Dana White SLAMS veteran UFC referee Herb Dean for botched stoppage


‘He’s kind of dancing, like he doesn’t know what to do’: Dana White SLAMS veteran UFC referee Herb Dean for botched stoppage after he appeared to change his mind

  • UFC head Dana White criticised referee Herb Dean over botched fight stoppage 
  • Dean stopped Marcos Rogerio de Lima v Ben Rothwell, but then hesitated
  • Amid much confusion Dean then officially stopped the fight after 30 seconds
  • White accused veteran ref Dean of looking ‘like he doesn’t know what to do’ 











UFC chief Dana White has rebuked veteran referee Herb Dean for his stoppage error in the fight between Marcos Rogerio de Lima and Ben Rothwell at UFC Vegas 42.

The heavyweight bout ended in confusion after just 30 seconds as Dean appeared to stop the fight, but then hesitated, before officially stepping in and calling the fight for de Lima. 

From the first bell de Lima went all-out to attack Rothwell and very quickly had him rocked back against the cage. 

Dean was in charge of the fight between Marcos Rogerio de Lima and Ben Rothwell

Dana White (left) slammed Herb Dean (right) over his stoppage error during UFC Las Vegas 42

Dean grabbed de Lima to stop the fight, but then hesitated as both fighters hit the canvas

Dean grabbed de Lima to stop the fight, but then hesitated as both fighters hit the canvas

The Brazilian then began unloading huge blows on Rothwell, who had no escape from the punishment as referee Dean watched on.

De Lima kept raining the punches down on Rothwell to the point where Dean threw his arms around the Brazilian’s waist, in a signal that he was stopping the fight. 

However, as Rothwell fell he brought de Lima down with him and Dean then stepped back, appearing unwilling to get in between both fighters.

A confused de Lima, now poised on top of a fallen Rothwell, then looked to Dean for confirmation of the situation, and the referee then finally stopped the fight, declaring de Lima the winner. 

Dean had seen enough and grabs de Lima around the waist in an attempt to stop the fight

Dean had seen enough and grabs de Lima around the waist in an attempt to stop the fight

But Rothwell drags de Lima with him as he falls, and Dean then hesitates and steps back

But Rothwell drags de Lima with him as he falls, and Dean then hesitates and steps back

De Lima looks questioningly at referee Dean, now unsure of the situation in the fight

De Lima looks questioningly at referee Dean, now unsure of the situation in the fight 

Dean then eventually gets between the two fighters and confirms the bout has been stopped

Dean then eventually gets between the two fighters and confirms the bout has been stopped

In the post-fight press conference, White did not flinch in his criticism of Dean, saying: ‘Herb needs to stop touching guys unless the fight’s over. He goes in and grabs him by the waist and decides, ‘Oops…’  

‘The good thing about this one was, that fight should’ve been stopped when he stopped it.

‘When they played it back in slow motion, he’s kind of like dancing, like he doesn’t know what to do, whether he’s going to jump in or not jump in.

‘I like him personally, he’s a nice guy. He’s got to stop touching people until he’s ready to stop the fight.’

Regarded as one of the best referees in UFC, Dean’s reputation was also called into question by other prominent figures in the sport.   

UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling tweeted: ‘That was SO BAD! Smh! How is the commission still allowing terrible referring?

‘It’s not an easy job, but dude, you can’t play hot potato with stopping fights like that. Because he looked at you?? Crazy man.’

Former welterweight fighter Dan Hardy also chipped in, calling Dean a ‘liability’.