While Renan Barao looked as dominant as ever in his first-round TKO win over Urijah Faber, many, including Dana White, felt that the stoppage was premature. After getting dropped by Barao multiple times, Faber dove in on one of Barao’s legs and covered up. While most of Barao’s blows appeared to be blocked by Faber’s arm, Faber’s lack of movement was what seemed to prompt veteran referee Herb Dean to stop the fight.
“You know, you’ve heard me up here a million times, talking about Herb Dean, I think he’s the best referee in the business. He rarely makes mistakes, but he made a mistake tonight,” White said at the post-fight press conference. “Faber was blocking those shots, he gave the thumbs up, and, you know, the guy is the best in the business as far as I’m concerned, but tonight he made a mistake.”
Faber, while clearly bothered by the stoppage, stayed professional. “It’s unfortunate, being a guy that’s very tough, and prides myself on that, in a big show like the one we had today, where I don’t get to fight to the bitter end,” Faber said at the presser. “But on the same note, Barao is getting better, and he caught me with a clean punch and went for the kill. I don’t know-when he said ‘intelligently defend yourself,’ I’m holding onto a leg, I’m covering my head, I mean, if they’re asking me to defend myself, I’m already defending myself, I have to do something, so I put my thumb up, but it is what it is… I feel great that we have a great champion, there’s other challenges for me, I’ll just get back on the horse and work my way towards being a champion again.”Tags: Dana White, herb dean, mma, MMA NEWS, renan barao, ufc, UFC 169, ufc news, Urijah Faber