UFC commentator Dan Hardy has updated on the status of his beef with famed MMA referee Herb Dean.
Hardy, who spent many years competing in the UFC welterweight division, had words with Dean during a July 25 UFC card on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. The incident occured during a fight between Francisco Trinaldo and Jai Herbert, when many onlookers—Hardy included—felt Dean stopped the action too late, subjecting the vanquished Herbert to unnecessary punishment.
“Stop the fight!” Hardy could be heard yelling from cage-side.
Hardy is now back in Abu Dhabi, where the incident with Dean occurred. Speaking to the assembled media on the scene, including MMA Junkie, he updated on the status of his beef with the referee.
He began by explaining that he probably wouldn’t do anything differently in hindsight.
“I probably wouldn’t have done anything different,” Hardy said. “If you go back to Herb Dean, when he was refereeing CB Dollaway, I was standing up, yelling ‘stop the fight’ for that one as well. I mean that should have stopped a lot earlier.”
While Hardy does not regret butting heads with Dean in July, he assures that he has nothing against the referee on a personal level, and they spoke post-fight.
“The reality is, I have nothing against Herb,” Hardy said. “He’s refereed me a bunch of times. I know he’s a good referee, he’s a reliable referee, but he’s human. I make mistakes. I say left when it’s supposed to be right. I say stupid things in commentary. I called Gunnar Nelson ‘Rick Story’ once. You know, we’re human. We make mistakes. The problem is, when you’re a referee and you’re looking after the wellbeing of a fighter, you’ve got to be on point. And at the end of these fights, I just feel like we need to review some of these circumstances to make sure that if somebody needs to be held accountable for a mistake, then they are.
“Truth is, I spoke to Herb after the event,” Hardy added. “We exchanged respect. I told him that I don’t want to fall out with him, I don’t want to yell at him on the broadcast—that was my mistake, I shouldn’t have yelled at him on the broadcast. I’m there to objectively give my opinion on what’s going on. I was giving my opinion to Herb during the fight, which obviously wasn’t welcome.”
Despite having no beef with Dean, Hardy does worry that referees—Dean included—don’t face enough accountability for their blunders.
“If I’m a fighter and I make a mistake, I need to learn from that mistake, or I’m going to get knocked out or submitted in the same way,” Hardy said. “Unfortunately, the referees go on. I don’t know if they’re held accountable or not, and that’s the issue.”
What do you think of these comments from Dan Hardy?