One of the most talked about fights from the UFC on ESPN 14 event last weekend in Abi Dhabi didn’t take place inside the Octagon, thanks to a war of words between cageside commentator Dan Hardy and longtime MMA referee Herb Dean.
Hardy blew a gasket during the Francisco Trinaldo vs. Jai Herbert lightweight bout on the ESPN “Prelims” for what he perceived to be a late stoppage (video). Late enough to potentially jeopardize the health and safety of “The Black Country Banger.”
Yes, that’s really his nickname.
The Hardy-Dean dust-up has been a topic of conversation for most fans (and pundits) coming out of the “Fight Island” event and now looks to be a topic of conversation for the UFC brass, as well, once everyone gets back to work this week in Las Vegas.
“The important thing for us to do is to try and get a handle and try to get an understanding of what actually happened,” UFC senior vice president David Shaw said after the event (via MMA Junkie). “Obviously, this is not something that you address with either one of the parties during the show. So we’ll go back, we’ll check it out, try to get a better understanding of what happened and really take it from there.”
As with most international trips, UFC is charged with regulating its own events and closely follows the rulebook in place for Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) under the watchful eye of former executive director Marc Ratner.
Ratner was named UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs back in 2006.
“I guess the bottom line is there’s one group of people that are able to talk to officials during the fight and that’s Ratner’s regulatory group and no one else,” Shaw said, while also praising the longtime efforts of both Dean and Hardy. “So we’ll see what happens next week when we get back to the office.”
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