A veteran of 15 fights in Bellator, Goiti Yamauchi has been a name stay at the top of the division for years. The Japanese-born Brazilian is best known for his devastating submission game, which has led him to a record promotional eight wins by submission, the most in Bellator history.
In April of this year, Yamauchi met fellow lightweight Dan Moret at a clash on the Bellator 256 card. Both men had success in the bout, but with a vast majority of control time and a number of extremely close submission threats, most fans were ready to see Yamauchi’s hand raised.
The judges on the other hand saw it differently, awarding Moret the split decision win to the confusion of many. The decision was so controversial, commentator John McCarthy refused to comment on the mic, stating “I won’t say anything [about the decision] because it’s going to be bad.” This marked one of the most disputed decisions in recent memory.
However, with Yamauchi set to face Chris Gonzalez tomorrow evening, the question remains how will the controversial result in his last outing affect Yamauchi’s mindset going into Saturday night?
Speaking with Braeden Arbour of The Body Lock, Yamauchi elaborates on exactly that.
“I don’t think it changes anything at all,” he explains. “It just gives me more hunger… I just want to win and prove it didn’t affect anything because the most important thing is I don’t believe I lost that fight.”
Judging in mixed martial arts has become an increasingly hot topic over the last few years. At the inception of the sport, there was no question that the young MMA fell victim to governing body’s not prepared with good enough officials. However, over two decades later, still judging is a problem. Both Bellator and the UFC have seen massive spikes in criticism over the results on their cards.
However, the issue doesn’t seem to be weighing on Yamauchi’s mind, who is laser-focused on tomorrow evening.
“I just believe that the judges made a terrible decision and it happens in the fight business. I try to just move on and you know… I’m not gonna play the victim. There’s nothing that we can do about it. We just gotta move on, and that’s what I’m doing now.”
Bellator’s #1 submission artist returns tonight at 10:00 PM EST, to take on Chris Gonzalez at Bellator 263. They will kick off the main card on Showtime, live from the Forum in Inglewood California. It seems that Yamauchi is honed in, with his eyes focussed on his opponent, ready to once again prove why he has been one of the best lightweights in the sport for years, a sentiment reflected in his final words given to us on the fight.
“Tomorrow night – Saturday will be my day and I’ll get my redemption.”
Braeden Arbour is an aspiring journalist out of Ontario, Canada. He is a recent graduate of Trent University, with a black belt in Karate and a blue belt in Judo. He has also been an avid fan of MMA for the last decade.