8 Most Controversial UFC Refereeing Decisions Of 2019

6. Herb Dean Jumps In Far Too Quick - UFC Fight Night: De Randamie Vs. Ladd

Aspen Ladd is a rising star in women's MMA as an exciting, young contender with skills and the ability to viscously end fights. In her first main event against controversy magnet Germaine De Randamie, that hype and her unbeaten record would come crashing down in just 16 seconds.

After Germaine's first punch dropped Aspen to her knees, the 24-year-old looked a little out of it for a half-second, but recovered quickly and rolled to her back in preparation to defend. Respected referee Herb Dean would then step in and call the fight, as a sea of boos rained down on the event and tainted the proceedings.

When to call a fight is one of the toughest jobs for a referee. Do it too early and you rob a fighter of the chance to recover and build back to a victory. Do it too late and you risk Mario Yamasaki levels of ridicule and blame for risking the health of a fighter.

A loss brings so much negativity to a career that a fighter will never stop, even if their arm hangs by a tendon from an armbar, so a referee must save them from themselves at times. In this case, it was clear Ladd was nowhere near done and could have continued.

No one was happy with the stoppage, but Ladd took it well, accepting the decision and bouncing back with an impressive TKO victory her next match against Yana Kunitskaya. Hopefully, they get a chance to run this one back.


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