Herb Dean hoped Nogueira would submit before break

by Chris Palmquist | source: sherdog.com

<a href=Herb Dean" src="http://img.mixedmartialarts.com/method=get&s=herb-dean-12-20-11-8-39-13-946.jpg" />

In professional mixed martial arts a referee is only trained to react after damage has been done, not to prevent it when a submission is being applied. The thought being that these two professionals are being paid a lot of money sometimes and can make their own decision on whether or not to submit.

That said, referees can still have opinions and thoughts on what they hope happens, and more often than not would prefer to see each combatant make it through a fight without serious injury.

At UFC 140, Herb Dean was witness to one of the more gruesome injuries in the Octagon when Antonio Nogueira refused to submit to Frank Mir's kimura and his humerus was broken. The famed referee was recently a guest on Sherdog's Radio Network and told his side of the story:

“In my mind, I was hoping that he would tap,” Dean told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “It’s Time!” show with Bruce Buffer. “Like, ‘Please, please make this easy for me. That looks like it’s on.’ I definitely [had a] heightened awareness at that time. I was really focused on that arm. But that’s how Antonio became who he is -- he didn’t get there by giving up. That guy’s done things that everyone thought was impossible time and time again because he never gives up.”

Technically Nogueira did tap, but that was after his humerus had already snapped.

“I stopped it because I saw the arm break,” Dean said. “The tap came after. I don’t stop it when I believe it’s locked on or even if I believe the guy’s in jeopardy because I don’t know what that person can take. I don’t know what their limits are, but if I see an injury that is too dangerous for the fight to continue, that’s when I’m going to stop the fight. Or if I see the fighter tap.”

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Recent Comments »

Haulport site profile image  

12/21/11 1:31 PM by Haulport

Well that's a hell of a lot better than constantly berating fighters about hitting the back of the head and stopping fights early. I genuinely believe that if Herb had kept his trap shut about hitting the back of the head to Big Nog, Antonio would have finished Mir with punches. He slowed up and then stopped and went for the sub as a response to Herb repeatedly saying (as he always does) "watch the back of the head""don't hit the back of the head." You can watch the fight and see the clear progression.Herb is the most VISIBLE ref in MMA, that's why he gets so much attention...

Fight! UK Online site profile image  

12/21/11 5:59 AM by Fight! UK Online

Slight aside, I got reffed by Mario in Brazil last week. It was a bit surreal! He's got a real bugbear about cage grabbing.  

mauriciolopes site profile image  

12/21/11 5:41 AM by mauriciolopes

Royler would disagree...

TheBeebs site profile image  

12/21/11 2:15 AM by TheBeebs


Haulport site profile image  

12/21/11 2:07 AM by Haulport

Yep. Gray amost tore Roger's arm of but couldn't finish him.


12/20/11 9:26 PM by K-Dub-"T"

 After that roll over ... I said "oh fuck" I knew it was done before the break......

DaemonDragon site profile image  

12/20/11 9:16 PM by DaemonDragon

I've seen some gruesomely deep looking kimuras that guys did escape from.I think Huerta survived one against Maynard that looked like there was no way he could survive.

darkness66 site profile image  

12/20/11 7:44 PM by darkness66

Relax dude. I'm not saying it's his duty to tap for Nog. But had he stopped it prior to the break I wouldn't have objected  

Haulport site profile image  

12/20/11 7:12 PM by Haulport

OMG PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!Herb is the MASTER of the quick stoppage! He is horrible.Mario Yamaski is THE best in the sport and get's no love. I think I've seen one early stoppage from Mario in the past 6-7 years.