Daniel Cormier has defended Herb Dean after the veteran UFC referee found himself in hot water for his alleged early stoppage call during Saturday's UFC Fight Night 207.
In the event's headlining bout, Dean waived off Jairzinho Rozenstruik in round one after Alexander Volkov unloaded a barrage of combinations. However, it quickly became apparent that Rozenstruik wasn't as hurt as he appeared to be, popping back up on his feet to protest the decision.
Dean received backlash for the call, with fans and fighters pointing out that his officiating know-how has declined over the years. However, Cormier broke his silence to defend Dean in the latest episode of the DC & RC Show on ESPN.
According to the former two-division champ, Rozenstruik was equally culpable for the stoppage as Dean was:
"The thing is, a lot of times, fighters have a big responsibility also for putting themselves in that situation. Because for as good as [Jairzinho] Rozenstruik is, he seemed a little cautious, he was a little slow to start the fight, so a little bit of that is on the athlete also. It's not just on the official because it is a very, very difficult job. That's one of the things that I'm kind of having to watch myself on. It's that you have got to be aware and really present and knowing that these are human beings."
Check out Daniel Cormier's comments below:
When Daniel Cormier reported Herb Dean to NSAC
Daniel Cormier wasn't always the staunchest defender of Herb Dean. In fact, the former 'DC' previously had his own run-in with the veteran official.
In March 2016, Cormier, then-UFC light heavyweight champion, complained to the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) that Dean should’ve broken up clinches more often in his first bout with Jon Jones at UFC 182. Cormier also requested that the Commission should refrain from assigning Dean to his fights.
However, Dean revealed that Cormier had reached out to him to smooth things over. In an interview with MMA Junkie Radio, Dean said:
"I'm not sure about understanding that because I have talked to him since then; he reached out to me to talk to me and he said, 'I have full confidence in you.' I said, well, let me know if any time you have a problem with anything I’ve done."