[ARCHIVES] Michael Chiesa Issues Grappling Challenge to Mario Yamasaki
published on November 20, 2021
curated and posted by BRWLRZ Team


Tonight at UFC Vegas 43, Michael Chiesa will have his hands full with 14-0 Sean Brady. Four years ago, he wanted to compete against referee Mario Yamasaki instead. The following article from four years ago details why. It is presented to you in its original, unaltered form, courtesy of the MMA News Archives.


Michael Chiesa hasn’t gotten over his controversial UFC Fight Night 112 submission loss.

Even though he appeared to be fading in a rear-naked choke applied by Kevin Lee, Chiesa didn’t tap or go limp. Referee Mario Yamasaki saw the hand fighting stop and put an end to the bout.

During a recent appearance on MMAFighting.com’s “The MMA Hour,” Chiesa issued a challenge to Yamasaki:

“Onnit is having an invitational on Sept. 30, so this is my open challenge to Yamasaki. I would like to test his fifth degree black belt in a friendly grappling match and let’s see if he’s what he says he is. And I’m not saying it in a hostile way, I’m saying, ‘hey, if you’re a fifth degree black belt, you should back up for the decisions you made.’ As a martial artist myself, that’s my open challenge to him, to headline Onnit Invitational on Sept. 30.”

He went on to say that Yamasaki may have regressed in his position.

“I know he’s a fifth degree black belt and that’s all fine and dandy, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fifth degree black belt in officiating. I feel like he’s fallen behind a little bit, and I think it’s sad when a referee walks into your room and you and your teammates are looking at each other like, ‘oh shit, we got this guy’. I like the work of Herb Dean, “Big” John, Dan Miragliotta, and I think the best ref in the business is Josh Rosenthal, but unfortunately we can’t have him. It sucks when an official walks into your room and you’re like, ‘crap,’ and it’s just a crappy feeling.”

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