Dan Hardy criticized Dean for a late stoppage back at UFC Fight Island 3. The two men had some verbal back and forth. Dana White came out last week and said that situations like that could never happen again.
Shahbazyan took some massive shots and Dean came close to stopping the fight. His decision to proceed drew criticism.
Herb Dean is a great referee but his confidence is not high right now. He just half waved off the fight after the second round. If referees need to be anything, it's decisive.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) August 2, 2020
How I saw UFC Vegas 5
There was a lot of criticism thrown Dean’s way, but I truly believe that he made the right call last night. I fall more in line with what Michael Bisping had to say after UFC.
Early but sound call from herb dean. Brunson was just gonna punish him big time. No need for a young prospect to take unnecessary damage.
— michael (@bisping) August 2, 2020
There were a lot of people that said Shahbazyan was out near the end of the second round. I’ve watched the tape multiple times and he was not out. He was exhausted and taking some big shots, but he wasn’t out.
Immediately after the round ended Shahbazyan got up and went to his corner. You could tell he was hurt, but he had a full minute to recover. We’ve seen fighters in the past go from being nearly finished at the end of the round to winning the fight.
Shahbazyan did look a little out of it so Dean called in the doctor just to get a second opinion on his ability to continue. The doctor approved it and the fight continued.
Of course, Brunson stormed forward and took Shahbazyan straight to the ground. After landing just two shots, Dean called a stop to the action. The stoppage was great in my opinion. Shahbazyan was not ready to continue, but I think it was okay to send him out for the third.
I understand it’s the flavor of the month to bash Herb Dean. Yes, he made a bad call at UFC Fight Island 3. However, are we just going to ignore his history as one of the best refs in MMA history?
Dean unfortunately is going to find himself under the microscope every time he refs a UFC contest for the foreseeable future. It shouldn’t be that way, but unfortunately it’s the world we live in.