The officials have been selected for the biggest fight of the year, featuring UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor.
Per MMAFighting, veteran referee Herb Dean will take charge of the UFC 229 main event on October 6.
Dean has officiated five of McGregor’s fights so far: versus Nate Diaz at UFC 196, Chad Mendes at UFC 196, Dennis Siver in January 2015, Dustin Porier at UFC 178, and Max Holloway in Boston.
While Dean has been a UFC referee for over 14 years, he came in for some heavy criticism recently. Earlier this month, Dean was widely panned for stepping in late during a bout between CB Dolloway and Khalid Murtazaliev.
I don't think MMA referee is a job you should keep after a mistake that horrific. Herb Dean needs to lose his officiating license for that.
— Fight Ghost (@Fight_Ghost) September 15, 2018
The funniest part of that was how Herb Dean was yelling at CB to get up and go to his stool like, "get up bro or I'm gonna call the fight! you want me to call the fight?"
Shit bruh he wanted you to call the fight 30 punches ago. ???? #UFCMoscow
— MacMally? (@MacMallyMMA) September 15, 2018
Judging by the reaction today, the decision to appoint him as referee for such a big fight is not a popular one.
Another entity that could have a major impact on the fight is the judges. Derek Cleary, Sal D’Amato and Junichiro Kamijo have been chosen to deliberate on the fight if it goes the full distance.
Of the trio, only Derek Cleary has judged a McGregor fight that has gone the distance; at UFC 202 in the Diaz rematch. He gave McGregor rounds 1, 2 and 4 and a 48-47 overall decision (Glenn Trowbridge declared it a draw). Trowbridge awarded a 10-8 to Diaz in the third, with Cleary going for a 10-9.
All three have refereed at least one of Khabib’s fights in the UFC, but with the Dagestani Eagle never losing a round in the promotion, there’s nothing to speculate on as of yet.