Daniel Cormier Suggests Herb Dean Played a Part in Jamahal Hill’s UFC 300 Loss, ‘Big’ John McCarthy Responds

Longtime referee Herb Dean has come under fire in the days following the UFC's landmark event in Las Vegas

Herb Dean Almost Steps In During Pereira Vs Hill
Courtesy of @ESPNMMA on X

Is Herb Dean to blame for Jamahal Hill’s loss to Alex Pereira at UFC 300? According to UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier, maybe.

Ever since the book closed on the promotion’s landmark event in Las Vegas, pundits have been analyzing the incredible first-round knockout that ‘Poatan’ scored on Hill to retain his light heavyweight title. From the left uppercut that rolled Hill’s eyes into the back of his head to the viral post-fight celebration, it was the perfect end to one of the biggest MMA events of all time.

However, some controversy has slowly risen to the surface in the days since. Moments before Pereira kicked off the fight-ending sequence, he absorbed an accidental low blow from his opponent. As referee Herb Dean stepped in to pause the action, Pereira waved him off. Dean obliged and backed off. Seconds later, ‘Sweet Dreams’ was put to sleep.

Looking back on the highlight-reel finish on his YouTube channel, Cormier suggested that the lack of pause could have deprived Hill of a fight-altering reset between the two fighters.

“Herb Dean made a mistake. While we are all lost in the idea that Herb goes to step in, Alex puts his hand out, Herb steps back. When you have an illegal strike, you are saying that they should be separated and then they come back together as a fresh restart. It didn’t happen and a very short time later, Alex landed the shot that put Jamahal down and knocked him out. I mean, seconds after what should have been a restart.

“At that moment, it felt like Alex had said, ‘I’ve got my timing, I’ve got my foot place,’ and he went and landed. It felt like they were much closer than they should have been.” 

Chael Sonnen offered a similar take on his YouTube channel, suggesting that the momentary pause took Hill out of his element, allowing Pereira to capitalize. 

Ex-UFC Referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy Comes to the Defense of Herb Dean

With certain individuals in the MMA community suggesting that Herb Dean may be at least partly responsible for Hill’s misfortune at UFC 300, retired referee turned analyst ‘Big’ John McCarthy came to the defense of his fellow official in an attempt to exonerate Dean from any wrongdoing in the light heavyweight headliner. 

It is inherently bad for the sport and unbelievably embarrassing to hear people who supposedly know the sport of MMA smear the actions of @HerbDeanMMA as if he was responsible for the knockout of @JamahalH @ufc 300,” McCarthy wrote on X. “Let’s make this as clear as possible for everyone. Herb was perfect in the actions he took in allowing @AlexPereiraUFC to call off the timeout for the kick to the groin he took and then keep the action of the fight in motion.

“The fighter who is fouled by a strike to the groin is in control of how much time they need to take to sufficiently recover from the foul. They have up to 5 minutes of time if they need it. Many times fighters do not want a stop in the action because they feel they have gained momentum in the fight and do not want to give any time to their opponent.

“Everything Herb Dean did was exactly what we would train any official to do under the same circumstances. Luckily we had an official in the cage who understands the rules and the mechanics needed to successfully manage a world title fight instead of the talking heads that guess at what is right or wrong.”

Published on April 18, 2024 at 7:25 pm
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