UFC Issues Statement on Erick Silva Disqualification; Result Stands

January 19, 2012
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Erick Silva

Erick Silva (Courtesy of UFC.com)

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.”

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  • jtmma

    Good decision. Hopefully this will shut people up about it. Erick Silva will go on to have a bright career in the UFC regardless, but the right call was made.

    • the absolute wrong call was made…watch the replay…there was 1 hammer fist to the back area of the head and a dozen or so on the side of the head…the 1 “illegal” shot wasnt intentional…the fight should have been a no contest if anything…def. not DQ worthy…silva wasnt purposely striking the back of the head…why not allow prater time to recover and deduct 1 point for illegal strikes? worst case a no contest if he couldnt continue…but a DQ? horrible…how many fights have we seen way worse happen and the ref, and in quite a few cases yamasaki himself, sit idley by and not make any call? cmon…the ref dropped the ball on this one and ive noticed hes been doing so alot lately…same w/ herb dean…josh rosenthals holding the reffing down pretty flawlessly at the moment and should have won ref of the year…

      • jtmma

        So you’re saying because other fights were reffed badly, this one should be too? Get out of here. These rules are made for the safety of the fighters. Fouls should result in DQ’s. Clearly punches hit an illegal area, and since you weren’t there you don’t know the affect they had. Try watching one of your training partners lose a fight to illegal blows and then let me know what you think on the subject. It was the right call.

        • jtmma

          And I count 5 illegal shots. I’m sure you love Joe Rogan but that doesn’t mean he was right.

  • MikeMc1983

    Jt, I think that’s some wishful thinking. I have a feeling this article will just bring people to talk about it more.

  • And life goes on. Hope the UFC doesn’t rematch these 2.

  • RubeKegal

    JT, I feel like you and me are the only ones here with goddamned brains. Everyone else is a Joe Rogan puppet. Whatever Rogan says they form as their own opinion and it’s VERY pathetic. Just about every punch was to the back of the head. Vitor has gotten away with it in the past, and its refreshing to see a referee do the right thing here.

    Mario Yamasaki I commend you on your call, but next time man up and call Joe Rogan out.

    • bajafox

      Thanks for this post. Joe Rogan is a douche and had no right to call out the referee like that.

      The right call was made.

  • Matt Magick

    The whole thing that upsets me is that there needs to be an absolute on this rule, its not fair to just let it slide when an opponent isn’t finished off in a position where a shot to the back of the head or two is landed. How can it be fine in that situation but not in this one. They need to take a little time to further educate these refs on the subject because I don’t blame them either. I blame a vague rule that is rarely enforced.

  • RubeKegal

    Matt brings up a good point that the rule is vague, as are a lot of little rules in MMA. Someone mentioned the fact that the back of the head is a 2 inch strip mohawk. If thats the case, whoever came up with that rule should have their balls chopped off. If you take 2 fingers and poke behind your ear hard its pretty f’in painful…you SHOULD NOT be allowed to get punched there.

    Yamasaki is the best ref in MMA and the rest of you can eat the corn out of my crap if you disagree.

  • RonnieV

    Rube, grow up dude! I agree with Matt, the rule is vague considering there are illegal blows every fight, and usually fighters get a couple warnings. I don’t understand how Yamasaki even had time to warn Silva considering that string of blows happened so fast before the fight was stopped. Yamasaki is far from the best ref in MMA, and I believe based on lasy months poll on this website, most agree with me. Yamasaki made a rash decision, he was wrong, but I do not think it should be over-turned. Lets see if Silva can bounce back like Jon Jones did after the Hamill fight.

  • KBEsq

    I’m shocked that there is even a debate about this. As I said in a previous post, I was very upset when I first heard the call, because I didn’t see any illegal blows.

    However, when I saw the replay (ironically, when Joe Rogan was inappropriately trying to make Yamasaki look stupid), I counted numerous strikes to the back of the head. I would love to take someone who thinks the strikes were legal, set up the instant replay, and before it starts, ask them to place their finger where they think the back of Prater’s head is. Then I would like to have them keep their finger there, and play the video.

    I agree that the ultimate decision sucked because it not only robbed Silva a fight he would win 99 times out of 100, but also because it robbed the fans of a fight. The best possible result would have been deducted points, but Prater was knocked out and we can’t expect the referee to be perfect on the result of the call.

    I’m not here to argue that the result (Silva getting the loss) was the right call, or the best call. I’m only posting this comment to express my pure astonishment at anyone who thinks the shots were legal. Personally, I thought Rogan looked like a complete ass up there walking Yamasaki through the tape while each blow landed on the back of Prater’s head.

  • RubeKegal

    Ronnie V, youre a tool who cant think for himself. Rogan was wrong, Yamasaki was right and Yamasaki IS the best ref out there besides Big John. Again with people not being able to think for themselves, Dana says Dean is the best and most people poll that he is the best even though I can list half a dozen fights he e’ffed up. Can you do the same with Yamasaki? Big John?

  • sb

    HAHAHAHA okay let’s get this straight. Two inches on the back of the head! I think a little anatomy lesson is in check

    located on the side and back of the skull: Temporal lobe – processes hearing, memory and language functions. Why boxers have speech problems later in their careers.

    located on the side and top of the back of the skull: Parietal lobe – receives and processes information about temperature, taste, touch, and movement coming from the rest of the body. Reading and arithmetic are also processed in this region.

    Back and side of the skull: Occipital lobe – helps process visual information.

    So,this 2 inch BS is ridiculous. The brain doesn’t work within that tolerance. Any blow to anywhere on the back of the head is going to have an effect. Yamasaki made the correct call.

  • tr

    The rule’s there to protect the cervical vertebrae and prevent the spinal chord being severed, hence 2 inch rule. What you say is all well and good but isn’t the reason for it – any violent knockout damages the brain no matter whether the punch strikes the chin or temple or behind the ear.