Kizer supports Dean's 2 point deduction on Cacares

by Kirik Jenness | source:

Being a referee is the most thankless task in MMA, and is in its own way every bit as difficult as fighting itself. There is no one who appears on the list of best referees, who does not as well appear on many fans' worst referee list.

Such is the case with perhaps the best ref in the history of MMA, Herb Dean.

There has been intense fan cirticism of Dean for calls he made at UFC 143 that appear at first galnce to be potentially contradictory. Josh Koscheck landed an accidental eye poke after being warned and received no point deduction, while Alex "Bruce Leroy" Caceres landed a groin kick after being warned and received an almost unprecedented two point deduction.

A two point deduction is a huge penalty, and in this case cost Caceres the fight. Caceres lost by Split Decision, with two judges scoring it 28-27 for Edwin Figueroa. If Dean had deducted only one point, the decision would have been a Majority Draw. If Dean had deducted no points as he did with Kos, Cacares would have won.

Herb Dean does not have to answer to the fans, or to the UFC (MMA devotees who think the UFC has influence on what officials are used would do well to consider the presence of Steve Mazzagatti on UFC cards, after UFC President Dana White has repeatedly named him 'worst ref in the history of the world!! Not just MMA!"). Herb Dean answers to the Commissions that regulate the sport, and Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer, the most prominent commissioner in the sport, supports Dean's call to deduct two points

"That's something I asked him about afterward," Kizer said. "We went through that at the post-fight meeting for UFC 143 and he explained himself from that point of view. It was a situation where [Caceres] had done it, [Dean] gave him a hard warning, the low blow wasn't just an accident -- it was gross negligence, to use a legal term. Sometimes accidental fouls happen, but he thought the fighter was being very negligent or very sloppy, so he gave him a very hard warning and then very soon afterward he did it again. This was a straight-on kick where the fighter had a lot of control over it, he kicked him very hard, the guy was very hurt, you could hear the kick, you could see his reaction when he landed the kick so you could see he was really hurt. The kick was one he could very easily control and the fighter didn't seem to care."

"What I liked from that was Herb's thinking process makes sense.It caused injury -- I didn't know if it was intentional but it was as near as it could be without being intentional -- either willful disregard or reckless disregard of the rules and the warning."

"It's the same with a referee when I ask, 'Why'd you stop a fight or why didn't you stop a fight?' I want them to be able to explain themselves in a way that makes sense. If Herb had only taken one point away I wouldn't have had a problem with that, either. If he hadn't even taken one point that's a situation where I would have said, 'Why didn't you take a point away?' The wrong answer would have been to ignore it, but the right answer could have been either one point or two points. Herb asked, How much damage was done? A lot. Was this something he could have controlled? Yes, it was a straight on kick. Had I given him a warning? Yes, and he didn't seem to care."

"If you want to take two points away you can as a ref, you have that discretion. It's very rarely used -- I think it was only Herb's second time ever."

Kizer agreed as well with Dean's decision not to take a point off for Koscheck'e eye poke.

"I didn't ask him about that," Kizer said. "That wasn't something where I thought to myself, 'What's Herb doing?' Never in that round did I think Herb should take a point away."

"I don't think that if a ref takes a point away in one fight he has to do it in another. That's not the case."

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Recent Comments »

Hankman81 site profile image  

2/19/12 8:23 AM by Hankman81

People think about point deduction as a punishment but to me in cases like these it's more about making things fair, even. That the fighter who was the victim of the foul won't be at a disadvantage because of it.To win the fight you need to win 2 rounds out of 3. To win the fight with 2 points deducted you need to win all three. If you can't win all three when your opponent fights those rounds injured you probably weren't going to win 2 rounds without the foul.That being said, I gave Caceres all three rounds. But that's an issue of judging, not refereeing.

Hankman81 site profile image  

2/19/12 8:10 AM by Hankman81

A hard kick to the groin will sap your strength. A hard groin kick in the first round will affect you for the whole three rounds. No way taking 1 point away will make things even when the guy just got an advantage for all the three rounds. I kinda agree with the 2 point deduction even if I was shocked to see it happen.

AndyMain site profile image  

2/19/12 3:51 AM by AndyMain

That was not a straight on kick. Alex turned his hip over just not enough. Definitely negligent but still unintentional. 1 pt would have sufficed.

Thacommish site profile image  

2/18/12 4:28 PM by Thacommish

lol really? did you not hear the sound of a baseball bat hitting a hollow coconut?! i say we try to replicate the sound on your go nads then see if you change your mind on how much it hurt

0superdave0 site profile image  

2/18/12 2:53 PM by 0superdave0

oh shit keith kizer said its okay then all is right in the world

randysan site profile image  

2/18/12 1:40 PM by randysan

exactly and Alex won every round easy so score should have been 28-27 for him, even if Herb got it right the judges are fuckin terrible !!

Anarkis site profile image  

2/18/12 1:09 PM by Anarkis

He should have been disqualified.

Chiron site profile image  

2/18/12 12:59 PM by Chiron

Exactly. Once the ref warns the fighter, especially when theys top the fight to warn the fighter, if the fighter does it again they deserve to have a point deducted. Otherwise the fighters going to know they can probably get away with it at least once more and that can change the fight a fair bit. The fighters are professionals and know the rules. If they're warned once they don't deserve a second warning.I can't recall a time Kizer ever criticized the way the NSAC and officials working for it handles things. That would require actually admitting there are errors, which we all know there are. Even more, it means he and the other NSAC officials would have to get off their asses and do something to fix the problems and they can't bother with that. Kizer is a poor commissioner.

gilbertfan site profile image  

2/18/12 12:10 PM by gilbertfan

NAC 467.698 Fouls: Intentional. (NRS 467.030) 2. If the referee determines that a contest or exhibition may continue despite an injury caused by an intentional foul, the referee shall immediately inform the Commission’s representative and the judges and shall deduct two points from the score of the unarmed combatant who committed the intentional foul.It is up to Herb to determine whether the foul was intentional. Did the athlete have control of his weapon? It is a judgement call as are many things in mma rules and reffing. I truly respect Herb's judgement and ability. He was in good position. He issued a strong warning.However, I am not sure I could have made the same call. This issue of having pinpoint control over the punches and kicks like in this fight or the Silva/Prater fight are very subjective and will vary depending on the angle, the fighter, and countless other things. One point seemed a bit more appropriate as I don't believe the intent was there. Yes, he needs to be in control of his weapons but carelessness does not equal direct purposeful action.Reffing and judging MMA is not easy. Kudos to Herb for helping set the standard.

Jack Skellington site profile image  

2/18/12 11:25 AM by Jack Skellington

 I could see that. Even though I dont agree he REALLY hurt him with that shot, damn!