During the UFC Live 6 undercard, Shane Roller took on T.J. Grant in a lightweight battle with both fighters entering the fight with added pressure of having recently lost. Grant’s defeat came to Ricardo Almeida at UFC 124 via Unanimous Decision with Roller’s to Melvin Guillard by first round TKO in their fight at UFC 132.

The 10-5 Roller, a former four-time high school wrestling state champion and three-time All American on the mat, was submitted by Grant in the second round of their preliminary pairing. However, there was immediate controversy regarding the stoppage by referee Fernando Yamasaki due to Roller actually tapping to the technique.

After Yamasaki stepped in to stop the action, Roller quickly stood up from the canvas and had a look of confusion and anger on his face as he circled the Octagon trying to figure out why the fight had been stopped. A review of the video confirmed at no time did Roller tap. During the announcement of the decision it was stated that 17-5 Grant had won via a verbal submission by the standout wrestler. Roller admitted in a post fight interview with Joe Rogan that he moaned but was trying to work his way out of the submission attempt.

In a post-fight conversation with referee Yamasaki, the official stated, “It’s not controversial in my point of view. We tell the fighters if they scream or they yell that’s a verbal tapping.” He would go on to state that it is at his discretion and he thought it was the right time to stop the fight after Roller yelled out in pain.

When asked by NBCSports.com if he was certain it was the right call, Yamasaki responded, “Oh yes it was perfect.” He said it is his job to protect the fighter. To support his decision to stop the fight he mentioned that he is a fifth degree black belt in jiu-jitsu and knows all about submissions.

Shane took to Twitter afterwards and wrote, “Tough loss. No excuses on my part…just not happy w the stoppage. Shouldn’t have been in that position. Def didn’t want the fight to end!”

Roller will have to re-group as he has now suffered two straight losses in the UFC.


MMATraining Take: I think its pretty difficult to distinguish whether the fighters are verbally tapping or grimacing in pain. Either way they are told if they scream or yell it is considered verbal tapping so I think the decision in this specific instance is correct. It’s a tough loss for Roller though.