Herb Dean Reflects on UFC 300 Finish: 'I Don't Know That Jamahal Hill Hates Me'

Dean reacts to being thrown "under the bus" for his officiating in Alex Pereira vs. Jamahal Hill.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Referee Herb Dean has addressed the backlash for how he handled the UFC 300 main event between Alex Pereira and Jamahal Hill.

Considered to be one of the elites when it comes to officiating, the veteran MMA referee stopped the light heavyweight title fight just in the nick of time as champ Pereira swarmed Hill with punches for the first-round TKO finish in April. However, Dean's stoppage of the fight wasn't what people took issue with.

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The controversy around the UFC 300 headliner actually came a moment before the stoppage when Hill threw a kick that glanced off Pereira's crotch area. Dean tried to pause the action due to the low blow, but Pereira extended his hand out to to let the referee know he wanted to keep fighting - and so they did to Hill's demise as the former champ was sat down by a powerful left hand right after.

Herb Dean Reflects on UFC 300 Finish: 'I Don't Know That Jamahal Hill Hates Me'
Apr 13, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Alex Pereira (red gloves) fights Jamahal Hill (blue gloves) during UFC 300 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Hill, along with Daniel Cormier and others, took issue with how Dean didn't separate him and Pereira, instead letting them stay within close quarters of each other.

"If Herb Dean could've done anything, I would've liked to have had a more clean and better reset. I think that that would've been - that would've been one thing I would've liked to see differently," Hill said of his TKO loss at UFC 300 in an interview with 'The Schmo'.

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Two months removed from arguably the biggest event in UFC history, Herb Dean reflects on his call and if it was the right one to make.

"I don't think... I don't know that Jamahal Hill hates me," Dean said on 'The Casuals MMA Podcast'. "Whether he hates me or not, I have a lot of respect for him. That guy has dog in him. What's the funniest part about this? After I call time out, no one moves...."

Herb Dean Reflects on UFC 300 Finish: 'I Don't Know That Jamahal Hill Hates Me'
Alex Pereira vs. Jamahal Hill at UFC 300. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

"I went back and looked at that, that was one of the ones, right away, I was like, 'Huh? How was that? Was that mechanically correct? Was it clean?' I watched it. I was like, 'Yeah, that looked clean'. And then I've heard that some analysts were, like talking about it and talking about something that actually you don't see. They're like, 'What if after he called timeout, he was able to get a position and you don't see it happen?' But he's like, 'Well, I just have to say they did to get clicks.'"

Dean continued:

"For me, I know that my job and my focus is to try to referee clean matches as much as I can get. Some of these people who have jobs in sport, maybe they know their job is to get clicks. The truth doesn't matter.... God bless them for it, because most of us are pretty boring. Some of these guys, man, I'm glad they're here - even if they throw me under the bus."

Moving on from UFC 300 to UFC 303, Jamahal Hill has withdrawn from his co-main event with Carlos Ulberg due to a knee injury with his fated rival Alex Pereira stepping up for Conor McGregor as he defends his light heavyweight title against Jiri Prochazka in a rematch in the new main event.

What did you think about Herb Dean's performance at UFC 300? Did he make the right call in letting Alex Pereira continue on right after an apparent low blow from Jamahal Hill?

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Christopher De Santiago


Christopher De Santiago is a 22 year-old journalist from Gainesville, Texas with years of experience covering MMA.