Dan Hardy issues statement on Herb Dean confrontation: ‘When a referee makes a mistake, people are left vulnerable’

Dan Hardy issues statement on Herb Dean confrontation: ‘When a referee makes a mistake, people are left vulnerable’

UFC commentator Dan Hardy was one of the most talked about fighters coming out of Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 14 show.

At the end of a preliminary bout between Francisco Trinaldo and Jai Herbert, Hardy could audibly be heard on the broadcast shouting at referee Herb Dean to stop the fight after Trinaldo landed a punch on Herbert that left the UFC newcomer flat on his back. Hardy’s reaction was due to Dean not immediately stopping the fight and waiting for Trinaldo to land a few follow-up shots before officially waving it off.

Afterwards, Hardy and Dean were seen having a discussion at the commentator’s desk, though the details of that conversation are not known at this time.

On Sunday, Hardy made a post on Instagram in which he addressed his issues with Dean’s officiating, though he did not name Dean in the post.

View this post on Instagram

I love Mixed Martial Arts. Sometimes it doesn’t love me back though, and that’s alright. Regardless, I’ll always do everything in my power to protect it, and those dedicating themselves to it. Sometimes you may disagree with me, and that’s alright as well. I’m always going to speak my mind, and it will always be backed by what I feel in my heart. If you understand what it takes to get in there, then you understand my passion and anger when I see a fighter left unprotected. It isn’t the first time it’s happened, and twice in a night is clear negligence, in my opinion. The referees job is more important than any other person in that building. It is on their shoulders to protect fighters from getting seriously hurt when they are unable to protect themselves. You may just see UFC fighters in there, but I see friends, teammates, sons, daughters, mothers and fathers, competing in the sport that they love. When I make a mistake, I look stupid on live TV. When a referee makes a mistake, people are left vulnerable and can be seriously damaged. That can be life-changing, and we all have someone to go home to, that loves us and wants us back in one piece. Thank you for all of the kind words and messages I’ve received. I am truly grateful. I’ll see you all around… ♥️ —————— ‍☠️Outlaw ‍☠️ —————— – @jeffbottari

A post shared by Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) on Jul 26, 2020 at 7:45am PDT

“I love mixed martial arts,” Hardy wrote. “Sometimes it doesn’t love me back though, and that’s alright. Regardless, I’ll always do everything in my power to protect it, and those dedicating themselves to it.”

Hardy described Dean’s decision-making on Saturday as “clear negligence” and also took umbrage with the stoppage in the Tanner Boser-Raphael Pessoa fight that Dean also oversaw.

“The referee’s job is more important than any other person in that building,” Hardy wrote. “It is on their shoulders to protect fighters from getting seriously hurt when they are unable to protect themselves.

“You may just see UFC fighters in there, but I see friends, teammates, sons, daughters, mothers and fathers, competing in the sport that they love.”

One of the UFC’s most veteran officials, Dean has come under criticism over the years for being inconsistent with his stoppages, whether because they are deemed too early or too late by outside observers. In the past, Dean has also received praise for his work and he continues to be assigned high profile fights in the UFC, including Saturday’s main event between Robert Whittaker and Darren Till.

Regardless of Dean’s past bona fides, Hardy didn’t pull any punches in expressing his opinion of his work last night.

“When I make a mistake, I look stupid on live TV,” Hardy said. “When a referee makes a mistake, people are left vulnerable and can be seriously damaged. That can be life-changing, and we all have someone to go home to, that loves us and wants us back in one piece.”

Read Hardy’s full unedited statement below:

I love Mixed Martial Arts. Sometimes it doesn’t love me back though, and that’s alright. Regardless, I’ll always do everything in my power to protect it, and those dedicating themselves to it.

Sometimes you may disagree with me, and that’s alright as well. I’m always going to speak my mind, and it will always be backed by what I feel in my heart.

If you understand what it takes to get in there, then you understand my passion and anger when I see a fighter left unprotected. It isn’t the first time it’s happened, and twice in a night is clear negligence, in my opinion.

The referee’s job is more important than any other person in that building. It is on their shoulders to protect fighters from getting seriously hurt when they are unable to protect themselves.

You may just see UFC fighters in there, but I see friends, teammates, sons, daughters, mothers and fathers, competing in the sport that they love.

When I make a mistake, I look stupid on live TV. When a referee makes a mistake, people are left vulnerable and can be seriously damaged. That can be life-changing, and we all have someone to go home to, that loves us and wants us back in one piece.

Thank you for all of the kind words and messages I’ve received. I am truly grateful. I’ll see you all around…

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