Yamasaki.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Why Mario Yamasaki still stands by that controversial Kevin Lee-Michael Chiesa stoppage

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When you’re a referee in any sport, criticism kind of comes with the territory. After two decades on the job, MMA ref Mario Yamasaki is taking his freshest batch of it in stride.

Yamasaki saw himself at the center of yet another controversy on June 25, when a first-round stoppage of UFC Fight Night 112’s lightweight headliner between Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) and Michael Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) sparked some doubts.

While Lee did seem to have the rear-naked choke secured – and later stood by the finish and the ref’s call (check out the video above) – Chiesa never tapped or verbally submitted.

Chiesa was quick to express his outrage. While still up in the octagon, he said Yamasaki should be fired. Later, he went off on the ref, firmly stating that he was still defending himself. UFC President Dana White shared Chiesa’s wrath and compared Yamasaki to his notoriously least favorite ref, Steve Mazzagatti.

A few weeks later, Yamasaki has had enough time to go back on the events of that evening. And he’s standing by his call.

“It would have been easier to just have let it go on,” Yamasaki told MMAjunkie. “But the rule is clear, and when the fighters stop defending themselves intelligently, the referee must defend them. They don’t have to tap. As soon as he went out, I intervened. I’ve been in this business for over 20 years, and I know what I saw.”

Chiesa, in turn, maintains he never lost consciousness – as stated in the formal appeal he later filed with the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission. The lightweight also noted other alleged oversights made by Yamasaki during the scrap and cited past mistakes by the ref to substantiate his official filing.

Whether the commission might end up overturning the fight, Yamasaki doesn’t think is his place to tell. But he both trusts the commission’s process and defends Chiesa’s right to seek due diligence.

“The athletic commission has already gotten in touch with me so I can respond to what happened,” Yamasaki said. “I think he’s within his right to appeal. Chiesa is a great athlete, certainly one of the best in the world. The commission will assess what happened,, and I’m certain they’ll make the best possible decision.

“Our intention is not to harm anyone. I’ll keep doing my job ethically and certain of what is correct. That’s why I’ve stayed there for years.”

Yamasaki is understanding when it comes to Chiesa’s in-octagon outburst. Considering all the training put into that one moment, he said, the eventual hot-headed reaction is to be expected – and it’s part of the ref’s job to understand people respond to things differently.

And as far as the criticism – including the UFC president’s quite public and inflamed one – goes? Well, much like any other human being, Yamasaki is not necessarily a fan of getting called out. But, considering this is not his first rodeo, he doesn’t take it too personally.

“No one likes being criticized,” Yamasaki said. “Of course it gets to you. We like to get compliments. (But) it’s part of the job. Dana is a great businessman and promoter of the event, and he has the right to express his opinions. Considering I’ve been there for 20 years, I’ve learned a lot with time.

“It’s part of it that fans believe that they’re high-level athletes, that they (think they) know all the rules and that they can do what they see onscreen. I know how to deal with it, and it’s part of the job.”

Referees have to make quick decisions based on their point of view. That leaves room for subjectivity and, consequently, human error. And as much as he’s learned to take criticism in stride, that doesn’t mean he’s immune to his own when he does, in fact, make mistakes.

“I like to re-watch and go back on controversial fights,” Yamasaki said. “I get very upset, because I’m an athlete and fighter (Yamasaki is a jiu-jitsu black belt) before I’m a referee. I know exactly what they’re going through, and like I said, I’m always learning and evolving.

“We can’t be hypocrites. We need to correct things so we can move forward. People who think they know it all will get stuck and become outdated. Life goes by so fast. If we don’t keep up, we’ll fall behind.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Michael Chiesa formally appeals UFC Fight Night 112 loss, cites Mario Yamasaki failure to meet officiating standards

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Just as he promised, Michael Chiesa has indeed filed a formal appeal of his loss to Kevin Lee, seeking to have the result overturned to a no contest.

MMAjunkie today confirmed with Chiesa’s manager, Daniel Rubenstein of Ruby Sports & Entertainment, that the lightweight has asked the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission to review the UFC Fight Night 112 bout, which took place this past Sunday at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

Chiesa specifically cited referee Mario Yamasaki’s “long history of failing to meet the standards officials are held to” in his request.

“While I understand that mixed martial arts referees have a very difficult job, licensed combatants like me enter into combative contests with the understanding that referees will follow highest standard of conduct,” Chiesa wrote in his appeal. “Mario Yamasaki, the referee in this contest, has a long history of failing to meet the standards officials are held to. For example, at UFC 142, Mr. Yamasaki improperly disqualified Erick Silva in a contest against Carlo Prater. Recently, at UFC Fight Night 105, Mr. Yamasaki publically (sic) said he had ‘no excuses’ for his late stoppage in the main event bout between Travis Browne and Derrick Lewis.

“In my fight with Kevin Lee, Mr. Yamasaki made multiple failures, oversights, and errors in officiating that ultimately led to this unfortunate circumstance. To be clear – I did not tap, I did not verbally submit, I was not knocked unconscious, and at no point did I go unconscious. At all times, I used my years of experience and training to intelligently defend myself. The first such failure to properly implement the rules occurred when Mr. Yamasaki did not warn, penalize, or otherwise follow professional guidelines when Kevin Lee landed numerous illegal downward elbows while I was backmounted at 3:46 of the first round [see in a replay of the fight that his elbow goes directly north to south (foul pursuant to Oklahoma Administrative Code 92:10-11-7:a9)]. These illegal strikes cut my head open, and I required 4 stitches after the fight was over.”

OSAC administrator Joe Miller confirmed he has received the request and will review the bout before potentially presenting it to the commission.

“I will review video of fight then present video to full commission if warranted,” Miller stated. “If commission sees merit in the appeal, a hearing will be conducted.”

Chiesa was outraged immediately following the loss, calling for Yamasaki’s termination. UFC President Dana White chimed in with his frustrations, as well, after Yamasaki called an end to the contest via technical submission when he believed Chiesa went unconscious due to a rear-naked choke. Chiesa contends that simply was not the case and outlines his actions in his appeal.

“Initially, my opponent utilized a traditional rear-naked choke grip,” Chiesa stated. “I fought this grip with what is commonly referred to as ‘hand fighting,’ pulling down the top of his hand in an effort to break the grip. My opponent then engaged an entirely different grip – ‘palm to palm.’ Because of the location of the grip, the defense to this form of rear-naked choke is entirely different.

“As a practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for more than a decade, I engaged my years of experience by (1) relaxing, (2) engaging my core and shoulders to “shrug” to release some pressure and (3) flex my neck muscles. It may not look pretty, but the positioning provides three important benefits (1) allowing increased blood flow and breathing ability, (2) creating space to ‘turn in’ to the opponent, and (3) forcing the opponent to exhaust strength to pursue a finish that may never come. I was in this specific position for less than two seconds before Mr. Yamasaki wrongfully ended the contest. Mr. Yamasaki offered no warnings that he may stop the bout and did not make any effort to check my condition or offer any verbal commands of any kind. As you will see on replays, I was not only awake, but animated. Again, I did not tap, I did not verbally submit, I was not knocked unconscious and at no point did I go unconscious.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings, June 27: Welcome to the top-10, Kevin Lee

It certainly won’t come as welcome news to Michael Chiesa, but Kevin Lee is now in the top-10 of the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings.

Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC), of course, scored a controversial submission win over Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) in the main event of this past weekend’s UFC Fight Night 112 event, improving his record to 9-1 in his past 10 octagon outings – good enough to move into the top-10 in the world.

That move was just one of several resulting from a busy weekend of MMA action with UFC Fight Night 112, Bellator NYC and Bellator 180. Check out all of the changes in the newest edition of the weekly rankings.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Trading Shots: Did Michael Chiesa get robbed or saved at UFC Fight Night 112?

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Did referee Mario Yamasaki make a major blunder with his stoppage in the UFC Fight Night 112 main event, or just a minor one? Retired UFC and WEC fighter Danny Downes joins MMAjunkie columnist Ben Fowlkes to discuss in this week’s Trading Shots.

* * * *

Downes: It was a wild weekend in the MMA world, Ben. We had freak injuries, double knockdowns, fading legends and feces. To cap it all off, we ended it with a controversial stoppage.

Somewhere, Steve Mazzagatti breathed a sigh of relief as Mario Yamasaki intervened prematurely in the Kevin Lee vs. Michael Chiesa bout, making him the Internet’s new most hated referee. Since you love to tell us about your recreational jiu-jitsu experience as much as possible, why don’t you share your expertise on this one with us?

Fowlkes: You know, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear that you weren’t using the word “expertise” with total sincerity there.

But hey, since you asked, can I go ahead and be the guy who admits he doesn’t get the controversy on this one? Chiesa was stuck in a rear-naked choke. He wasn’t working an escape. He had 30 seconds left in the round. He stopped defending with his hands and let them float there in front of him, very much like the posture of a man who has lost consciousness.

How surprised can he really be that Mario Yamasaki took this as a sign that he should stop the fight?

Was it slightly premature? Yes, but only slightly. There’s not a ton of risk in letting Chiesa stay in that kind of choke for an extra couple of seconds, so sure, Yamasaki could have done more to verify that he was all the way out before intervening, but it’s disingenuous to act like he ruined the fight just because he denied Chiesa the chance to fall completely asleep.

What am I missing here, Danny? Is there where you tell me about the honor of going out on your shield? Or maybe you think Yamasaki ruined Chiesa’s shot at an MMA version of the rope-a-dope, where you lie so quiet and still inside a choke that you convince the other guy to let go and celebrate, at which point you pounce. Tell me, on the spectrum of referee screw-ups, was this one really that bad?

Downes: As far as referee screw-ups are concerned, this one is definitely minor, mostly because the stakes were so low. While I wold never want to denigrate the honor of being the main event of a UFC Fight Night in Oklahoma City, it wasn’t a title shot. It wasn’t even a rivalry fans really cared about.

As an aside, let me predict that we’re going to see a lot more press conference scuffles revolving around something even dumber than Chiesa’s mom having tickets. How do you tell fighters not to take a swing at each other when, 1) It gets them attention, and 2) 90 percent of the hype package for the fight revolved around that incident?

I’ll admit that I was a little surprised at how upset some fans were at the stoppage, but there a couple of things at work here. First of all, it’s Yamasaki. The MMA universe loves to attack referees, and Yamasaki seems to be the new fall guy. And once you get that reputation (rightly or wrongly), everything you do gets amplified.

Secondly, Chiesa passed your “WTF Test.” He looked dead to rights, but as soon as Yamasaki called it off, he was incensed. That doesn’t mean that we would have gotten out of the choke, but it does produce some doubt.

Third and finally, it’s a choke. It’s uncomfortable and dangerous to watch fighters take unnecessary punches. We all cringe a little when a fighter is knocked out and takes a couple extra hits before the TKO (well, unless that fighter is Michael Bisping).

A rear-naked choke doesn’t produce that same visceral reaction. You’ve touched on this when discussing Ronda Rousey. Some of her mainstream success can be attributed to the fact that she armbarred opponents instead of leaving them a bloody mess. It’s a more palatable type of violence.

Was Chiesa robbed? No, but I do think that Yamasaki did rob him of an opportunity. Even if there were only a five percent chance of escaping, why not give him the benefit of the doubt? What real harm could come from it? Do you think there’s anything to learn from this fight, or did you react like the rest of MMA fans when Chiesa pushed for a rematch? Meh.

Fowlkes: I think the question of a rematch is where we’re all forced to be honest about what we’re really doing here. Because if you truly think that Chiesa was unfairly and prematurely stopped in a fight that he still had every opportunity to win, then you have to support an immediate rematch. How can you not?

But if, when faced when that proposition, you admit that you don’t feel like you need to see that again, I suspect it’s because you think you know who won that fight. (Either that, or you can stand six more weeks of mom jokes.)

I don’t blame Chiesa for being upset. He’s going to fan the fires of victory until every last ember is cold and black. I also don’t blame Lee for wanting to pocket his win and move on. I can only kind of blame Yamasaki, who came to a reasonable, if somewhat hasty conclusion, given the visual evidence.

But let’s be honest and admit that we’ve criticized refs for being too slow to intervene just like we’re criticizing Yamasaki for being a little quick. We ask for perfection from these people and when they deliver their reward is not getting yelled at on social media. This one might have been imperfect, but I have a hard time believing it altered the outcome. If that’s not the point, I don’t know what is.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Danny Downes, a retired UFC and WEC fighter, is an MMAjunkie contributor who has also written for UFC.com and UFC 360. Follow them on twitter at @benfowlkesMMA and @dannyboydownes.

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Michael Chiesa goes off on ref Mario Yamasaki, pleas for rematch after being 'robbed'

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Needless to say, Michael Chiesa is not a fan of Mario Yamasaki.

Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) saw the first headlining spot of his UFC career end on a controversial note on Sunday, when referee Yamasaki called a first-round stop to his UFC Fight Night 112 contest with Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC). Chiesa was on the bad end of a seemingly tight rear-naked choke, but with just a few seconds left on the clock, he was still conscious when Yamasaki stepped in.

Chiesa was at least alert enough to immediately contest the ending of the FS1-televised event at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. Between the stoppage and the official announcement of Lee’s win, Chiesa could be seen angrily pacing around the octagon and mouthing some of his thoughts on the ref (via Twitter):

Chiesa’s feelings on Yamasaki hadn’t changed when he talked to the media immediately after the event. The lightweight’s tirade might have lacked “fancy words,” but it certainly didn’t lack passion.

“This is the main event – that is JV bull(expletive),” Chiesa said. “That guy is too focused on being some kind of playboy in front of the cameras, making his little heart logos. Maybe he should go back and read the (expletive) rule book.

“I’m not trying to sound like a poor sport, but it’s really hard to be positive right now when I’ve been striving for this main-event spot. And I get it. And it feels like I just got (expletive) robbed. It’s hard not to feel that way.”

For Chiesa, the sting was made even worse by his history with stoppages. His last setback before Sunday’s, stemming from a “Fight of the Night” with Joe Lauzon in 2014, was the result of a doctor’s call due to a deep gash above Chiesa’s right eye. Between Lauzon and Lee, Chiesa put together a three-fight winning streak, with wins over Mitch Clarke, Jim Miller and Beneil Dariush.

To make his case as to why the stoppage was premature, the 155-pounder brought up the example of fellow UFC lightweight Al Iaquinta – who rode out a submission attempt by Lee before coming out victorious of their UFC 169 scrap – and broke down his decision-making process.

“I fought the best grapplers at lightweight,” Chiesa said. “The best. They all had my back in Round 1, and I got out every single time. I’ve studied my film on Kevin. It’s a palm-to-palm rear-naked choke. An arm-pump choke. I fight the hands when he’s going RNC, switch to palm-to-palm, shrink your shoulders in, flex your neck, get your elbows in.

“When he loosens up, you elbow down, turn in. I saw there was a short time on the clock. I went into what I know. And the next thing I know the fight is getting stopped.”

Chiesa has yet to look at the footage. But as someone who watches a lot of fights, he said Yamasaki’s call felt “like the worst stoppage ever.” The lightweight also questioned the very fact that “poor official” Yamasaki was even appointed to a headliner in the first place.

“Here’s what’s frustrating: You put a guy who’s just swirled in controversy in charge of a main event?” Chiesa said. “You realize that this defects ours lives. I’m not talking from a financial standpoint – I don’t care about the money. You’re talking – (if) I win this fight I go into the top five. I’m on the brink of a title shot.

“The opportunity got taken away from me. Now Kevin technically has got a win over me, swirled in controversy. That’s taken away from him. And then the fans. You think the fans want to watch a main event on a Sunday night end like this? No. It’s just pathetic. I really feel like this is a (expletive) dream. Between the Joe Lauzon fight and this, (I can’t believe it).”

Chiesa, however, doesn’t intend to leave it alone. On the official end of things, he plans to appeal the call with the local commission. But not overly confident that’s going to get him anywhere, he also wants a chance to make things right in the octagon.

“We’re going to seek due diligence,” Chiesa said. “This really is bull(expletive). Chances are it’s not going to get overturned, but I’m not going to go down without a fight. And best case scenario, I get a (expletive) rematch in Detroit. I’ll fight him in his backyard. I’ll fight him right now.”

While Lee reiterated his desire to meet Khabib Nurmagomedov next, Chiesa doesn’t see that happening. And while he maintains there is no personal beef with Lee, in spite of the heated press conference moment the two had shared weeks before, he is absolutely driven to get a do-over.

“If you think you really beat me, then beat me again,” Chiesa said. “Prove it. There’s no way you’re going to ride this win thinking you won. You did not beat me. You did not beat me. There’s no way. I’m fine. I heard he’s limping around on crutches. He’s supposed to be the striker. I landed one punch and put him on his ass. Let’s run it back.

“I want to prove that I was going to win that fight. I want to prove that I got robbed. And I want to prove Yamasaki that he’s so (expletive) wrong that he can’t even see straight.”

Between the controversy and their pre-fight shennanigans, Chiesa said that, promotion-wise, the matchup is a no-brainer. And he is so confident that he can beat Lee that he’ll not only give him a trilogy – he’ll let his new favorite ref join the cage with them.

“I’ll let Yamasaki actually be the ref both times,” Chiesa said. “And his poor officiating won’t be able to (expletive) do anything with the results, because I’ll make it very definitive.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 112 video highlights: Kevin Lee vs. Michael Chiesa

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A referee error from Mario Yamasaki brought an end to a grudge match between Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) and Michael Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) in their headliner at UFC Fight Night 112, with Lee scoring a controversial submission win at the 4:37 mark of Round 1.

The lightweight bout was the main event of today’s UFC Fight Night 112 event at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

Check out the highlights above.

Also see:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Kevin Lee says Michael Chiesa 'went limp,' shrugs off UFC Fight Night 112 controversy

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OKLAHOMA CITY – UFC lightweight Kevin Lee contends Michael Chiesa went limp, prompting referee Mario Yamasaki to step in and stop their grudge match at UFC Fight Night 112.

Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) doesn’t quite get the controversy surrounding the fight, which immediately erupted when Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) didn’t tap and appeared to be fully conscious when Yamasaki stepped in late in the first round.

“(Chiesa) went limp,” Lee said backstage at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., which hosted the FS1-televised headliner. “You can see he’s fighting the choke. I switch from palm to palm; as soon as I do, his arms go limp.”

Lee’s nonchalance was not shared by all. UFC President Dana White even chimed in his disgust, calling Yamasaki “Mario Mazzagatti” after another hated official, Steve Mazzagatti.

“Mario’s a very experienced ref,” Lee said. “Mario saw it and stopped the fight. If he wouldn’t have, there was still 45 seconds left in the fight. I don’t see what the controversy is about. It wasn’t like I was going to let go.”

Chiesa immediately protested the stoppage and yelled at Yamasaki before taking the high road in his post-fight interview, calling for a rematch.

Despite the controversial finish, Lee said he’d be open to that idea. Yet he prefers to face opponents like the one he called out after his fifth straight UFC win: Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC).

“I will (rematch Chiesa) just for the easy money, but it will wake me up a bit more to fight one of these big names,” Lee said.

The other goal, he said, is to bring the UFC to his hometown of Detroit by the end of the year. Nothing has changed about that, except for the top-10 ranking that’s should be attached to his name from here on out.

Watch Lee’s full interview above.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Dana White rips Mario Yamasaki on Instagram after UFC Fight Night 112 headliner stoppage

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Move over, Steve Mazzagatti. UFC President Dana White has a new favorite target when it comes to referees.

White even borrowed the last name of his most hated referee to encapsulate his feelings after Mario Yamasaki botched a call in the headliner of UFC Fight Night 112, referring to the veteran official as “Mario Mazzagatti” on Instagram following the FS1-televised event at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Instagram Photo

“Mario Mazzagatti does it again!!!” the UFC official wrote. “This guy is more concerned with doing this dumb ass heart bull(expletive) then Ref’n the fight!!! Steals a great moment from Lee or let Mike fight it or tap.

“Nobody gives a (expletive) that u can make a heart with ur hands like a 12 year old girl they want u to pay attention to what’s going on in the fight and do ur job.”

Of course, there weren’t many voices in support of Yamasaki’s performance after he stopped a grudge match between Kevin Lee and Michael Chiesa in the first round. Lee had locked in a rear-naked choke and was just seconds away from putting Chiesa to sleep when Yamasaki intervened and called off the bout at the 4:37 mark of the opening frame.

Chiesa immediately protested the call, screaming at Yamasaki, “I didn’t tap.” He then implored Lee to run back the fight in December, though Lee seemed more interested in a fight with would-be UFC interim lightweight challenger Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The ending lent a sour note to an otherwise strong main card, though it wasn’t the first bad call for Yamaski during the fight card. He watched as Maryna Moroz (8-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) blatantly held the gloves of ex-women’s strawweight champ Carla Esparza (12-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) as they grappled on the mat, and then stood the fight up for a lack of action despite Esparza’s complaints.

Yamasaki has been a UFC referee for more than a decade, but he hadn’t drawn this type of response until tonight in Oklahoma City. It won’t be a surprise if Chiesa appeals the official result.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie