From questionable judges’ decisions to controversial referee calls, the still-glaring holes in MMA officiating were on display during an otherwise stellar UFC 142 fight card in Rio de Janeiro last night.
The strangest, most disputed call of the night came during the pay-per-view aired main card portion of the fight card, when welterweights Erick Silva and Carlo Prater squared off. Right out of the gates, Silva hurt Prater with a knee, prompting him to go for a takedown attempt from an awkward position. Silva sprawled and went to work with punches, the majority of which connecting with the side of Prater’s head.
From his perspective, referee Mario Yamasaki saw Silva bashing Prater to the back of the head and called the fight right then and there, awarding a disqualification victory to Prater. The replay showed that a few stray shots did connect with the back of Prater’s head, but it didn’t seem like enough to stop the fight. At any rate, Yamasaki didn’t step in to halt the fight temporarily and dock Silva a point for the shots – per the rulebook – he just stopped the fight altogether and then called it a DQ.
Color commentator Joe Rogan took Yamasaki to task for the odd call, but the result is in the books: Prater defeated Silva via first round DQ.
“I’m not a judge. I didn’t stop the fight,” said Prater of his controversial win. “All I know is that he hit me and it sent a shock of pain through my body unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I don’t know if the shots were legal. I just know it was unlike anything I’ve ever felt.”
Silva, who believed he’d defeated Prater within the rules, was clearly dejected, but took the loss in stride.
“Everyone here knows that wasn’t intentional,” he said post-fight. “I don’t know what else to say.”
UFC 142 went down at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; for full results of the event, click here.