Erick Silva wasted no time at UFC 142 Rio recently getting Carlo Prater to the mat and pounding him out in 29 seconds.
It appeared that Silva had run his streak to five consecutive victories.
It wasn’t to be, however, as referee Mario Yamasaki disqualified Silva, saying that he had warned him about repeated blows to the back of Prater’s head, and when the fight had to be stopped, it was due to illegal blows.
The crowd, not seeing what Yamasaki saw, booed the decision heavily.
Even UFC color commentator Joe Rogan felt that Yamasaki’s call was wrong and expressed that opinion in his post fight interview, questioning 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.”
UFC officials felt strongly enough that Silva shouldn’t have been disqualified that they still paid him his win money.
Because the event was at an international location without a sanctioning body, UFC vice president of regulatory affairs, Marc Ratner, oversaw the event. He reviewed the stoppage and disqualification, issuing the following statement on Thursday:
“Based on the referee’s verbal warnings and his determination that the blows were intentional and a disqualifying foul, this is not the type of decision that can be reviewed. Therefore, the decision stands.
“Recently, Zuffa has decided to implement the use of instant replay at all international events that are self-regulated, and to encourage all regulators to consider the feasibility and effectiveness of instant replay in the sport of MMA. While instant replay would not have reversed the call in the Silva-Prater bout, we believe that it could be valuable to referees and the sport in the future.”