Veteran referee Herb Dean has constantly been pegged to officiate big matches in the UFC – and MMA for that matter.
Dean once again drew a championship match this past weekend, as he was the referee in charge during Anthony Pettis’ victory over Benson Henderson.
The bout ended when Pettis secured an armbar on Henderson, who verbally submitted. It was an interesting finish, as it came near the end of the first round and “Showtime” actually walked away from the move before Dean could step in.
“I saw [Pettis] lock the armbar in and [Henderson] was trying to defend it. He was reaching across, and he went belly down. I was moving and trying to get into a better position and at that time, that’s when the tap came,” said Dean, while appearing on The MMA Hour recently. “I think people should always wait for me to touch them. Just to be on the safe side, I wouldn’t advise that fighter not to get up unless the referee has touched them.
“It all worked out, but we have situations where guys stop fighting and the referee has not stopped the fight. Then, they have to start fighting again. We definitely don’t want situations like that, especially in championship fights.”
Dean added that “the armbar was on tight, the arm was going,” and he knew “the tap was coming.”
Pettis suffered a knee injury in the win, but the extent is currently unknown. He is likely to face TJ Grant in his first title defense.