Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the referee drama from UFC Fight Island 3. Veteran official, Herb Dean, had words with former fighter and current UFC commentator, Dan Hardy.
The verbal confrontation came after Dean was slow to stop a fight. On the broadcast you could hear Hardy yell out, “Stop the fight! That’s twice now…” referring to another stoppage from earlier in the evening.
Today at the UFC Vegas 5 pre-fight media scrum, Dana White was asked about his opinion on the matter.
“We love Dan. Dan got emotional. The problem is with this setup, it’s a lot easier to do. It’s a lot easier to interact with everybody, from the fighters to the refs to the media and everybody. If you work for me in any capacity and you approach a referee or judge or an official, I will fire you that night on the spot. That can never happen here again,” White said.
UFC’s Firm Warning
Dana White and the UFC are not playing games when it comes to this. White has been very vocal in the past about fighters’ interactions with the referees.
If you need an example of how the UFC handles these kind of situations, just ask Jason High who was cut after he shoved an official after a fight. Of course, that situation was much different, but you get how serious the promotion takes these matters.
Dan Hardy has received a ton of support from the MMA community for standing up in that situation. However, White is coming from the perspective that you have to be professional no matter how strongly you feel.
The UFC does not play games when it comes to this kind of thing. I think this was a good reminder, but it’s also something that would have never taken place had we been in a normal non-COVID world.
Everyone will move on from this in the end. Dean will continue to officiate and Hardy will continue to commentate. They are both great at what they do, and this doesn’t change that. Just a heat of the moment thing that we will all move on from. You can view White’s full pre-fight press conference below.