After a controversial stoppage at Saturday evening’s UFC occasion in Abu Dhabi, the referee and commentator concerned in a postfight confrontation are defending themselves.

After referee Herb Dean left the Octagon following a prelim bout between Francisco Trinaldo and Jai Herbert at UFC Struggle Night time: Whittaker vs. Until, he appeared to get into an argument with UFC colour commentator Dan Hardy. Video and images afterward captured Dean and Hardy in considerably of a verbal altercation.

On the published, Hardy was admittedly extraordinarily upset about what he felt was a late stoppage by Dean, saying that Herbert was allowed to take an excessive amount of harm from Trinaldo. In a video launched Sunday on his Instagram, Dean mentioned it was “on no account” a late stoppage and Hardy screaming “cease the combat!” whereas the bout was nonetheless occurring might have been a “harmful” act in a silent area.

Within the third spherical of the bout, Trinaldo knocked Herbert down with a punch. Trinaldo ran over to throw follow-up punches with Herbert on the bottom, however hesitated, seemingly considering Herbert was performed and the combat ought to be over. Dean, who was standing over the 2 males, waited for Trinaldo to throw a number of extra follow-up pictures earlier than calling the bout and ruling it a TKO.

Hardy, in addition to many others, thought Dean ought to have ended the bout after the preliminary punch, saying that Herbert was knocked out and clearly not intelligently defending himself. He made his emotions identified loudly on the published.

Hardy wrote Sunday on Twitter that it was Dean who approached him after the bout was over.

In his video Sunday, Dean defined that he might hear somebody yelling “cease the combat!” whereas the motion was persevering with. The referee mentioned there are solely two folks licensed to advise him on when the bout ought to finish: the ringside doctor and a fighter’s nook individual.

In an empty area with out followers, which has been the brand new regular throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the fighters and referees can generally hear the broadcasters who’re seated cageside. Dean implied that was the case Saturday.

“It is a very harmful factor to do,” Dean mentioned of somebody screaming to cease the combat. “If you happen to put in your Superman shirt and determine that you are the smartest individual within the room — smarter than the doctor and smarter than the nook who works with the man and smarter than the referee — [there’s a] probability you may usher in data that would do the fighter a disservice. I am wanting on the match. I consider I am getting data from the folks certified to do it. Certainly not would I, at the same time as a referee, stand up and yell and inform one other one other referee to cease the match. If I have been to do this, I’d know it might be a state of affairs the place I could not dwell with myself in any other case.”

Dean added that he would publish one other video sooner or later explaining what a referee seems for in a sequence have been a fighter is clearly harm and the bout could possibly be known as at any second. However Dean mentioned referees are taking a look at a fighter’s actions, together with if their eyes are monitoring their opponent, in the event that they know the place the opponent is, in the event that they’re placing their arms and/or legs as much as defend and is their head is off the mat. Dean mentioned Herbert was “doing the whole lot I might ask for him to do to remain within the combat.”

“It is easy,” Dean mentioned of his name. “Anybody who believes it isn’t is possibly simply following as a result of someone with a microphone says it ought to have been stopped. … That wasn’t a nasty stoppage.”

Hardy, a retired fighter himself, wrote Sunday on social media he’ll at all times communicate his thoughts and “it will at all times be backed by what I really feel in my coronary heart.” Hardy wrote that he felt it was Dean’s second late stoppage of the evening and “twice in an evening is obvious negligence, for my part.”

“The referee’s job is extra vital than every other individual within the constructing,” Hardy wrote. “It’s on their shoulders to guard fighters from getting significantly harm when they’re unable to guard themselves. … Once I make a mistake, I look silly on dwell TV. When a referee makes a mistake, persons are left weak and could be significantly broken.”

UFC senior vp David Shaw mentioned within the postfight information convention that the UFC might deal with the incident between Dean and Hardy, including that solely these within the group run by UFC regulatory head Marc Ratner “are capable of discuss to officers throughout the combat evening.” Dean is likely one of the most revered referees on the earth, Shaw mentioned, and Hardy is a adorned and fiery former fighter and analyst.

“The vital factor for us to do is to attempt to get a deal with and attempt to get an understanding of what truly occurred,” Shaw mentioned. “Clearly, this isn’t one thing that you just deal with with both one of many events throughout the present. These guys have a job to do, and so we actually do not need to disrupt their efforts to do a superb job, as we count on they at all times will. So we’ll return, we’ll test it out, attempt to get a greater understanding of what occurred and actually take it from there.”