There were plenty of headlines at UFC Fight Island 3 last night and one of the major ones involved Dan Hardy and Herb Dean.
Dean was refereeing the catchweight bout between Francisco Trinaldo and Jai Herbert and was at fault for stopping the action too late when the latter was clearly knocked out and unable to compete.
Hardy was notably animated as he, along with fellow commentator Paul Felder, urged Dean to stop the fight.
Hardy and Dean would both go at it after the fight as images and videos emerged soon after.
Dan Hardy rippin Herb Dean a new one pic.twitter.com/uzpfwQzFcf
— MMA Gone Wild 🅙 (@mmagonewild) July 26, 2020
— Dovy🔌 (@DovySimuMMA) July 26, 2020
Hardy, Dean Incident To Be Investigated
Speaking about the incident, UFC senior vice president David Shaw defended both parties as he revealed the promotion would take a look at the incident closely.
“I wasn’t on the floor when it happened, I was back in the office. I did hear some of the comments on the broadcast,” Shaw said at the post-fight press conference. “Here’s the thing — being a ref in MMA is one of the hardest roles that you can have, and Herb Dean is one of our best, categorically. Bottom line is, health and safety of the athletes is of paramount importance. On the other side, you’ve got a guy like Hardy who [had a] very successful MMA career, an excellent analyst right now, but he’s passionate and he’s fiery.
“The important thing for us to do is to try and get a handle and try to get an understanding of what actually happened. Obviously, this is not something that you address with either one of the parties during the show. These guys have a job to do and so we certainly don’t want to disrupt their efforts to do an excellent job, as we expect they always will. So we’ll go back, we’ll check it out, try to get a better understanding of what happened and really take it from there. I guess the bottom line is there’s one group of people that are able to talk to officials during the fight night, and that’s (Marc) Ratner’s regulatory group, and no one else. So we’ll see what happens next week when we get back to the office.”
Hardy has since released a statement on Instagram where he defended his actions.
“I love Mixed Martial Arts. Sometimes it doesn’t love me back though, and that’s alright. Regardless, I’ll always do everything in my power to protect it, and those dedicating themselves to it.
Sometimes you may disagree with me, and that’s alright as well. I’m always going to speak my mind, and it will always be backed by what I feel in my heart.
If you understand what it takes to get in there, then you understand my passion and anger when I see a fighter left unprotected. It isn’t the first time it’s happened, and twice in a night is clear negligence, in my opinion.
The referees job is more important than any other person in that building. It is on their shoulders to protect fighters from getting seriously hurt when they are unable to protect themselves.
You may just see UFC fighters in there, but I see friends, teammates, sons, daughters, mothers and fathers, competing in the sport that they love.
When I make a mistake, I look stupid on live TV. When a referee makes a mistake, people are left vulnerable and can be seriously damaged. That can be life-changing, and we all have someone to go home to, that loves us and wants us back in one piece.
Thank you for all of the kind words and messages I’ve received. I am truly grateful. I’ll see you all around… ♥️”
Dean, however, had a response of his own as he defended the stoppage and explained how Hardy yelling out had consequences of its own. You can watch it below:
This certainly isn’t the end of the matter.