- Kamaru Usman was seen grabbing the fences during his title fight with Leon Edwards at UFC 278
- Herb Dean explained when do referees need to deduct a point due to fence grabs
Some fans are still buzzing about Leon Edwards’ stunning title fight win at UFC 278 to dethrone Kamaru Usman. One of the hottest subjects of conversation was the now former welterweight champion’s fence grabs during clinches and grapples with “Rocky.”
While some think that a point should’ve been deducted from “The Nigerian Nightmare,” referee in charge of the fight Herb Dean suggested it wasn’t necessary.
It didn’t deserve a deduction
According to Dean, it’s “very difficult” to judge a fence grab during fights as some of it falls down to the category of a “natural reaction” from a fighter. More importantly, deducting a point is very crucial as it often decides the outcome of the fight.
Dean pointed out that in general, fence grabs should “significantly affect the fight” before calling for a point deduction, suggesting that Usman’s fence grabs at UFC 278 didn’t have an effect on the match.
“Fence grabs are very difficult to deal with in the sport because it’s a natural reaction… but to deduct a point… what’s the most common score that goes to the cards- 29-28. So that means we have a one point for the majority of fights that happen that go to the card, 29-28 is the most common score. So if you take a point, that means you’ve taken a win. So it’s not like in other sports where you have 12 rounds and you take a point. It’s a much stiffer punishment… so to have that balance there, that grab needs to significantly affect the fight. And it doesn’t have to always happen right away,” Dean told Helen Yee Sports.
It still depends on the referee in charge
All told, Dean concluded that at the end of the day, point deductions on fence grabs or any types of fouls still depend on the judgment of the referee in charge.
“Those are judgment calls of the referees,” he said.
Meanwhile, all parties involved seem eager to push for Edwards vs. Usman 3. Will it take place in the newly-crowned champion’s home soil in England? Let’s wait and see.