MANILA, Philippines – Referee Mario Yamasaki believes
the hard-hitting Johny Hendricks was the winner against Georges St-Pierre in the main event of UFC 167 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
St-Pierre wound up retaining his UFC welterweight belt but it was a controversial victory for the Canadian. Two judges scored the bout in his favor, 48-47, while another judge gave the fight to Hendricks, 47-48.
Yamasaki, however, disagreed with the judges’ decision, saying the Hendricks dominated most of the five-round encounter.
“I’m inside the cage, so I can’t see the fight as the judge sees it, but I thought Hendricks won the fight. I thought Hendricks dominated the fight,” Yamasaki told MMAFighting.
“It was brutal, and I was surprised when they gave St-Pierre the win,” he added.
Hendricks definitely landed the more telling blows, as he bloodied St-Pierre’s face by the middle rounds.
Although St-Pierre was the first one to land a takedown, he was unable to bring the fight to the ground and use his wrestling against Hendricks.
“The first round was slow and could have gone either way,” said Yamasaki. “Hendricks dominated the second one. The third was close and could also go either way, and the judges gave it to St-Pierre.”
“When the fight was over, I thought Hendricks won every round except the last one. But I have to watch the fight again to analyze it as a judge,” he acknowledged.
UFC president Dana White lambasted the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) after the event, and while Yamasaki doesn’t think White is in the position to criticize the commission, he agrees that something must be done regarding the judges.
“He (White) has never done a judging course, so he analyzes the fight as a fan. But (NSAC) needs to do only one judging course to set one criteria on how to analyze a fight,” he said. “Every referee does his course, so they teach their way to judge a fight.”