Much has been made of the most recent episode of The Ultimate Fighter 10: Heavyweights, where Roy “Big Country” Nelson defeated Kimbo Slice by 2nd round TKO, from the ratings hit the episode was, to Kimbo’s lack of progression on the ground, to now, Roy Nelson calling out referee Herb Dean for terrible officiating. Nelson recently spoke to USA Today about his fight with Kimbo and his displeasure with Herb Dean.
“I could have stayed in mount and finished him there with elbows and punches, but my game plan was to get to the crucifix, and once I got to the crucifix, finish the fight there,” Nelson noted about the fight.
Nelson went on to add that the refereeing wasn’t quite up to par. “First round was 44 punches to the face, and then (referee) Herb Dean doesn’t know how to ref, but we’ve seen that before. And then the next round was 22 punches.
“I was surprised. You could even see me yelling at Herb Dean, ‘Come on, ref.’ But the thing is, there’s a lot of people, there’s a lot of money. Kimbo’s the only one that I know that had an entourage there; he actually had his family there, his management, while the rest of us kind of had to suffer. The UFC made, we’ll say, different concessions for Kimbo. I think he had a media room.”
Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer had a different take on the refereeing, as he shared with MMA FanHouse.
“Definitely [It was done right]. I probably had the best seat in the house because it was right where I was sitting at the Commission table,” Kizer noted. “It was quite an atmosphere, down at the Ultimate Fighter gym. There were probably 50 people down there, but it felt like a pay-per-view.
“But as for the ending of the fight, it was right where I was sitting, and the first round was pretty close to getting stopped when the clapper sounded with 10 seconds left in the round, but it was definitely not a situation where he needed to stop the fight. Kimbo was lucky the round wasn’t any longer than five minutes, but he got up and he was fine.
“As far as the second round, Nelson got Kimbo down a lot earlier, and although Herb Dean gave him every opportunity to escape or fight back and he couldn’t. That’s no different than if a guy turtles up and isn’t fighting, that’s when you stop the fight, and Herb did. Very good job by him.”
“Big Country” was later asked if he felt there was some unfair treatment involved with the handling of the fight with Slice. “Kimbo’s definitely, I guess we’ll say, special. I don’t see the ‘specialness’ fighting-wise, but more for TV-wise. He puts butts in the seats.
“So I think it was more that Herb Dean was afraid to lose his job, because there’s a lot of people with a lot of money that can have a lot of influence with his career.”
Nelson also responded to some criticism he’s been taking from Dana White on how he ended the fight. “It’s kind of funny, because as much as Dana was saying, ‘He did just enough to win,’ I’ll answer that directly as, that’s right. I did exactly what I wanted to do: took no damage; won the fight. That’s everything I wanted to do when I was out in the house, so I think I did pretty good for myself.
“Dana didn’t like it because I just killed the moneymaker. That’s the only thing I can think of. Yeah, the executive producer’s hanging out with Kimbo’s entourage all mad and disappointed because I won, but little did the executive producer know that I’m an actual fighter – an MMA fighter, not just a barbecue brawler.”