Bizarrely, some people actually thought that the Conor McGregor vs Jose Aldo bout at UFC 194 was stopped too early. But even those sadists must have been yelling for Herb Dean to call a halt to Luke Rockhold’s pummeling of Chris Weidman at the close of the third round in the show’s co-main event.
Rockhold, who was challenging for Weidman’s UFC middleweight belt, took control of the fight in round two, and in the following session began to lay an almighty beating upon the “All-American”. Towards the end of that savage stanza, Rockhold’s ground and pound attack went up a notch when he progressed to the mount position. A bloodied Weidman could now do very little to defend himself from Rockhold’s powerful blows, other than just cover up and hope for the best.
In this case, ‘the best’ seemed to be an intervention from the referee.
Herb Dean, however, did not call an end to the slaughter. Seemingly influenced by the clapper that indicates there are only ten seconds remaining in a round, Herb allowed the contest to continue. Weidman survived the round, only to be stopped, mercifully, in the fourth.
In a recent appearance on BloodyElbow’s Three Amigo’s Podcast, the new 185lb titleholder was asked for his opinion on the situation.
It turns out that Rockhold was just as baffled by Herb’s decision to remain an observer as everyone else was. The California fighter revealed that as he was raining blows down upon the near defenseless Weidman, he was actually wondering what it would take to bring about the stoppage.
“In the moment, I was thinking to myself, ‘What is going on right now? How is he not stopping the fight?’ I don’t know what else I needed to do, but you know, that’s the fight game, and if it were me, I’d want to go out on my shield and be completely finished. I was hoping he would stop it, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and I had to go suck it up another round”.
It was a tough weekend overall for the veteran referee, as he also received widespread criticism for his handling of the fight to determine the winner of season 22 of The Ultimate Fighter, between Straight Blast Gym’s Artem Lobov and submission specialist Ryan Hall.
In the last round of that bout, the fighter’s had reached a grappling stalemate, but Dean neglected to separate them. The result was an extremely uninspiring final three minutes of non-action, which was not a fitting conclusion to an exciting season of the show.