‘He’s Got to Stop Touching People’- Dana White Slams Referee Herb Dean for Indecisive Stoppage at UFC Vegas 42

Published 11/14/2021, 1:09 AM EST
HOUSTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 05: UFC President Dana White looks on during the UFC 265 press conference at at Toyota Center on August 05, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)


UFC President Dana White had some hard-hitting words for veteran referee Herb Dean following the sensational UFC Vegas 42 fight card. Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez put on a show for the ages and fans all over couldn’t get enough. However, an occurrence in the co-main event scrap between Ben Rothwell and Marcos Rogerio de Lima raised some eyebrows.

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The Brazilian heavyweight in de Lima earned a TKO stoppage win in just 32 seconds of round one over veteran Rothwell. However, Herb Dean’s role in the fight was questioned by some fans after the fact. In fact, Dana White made sure to spend some time talking about it during the post-fight interview.

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Dana White doesn’t mince his words

Chiefly, Herb Dean displayed a level of uncertainty before stopping the fight between Rothwell and de Lima in round one. Dean touched the fighter’s mid-way as the action was unfolding, thus causing some confusion regarding his final decision to stop the fight. This isn’t the first time that Herb Dean stepped in with a sense of uncertainty and Dana White made sure he opined on this matter.

JACKSONVILLE, FL – APRIL 24: UFC President Dana White is seen during UFC 261 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 24, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images)

“Herb needs to stop touching guys unless the fight is over. He goes in and grabs them by the waist and then decides ‘Oops, maybe I’m..’. The good thing about this one was; that fight should have been stopped when he stopped it.’”

“You didn’t see Ben jumping up and arguing about it. He’s got to pull the trigger and stop touching guys. Don’t touch em unless you’re going to stop the fight… I like him personally, he’s a nice guy but he’s got to stop touching people until he’s ready to stop the fight.”

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Herb Dean’s excellent resume speaks for itself over the years, however, he certainly should avoid touching the fighters unless a stoppage is incoming. Dean has shown that this tendency can produce some unsavory results, and he’d be well advised to operate with caution moving forward. Along with Jason Herzog, Herb Dean is considered to be the gold standard in MMA and he has lived up to that standing for the most part.

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Darryl Pinto

1990 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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