This past Saturday held what is claimed to be the best event in Strikeforce history. With a card full of talent and a packed arena we all expected a night of good fights, which was well delivered.
One thing that really bugs me in MMA (other than appalling decisions by judges) is a bad decision by a referee. I can guarantee whenever there is a massively hyped fight that ends in what a portion of the MMA community believe to be an "early stoppage", the finger of blame always points towards the referee. Now, don't get me wrong, there is a lot of bad calls by referees that we have all seen time and time again, but how many times does Herb Dean get it wrong? Never, not in my books.
"The fight is over when he's unconscious" Dean said on Monday to mmajunkie.com "Because he comes back swiftly after I've already stepped in and stopped the fight, I can't restart the fight. Dan's still throwing punches, but once I've touched Dan, I've stopped the fight."
Herb Dean in my eyes is THE best referee in the fight game, he gets as close to the action as possible and always communicates with the fighters inside the octagon when the action really heats up, and when Henderson hit Fedor with that tight uppercut I knew it was over, as did many others including Herb Dean.
"I stepped in to support him once he stood up because his balance was still not totally there," he continued. "I believe his motor control was still questionable."
So, was the decision to end the fight the right choice? Yes, it was. Fedor went limp, he hit the mat face first and was not intelligently defending himself. Dean was right there, a mere foot away from the action and he made the perfect decision in stopping Henderson from delivering any serious damage to the then unconscious Emelianenko.
"If I was to do it again -- if I see a fighter face down receiving shots, I'm going to step in and stop the fight," he concluded. "I can't predict how long he's going to be unconscious for."
I get that some of the people in the MMA community where annoyed by the decision, especially since the decision was against a fighter as adored as Fedor Emelianenko, but it is what it is, if any fighter loses consciousness then the fight has to be stopped.