Referee Herb Dean Has Cat-Like Reflexes

Photos By @herbdeanmma On IG

Herb Dean, considered by many as the gold standard for referees in MMA, has one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: being the guy locked inside a cage with two animals trying to rip each others heads off. The level of awareness needed is that of the highest degree when calling a fight in the organization that has the most dangerous fighters in the world, the UFC. His job is to prevent a murder from happening inside that octagon, period. Sometimes, not everyone likes the split second judgement calls he has to make to guarantee the safety of the fighters. In the heat of the battle, one can’t have every look on every angle, but can aim to respond as safe as possible, and usually Herb Dean is that man to do so. The fact that there are no deaths in the UFC is thanks to all the referees, including Dean. We’ve all seen it, a fighter go down from a hard shot dazed and confused while the opponent continues trying to deliver more damage for a complete annihilation. Out of nowhere a six-foot, 230 pound dude dressed in black with dreadlocks, fly’s in to save the fighter with a reactive defensive technique that ref’s don’t get enough credit for. Sometimes, as Dean engages to stop the fight there’s a dual action happening, where he must push off the attacker as well as protect the fighter being attacked. Some fighters continue trying to fight after being stopped, unknowingly in a daze where the referee is mistaken as the fighter. Dean is no slouch when it comes to mixed martial arts as he holds a professional MMA record of 2W 3L. Dean moves with such needed agility as he is featured in many highlight reel stoppages, being the guy that jumped in to save the other fighter. In the next high stakes match-up pay close attention when there is a stoppage, especially if Dean is the referee. You will notice grace and elegance mixed with technique, as Dean dances around the octagon, ready to explode. Herb Dean will go down as arguably the best referee to ever do it, in the sport of mixed martial arts.

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