The UFC is expecting to make big inroads into the Brazilian market in 2012, but the regional MMA game there is still a ‘Wild West’ according to Mario Yamasaki. Yamasaki, a fixture of many UFC events in his role as a referee, is Brazilian born and raised. When not officiating for the UFC or other shows, he takes an interest in attempting to develop the infrastructure of Brazil in his native land. A recent episode at a regional event in Brazil underlines why that infrastructure and development is needed. Yamasaki related a story about refereeing Royler Gracie’s last ever fight, Amazon Forest Combat 1 in September, to MMA Junkie: “Royler lost the three rounds, and one of the judges gave it to Royler. After the fight, I said, ‘What are you thinking? Why did you give it to Royler?’ (He said,) ‘Oh, it’s his last fight. He did so much for jiu-jitsu.’ I said, ‘C’mon, man,’” he said. “I’m helping them start a commission and just doing my MMA courses. If somebody dies or gets hurt in Brazil, it’s going to be bad for the name of the sport and for Brazil. I’m trying to make it so everybody’s the same, so everybody thinks the same.” Brazil is not the only country which lacks any kind of regulation for professional mixed martial arts. The UK is the same and in fact the US and Canada are rare in being places where professional MMA is regulated by the government via athletic commissions. The UFC is an anomaly in that is a huge revenue generator but for many regional shows in the UK and elsewhere, MMA is hardly profitable. That is probably one of the reasons that no governing body has been introduced – there simply isn’t the money to fund it. Yet such an institution is sorely needed, because the absence of one increases the likelihood of a serious injury or death which could stop the sport in its tracks.
article taken from Fighter only. Jan 4th 2012