UFC 168: Herb Dean to Ref Chris Weidman-Anderson Silva Rematch

Dan HiergesellFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2013


During a time when closely knit split decisions and highly contested point systems rule the world of mixed martial arts, the sight of a trustworthy referee often expels exuberance.

For fans who have been watching the UFC since its rebirth, they know exactly how hard it is to find that one special ref.

For new fans, many of whom don't know that the UFC has nothing to do with the selection of Octagon officials, spotting a good ref may be harder than ever.

But through all of the recent bad stoppages and miscalculations inside the cage, Herb Dean is one of the only referees left who still commands optimal respect and professional gratitude.

That's why Dana White and Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer push for Dean to call some of the biggest fights of the year.

Luckily for them, the commission has approved Kizer's recommendation for Dean to officiate an upcoming rematch between UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman and pound-for-pound legend Anderson Silva later this month at UFC 168, which may be the greatest grudge match of all time.

Jul 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA;  Chris Weidman, blue shorts, defeated Anderson Silva (yellow shorts) in their Middleweight Chamionship Bout in the second round with a TKO at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

“The first fight was quite strange, and I normally don’t recommend the same ref for the rematch, but here, I think it would actually be very appropriate," Kizer said on Monday, originally reported by MMA Junkie.

Dean's stoppage early into the second round of Weidman and Silva's first championship showdown this past July was mere perfection.  He did what he was trained to do and allowed the challenger to decisively defeat the champ.

This is a good sign to see considering how many times NSAC-appointed referees stumble when the spotlight is brightest.  Dean is one of the best around and should officiate one hell of a rematch.

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