“There was a degree of controversy when referee Herb Dean did not stop the Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold fight at the end of the third round. For an extended period, Weidman was mounted and covering his head, moving it somewhat, as Rockhold rained painful strikes down.
Dean finally ended it in the fourth.
The simple fact is that Dean knows more about what was going on, and what it takes to referee a championship bout, than do any of his detractors. Weidman’s coach Ray Longo appeared recently on the Anik and Florian podcast and said he would never take the choice away from one of his fighters.”
“Nobody’s going to argue if Herb Dean would’ve stopped that fight,” Longo said, as transcribed by Adrian MacNair forMMAMania. “But, you know these guys give me pretty strict orders never to ever do that. So I know that with Matt [Serra] it was always… I think I made the mistake of asking him once one fight and he almost blew a gasket off his seat.”
The coach said Weidman was taken to the hospital as a precaution, and they have not spoken since.
“The only thing I could say to him is, ‘I’m sorry,'” said Longo. “Because as a coach I feel like any loss is … I’m just going to feel bad because you know the time these guys put in and I know the sacrifices that they made.”
“I didn’t think Chris looked like himself. I know he didn’t and I haven’t really talked to him yet, but I’ll talk to him and we’ll figure some stuff out.”
For the record, there is no throwing in the towel in MMA, due to cases of audience members throwing towels in. However, a coach can stop a fight by jumping into the Octagon, causing a disqualification.