UFC 142 Rio Results: Erick Silva Disqualified, Referee Criticized

January 14, 2012
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Erick Silva

Erick Silva (Courtesy of UFC.com)

Erick Silva was disqualified for hitting Carlo Prater in the back of the head in their main card fight at UFC 142. Silva looked to have won the fight by technical knockout in the first round, but referee Mario Yamasaki saw it differently.

Prater ate a hard knee from his opponent before falling to the ground. Silva continued striking on the ground, landing hammer fists in an effort to finish. The referee stepped in to stop the action and Silva raised his hands, assuming he won the fight.

A short while later, it was announced that Yamasaki disqualified Silva for landing strikes to the back of Prater’s head. Replays showed several shots to the side of Prater’s head, but Yamasaki advised that he had to make a call in the moment and saw strikes to the rear of Prater’s skull.

Even UFC color commentator Joe Rogan felt that Yamasaki’s call was wrong and expressed that opinion in his post fight interview with the referee.

“I was telling him, ‘don’t hit the back of the head,'” Yamasaki said following the disqualification. “I have to decide right then and there. There’s nothing else I can do.”

With the disqualification being dealt out, Silva advised he respects Yamasaki as a referee, but disagrees with his decision.

“I have great respect for the referee,” he said. “I don’t think I hit the back of the head.”

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  • Mario

    Terrible call.

    Erick Silva is a beast, and he just got robbed! 🙁

  • collideoverme

    Yeah, Erick is going to be a force very soon.

  • jtmma

    Definitely the right call. Clearly more than 1 strike hit him in the back of the head.

  • I thought it was the wrong call but Joe was out of line when he put Yamasaki on the spot like that.

  • T Spoon

    Really good call. He threw some very hard shots to the back of the head, it was easily seen in the replay. Besides that, he showed no signs of listening to Yamasaki at all. This guy got a lot of potential though. I hope he can keep it a little more clean next time!

  • soboc1

    That was a bad call and Yamasaki new it when he saw the replay. I think maybe 2 hit the back of the head, one in the beginning and one at the end of the flurry and they clearly weren’t blatant. When you’re in finish mode and your opponent is moving his head back and forth, a shot or two is gonna stray. I think if they were consecutive blows it might have justified the call. He was robbed and its gonna be on his record for evah!

  • It was great that Joe asked Yamasaki about the crap call most commentators don’t have the spine too tell it like it is. Its the refs job to know what part of the back of the head is illegal and Erick Silva did not hit the back of his head one time they showed it 3 times and I have HD on a 40″ no way was that a good call it may end up being over turned but not likely.

    • I disagree, Joe was out of line and what he did was unprofessional. There’s a time and a place for that discussion and putting Yamasaki on the spot on live TV in front of 20,000 pissed off Brazilians ain’t it.

      What Mario said was spot on. He has to make the call right then and there “in the moment” as he said. He does not have the benefit of instant replay and multiple camera angles.

  • shakejunt

    couldn’t help but think of jones vs hamill

  • MikeMc1983

    I have HD and a 62″ inch screen, and I saw the hits to the back of the head. Maybe you should think about upsizing. One of the shots actually came before he was all the way on the ground.

    I believe the rule is they’re not intentional than the fight would be a no contest if the fighter can’t continue. Which the ref couldn’t let him continue if he wanted to. (however, this would be rules that most of the states commissions have. They all seem to model after Nevada. If it were in the states he might be able to protest, but it gets weird without sanctioning.)

    I just think the call is inconsistent. That actually happens a lot. I’ve seen it a ton of times. My friends, and I have always commented that it seems your only allowed to hit the back of the head when you are finishing a guy in that manner. Almost never gets called like that. In fact I’ve never seen it called.

    UFC paid Mario to be there because they like him Refing, so they’re going to have to live with it. The shots they showed that “didn’t” hit the back of the head were the extra shots that didn’t have to happen. Had he stopped it earlier it would have been clearer that he hit the wrong parts.

    On a side note. Not so much in that fight, but I wish you could hit the back of the head when your down like that. So often guys on bottom turn, and position themselves knowing they’re not aloud to be hit in the back of the head. It’s annoying when guys do that.

  • This wasn’t supervised by an athletic commission right? What then is the process for Silva to get this overturned?

  • maddawgmar

    There is no commission so no overturn. The same as Fedors first career loss wher it was an illegal elbow that caused a cut and the ref stopped it and called it a TKO. If the fight took place in Nevada or California then it may be turned over. But in real time it looked like there was some blows to the head. Yamasaki can’t see in slow mo. His decision is based what he sees right then and there. He is a veteran highly regarded referee, plus one of the best in the game. You have to go with the refs decision. And Joe Rogan is way out of line. Be non bias during interviews, no one cares what you think happened, only the refs opinion matters. It jus like how he called Danny Castillo’s win over Njokuani controversial to Castillo’s face, disrespecting his win. Jus an A-hole move then and an A-hole move this time.

  • adam1848

    I don’t think Joe was out of line at all…if there were strikes to the back of the head, the fight should have been paused, a point taken, and Prater given time to recover, if he could. The one or two hammers to the back of the head were not enough to prevent him from continuing. Rivera took a solid knee directly to the face from Bisping and continued to fight…Mir took hammers to the back of the head from Brock, got a point, and went on to leg lock him. Matt Hamill was too hurt to continue from illegal strikes so the disqualification was justified. If Prater was hurt too badly from those hammers to continue than he has no business being a fighter. Joe had every right to put Mario on the spot because it was completely out of the ordinary. Silva handled himself like a champ so more respect to him, but I also give props to Joe for not letting Mario off the hook. Can anyone answer why Prater wasn’t given time to recover? If nothing else refs need to be consistent, and this disqualification was completely out of the ordinary.

    • fitefan

      Actually Hamill kept telling the ref right there on TV that it was his shoulder preventing him from continuing the fight, that he wasn’t hurt by any elbows. The ref just ignored him completely and awarding Jones the Loss due to illegal elbow strikes.

  • I watched the fight and replays several times. I personally only saw one illegal shot to the back of the head. The illegal area to hit is about a two inch wide “mohawk” stripe that begins at the crown of the skull and goes to the base of the skull.
    I though it was a bad call.
    However, Mario is in the heat of the moment and has to make the call.
    I enjoyed Joe calling him out. Was it professional? Hell no. Was it awesome? Hell yes. That’s what I think is still great about the UFC. The biggest fighting organization on the planet but it still feels like they’re figuring things out as they go along. Loved it!
    Now I want to see Joe call out some judges! After that, fans that boo when the fight goes to the ground 🙂

  • RubeKegal

    GOOD!!! IM GLAD TO SEE THESE SCUMBAG FIGHTERS GET CALLED ON THEIR ILLEGAL BS!! Vitor Belfort has made a career of stunning guys and hitting them multiple times in the back of the head.

    If hitting someone in the back of the head is illegal, then why are people bitching about it when a fighter is dazed and a shot to the back of the head is MORE dangerous?!?!?!? Vitor did it to Franklin and Akiyama.

    Awesome job by the referee!!!

  • RubeKegal

    Dana and Rogan are scumbags who only say things that make their pockets fatter. Like when Dana said he though Rampage beat Lyoto. That was embarrassing how bad Lyoto made Rampage look.

    Rogan is a douche in his own right. Literally the first 4 punches Silva hit Prater with were directly to the back of the head.

    About time a ref stood up and did something about it. F uck that fa ggot Rogan

  • fitefan

    The two inch strip on the back of the head that is considered ‘the back of the head’ is a bit narrow. They ought to broaden that by another two inches, still allowing shots behind the ear, but clearly on the side of the head.
    What Joe did was unproffesional, and completly disrespectful to Mario. He doesn’t have the advantage of multiple slow motions camera’s. He’s got to make a call on the spot. And he has to stand behind it, or it undermines the authority of the ref.
    Most of the shots were ‘legal’ I think perhaps two hit the two inch strip behind the head, some of the others may have glanced across that area.
    At one point, you can’t even see the guys ear , he’s got it covered up with his arm, and Silva was still throwing punches. He really should have tried for a different angle to land some punches.
    Controversial call. Taking the win from him had balls. The other guy was clearly going to continue to be overwhelmed by Silva. Giving him the win was definatly the wrong outcome.

  • fitefan

    I watched the fight again. And it’s a mess.
    Mario called the fight, he didn’t stop the fight due to illegal strikes.
    At best he should have stopped it, deducted a point, and waited to see if Prater could continue.
    Prater looked as if he had no desire to continue. Which is a crapp way to win. But they were icing his shoulder/neck area, which had nothing to do with any alleged strikes to the back of the head.
    If Prater couldn’t continue due to an injury other than strikes to the head, then Silva should have been awarded the victory.
    Prater kept pointing over his shoulder. He was not indicating anything at all about the back of his head.

    • MikeMc1983

      If Mario thought that he went out, he’d not supposed to offer him time to continue. Mario decided he was out, and there were illegal blows involved. So it’s either going to be a no contest, or dq.
      Your not suppose to allow someone who has been “finished” continue.

      • fitefan

        aha! that explains it.
        Was so focused on the strkes themselves and all the hooplay afterward that I overlooked that fact.

        • fitefan

          hooplah even

  • soboc1

    I think if they were intentional, it should have been a disqualification, being that they were clearly unintentional, it should have been a No Contest, not a loss.