The aftermath of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 229 has overshadowed the fight itself.
That was to be expected. A mass brawl broke out, arrests were made and both Nurmagomedov and McGregor have been suspended.
Nothing that happened during the fight came close to the shocking scenes that followed.
Perhaps the most exciting moment was the right-hand that Nurmagomedov connected with in the second round.
The Russian outclassed his opponent, who submitted to a rear-naked choke in the fourth round.
So Nurmagomedov prevailed in the biggest fight of his MMA career but he wasn’t ready to celebrate straight away, as his actions after McGregor tapped showed.
But he was irritated even during the bout, frequently complaining to referee Herb Dean.
Dean explains his decisions
McGregor broke the rules on a number of occasions, including grabbing Khabib’s shorts, kneeing The Eagle in the head while on the floor and hooking his feet on the fence while grounded.
A video has sought to highlight all of McGregor’s violations, which went unpunished, during the fight.
Dean has now responded to the questions by explaining his decision-making in a video posted on Instagram.
“My job is to facilitate exciting and clean matches. Not to intervene,” Dean says.
“Any time I intervene, I run the risk of artificially affecting the outcome of the fight.
“Even if I just talk to the fighter, I can distract him, he can take a shot, lose his position.
“Any time I see a foul, my job is to evaluate whether that is worth me intervening or not.
“Did it affect the fighter?
“In the Conor McGregor-Khabib fight, the fouls by Conor did not affect Khabib enough to warrant risking disadvantaging him by intervening.”
Dean deserves some credit for coming out and explaining his decisions.
But UFC fans still feel that he hasn’t answered one question: why did McGregor get away with so many offences?
“Herb, your video doesn't explain why you let the blatant cheating go,” Twitter user @imbantam wrote.
Renowned MMA coach Firas Zahabi believes McGregor should have received a stern warning or even a point deduction for kneeing Khabib from the bottom.
It certainly wasn’t Dean’s best performance inside the Octagon.News Now - Sport News