30 Aug 2013 11:00:44 AM
(Not only does Yamasaki officiate MMA bouts, he also resurrects blunt force trauma victims. Photo Credit: Esther Lin)
By Jason Moles
In a world of barbarous blitzkriegs and surreptitious submissions, seasoned referee Mario Yamasaki is the epitome of thinking on your feet. Having reffed over 400 fights in the UFC, Strikeforce, WEC, EliteXC and Pride Fighting Championships, Yamasaki has been in the cage with the best fighters the world has to offer – and tried to keep them safe in the controlled carnage that is professional cage fighting. CagePotato caught up with Yamasaki earlier this week and we asked him about everything from controversial stoppages to being accosted by Joe Rogan. Here’s what one of MMA’s best referees had to say.
CagePotato: How long have you been an MMA referee?
Mario Yamasaki: I started around 1992 at local shows in Brazil.
CP: What first captivated you about MMA and is that what lead you to your current profession?
MY: I started doing Judo back in 1968, so the mat was my home. My father had 14 studios in São Paulo and when I was either 19 or 20 years old I thought that I was a great fighter because I use to train with the Brazilian National team in Judo and could kick a lot of people’s butt. When I met Marcelo Behring I got controlled on the ground like I never had before, so I was intrigued with that situation and instead of walking away I said, “Let me learn that so I can become even better than I am.”
From the beginning, I had an advantage against other students because of my background in Judo so I became one of the best students he had. So was my brother, so we started helping him in his private classes so we could learn more and faster. As far as the refereeing part, my father & uncle went to 5 Olympic games as referees and I learned from them.Read More DIGG THIS