Dean: ‘I wasn’t sure’ if Silva was out or faking at first
In most cases it would be unheard of for a fighter to fall to the mat as a fake-out, pretending to be out to lure his opponent to the mat, however as Anderson Silva fell to the mat, for a second, referee Herb Dean thought that could possibly have been the case:
“It was almost a replay of the pantomime that he had done,” he said. “I saw him go down. I respond to it whether it’s pantomime or not, but to be honest, I wasn’t sure. But I’m going to respond and get in close to get a better look. Once I got in there and got a better look, he was unconscious to me.
Dean might actually have helped Silva wake up by pushing off the swarming Weidman. The deposed champ grabbed one of his legs as the new champ paraded around the octagon, enjoying the biggest win of his undefeated career.
Silva had defended his title 10 times and had never been defeated in the UFC before Weidman one-upped him and took the belt.
Referee Dean has overseen hundreds of bouts in addition to his times in the cage with Silva, and was aware that he was part of history before he ever set foot in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. But like just about everyone, he wasn’t expecting to see what he saw.
“You put two well-trained guys who are trying to take each other’s will away, anything can happen,” Dean said. “But the way it happened, to get caught in the middle of his antics, I think that was a little bit surprising.”