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Herb Dean Fires Back at Dan Hardy, Defends Controversial Stoppage

Herb Dean [1] has been taking some heat for how he handled the end of the Franciso Trinaldo – Jai Herbert fight, and Dan Hardy has arguably been the most vocal/visible. But, more recently the respected referee defended his actions, and he also fired back at a certain person, who almost certainly was Hardy.

Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

Dean defends fight’s stoppage

Dean officiated the Trinaldo – Herbert bout, which took place on the prelims for UFC Fight Island 3. [2] In the third round of the entertaining battled, Trinaldo floored Herbert with a massive puch.

Herbert fell to the floor very awkwardly and appeared to stiffen up for a moment. But, Dean allowed the fight too continue, when even Trinaldo hesitated to throw any more shots. The lightweight eventually did so, since the fight hadn’t been called, and then Dean jumped in.

Hardy had already screamed at Dean to stop the bout, as had fellow UFC commentator, Paul Felder. Moments later, Hardy could be heard confronting Dean away from his mic.

Well, since then, Hardy has issued a statement in which he explained why he did what he did. [3]Dean, meanwhile, has also posted his own video statement.

According to Dean, what Hardy and others who yelled out to stop the fight was “dangerous”. Further, Dean says he was told by the ringside physician that how he handled the final moments of the bout was “fine”.

Here’s some of what Dean had to say (quotes via MMA Junkie [4]).

“What I really want to get into right now is during the match someone yelled out, ‘Stop the fight,’” Dean said on Instagram. “It’s really interesting because there’s only professionals there and there’s not one fan in the building.

Everybody has a job there, everybody knows what their job is and they have specific duties. I have a job to referee the fight, one of my duties is to stop the fight when the fighter’s taking too much damage.

There’s two people who are authorized to advise me during that, to maybe yell out those words, ‘Stop the fight.’

“There’s one, the physician. We have a ringside physician who knows more about the physical body than I do. He’s there to give me advice.

If he can’t get my attention maybe he might yell, ‘Stop the fight.’ Then there’s the fighter’s corner. They train with them, they know about them, they know more things about him than I do.

They may know something I don’t know, so that’s why they would give me some advice to stop the fight. Ultimately to stop the fight is my decision.

I don’t know who it was who did it because I was looking at the fight and and I had heard it, so I assumed it was either of the two people authorized to do it, the doctor or the corner.”

Dean also appeared to take a poke at Hardy in particular.

“After the match I followed up, I asked the physician he said, ‘No, that fight was fine. You were doing perfectly fine with everything you did in that match,’” Dean said.

“I didn’t get a chance to ask his corner, but I asked the inspectors, who are in charge of his corner. They said, ‘No. The corner did not yell out to stop the match.’

That means it was someone else, someone else there to do a job. This is a very dangerous thing to do.

If you put on your Superman shirt and decide that you’re the smartest person in the room, smarter than the physician, smarter than the corner who works with the guy and smarter than the referee, there’s a chance you could bring in information that could do the fighter a disservice.”

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Abu Dhabi [5]

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What’s next?

So, it will be interesting to see if Hardy responds or if others weigh-in. While there’s no question Dean is one of the most respected fighters in the game, the consensus seems to be he blew this call. Dean also let the Tanner Boser-Raphael Pessoa bout continue on for several moments, after it was clear Pessoa wasn’t coming back from Boser’s flurry of shots.