Coming off of a weekend where referee Herb Dean took a bit of flak for what some called an early stoppage in the Alexander Volkov-Jair Rozenstruik fight, officiating is once again in the spotlight. And one of the UFC’s top stars doesn’t want Dean working his fights.
While Dean is widely regarded as one of the most experienced referees in mixed martial arts, UFC welterweight Jorge Masvidal went on record earlier this month, saying he’d rather Dean not be present when he’s in the cage. “Gamebred” actually made the comments prior to the latest controversy, speaking to veteran journalist Ariel Helwani.
Masvidal (35-16) noted that he took an eye poke in his fight with Colby Covington that went unpunished, which has resulted in a need for laser eye surgery. But there’s more to his issue with Dean than just the Covington fight.
“I’m not a fan of Herb Dean, man, I can tell you that much,” Masvidal (35-16) told The MMA Hour last week. “We’ve had a couple problems. Donald Cerrone was one of them, Jake Ellenberger, as well. I just, I don’t know, I don’t think I’m his cup of tea, and he kind of takes it out when refereeing.”
“He’s done some things that I’m like, it’s kind of weird, and then I get clearly, clearly— [Covington] throws a low blow— that I’m not saying this changes the outcome, but [Covington] clearly he throws a low blow that’s intentional, and Herb doesn’t do anything about it, just gives him a little warning. I don’t know.”
“I hope that as long as I compete, Herb Dean never referees a fight of mine or judges it,” Masvidal finished.
There’s no time table set for Jorge Masvidal’s return to competition. In the interim, he is currently facing multiple felony charges after allegedly assaulting rival Covington outside a Miami eatery a few weeks removed from their UFC 272 contest.