Last Saturday, on the UFC Moscow card, middleweight veteran CB Dollaway stepped into the cage with Russia’s Khalid Murtazaliev. The fight got tremendously ugly for the American.
Toward the end of round two, CB Dollaway found himself in bottom position, absorbing a meteor shower of ground strikes unleashed by Murtazaliev. Before long, it became clear that Dollaway was in danger, as he absorbed repeated blows to the head, and failed to adequately defend himself. Despite this grim scene, referee Herb Dean did not stop the fight. Instead, he let the round end, at which point an exhausted, barely-conscious CB Dollaway essentially had to peeled off the canvas.
While Herb Dean generally has a pretty solid reputation as a referee, he immediately found himself swallowed up by a storm of criticism. Fans were furious. Dollaway’s fellow fighters were livid. Even the cage-side commentators Dan Hardy and Paul Felder were clearly upset.
Speaking on The MMA Hour this week, Dan Hardy gave his thoughts on this terribly late stoppage. He feels that it was clear CB Dollaway was done.
“I feel like Herb did him a disservice there,” Hardy said (transcript via MMA Fighting). “He could have saved him from at least 10 seconds of punches. He was curled up on his side, then he moved belly down, and for me, that’s too many, when they’re belly down, they’re done.”
“I watched the fight back today and I think it was 26 seconds before the end of the round, I said something about Dollaway, fatigue had taken over and he had not a lot to give,” Hardy said. “He was trying to fight back he’s a warrior, he wouldn’t give up. I always appreciate a guy who will take a beating until the referee stops it, but that’s what the referee is for is to save the fighters from themselves and from their ego and pride.”
What did you think on the terrible beating CB Dollaway absorbed in Moscow? Should Herb Dean have stopped the fight earlier?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/19/2018.