June 18, 2008

Referee Herb Dean levied two point deductions against Nate Marquardt in his UFC 85 middleweight bout with Thales Leites, one for an illegal knee and one for an elbow that landed to the back of Leites' head. Dean explained the rule of striking to the back of the head and the point deductions against Marquardt that resulted in Leites winning by split decision.

Marquardt landed an illegal knee to the head of the downed Leites during the second round. The knee was intentional, but mistimed, garnering the Top 10 ranked Marquardt an immediate point deduction by referee Dean.

"The first point deduction was an illegal knee. He kneed him to the head while he was down," said Dean. "It was a pretty hard knee. A knee like that, I think I could have taken two points because of the severity of the damage. But I wasn't convinced it was done purposely. I think he thought that he was coming up. I think he intended to throw a legal knee, so I did not take two points."

Marquardt was warned earlier in the fight about striking to the back of the head. In the third round, he was deducted another point for an elbow that landed to the back of Leites' head as Leites worked for a takedown.

"He hit him with an elbow that was on the side of the head behind the ear. And the zone that I tell the fighters in the dressing room is that ears back is considered the back of the head," Dean told MMAWeekly Radio. "I'm not certain if Nate clearly understood that because, you know, that's something we've only been enforcing in MMA for about the last two years.

"That started when MMA became legalized in California," he explained. "Dr. Paul Wallace came to a referee seminar that we were doing and explained to us, diagrammed and explained to us what is supposed to be the back of the head. I talked to him in detail about it and then I talked to Armando Garcia who is executive director, and he said, 'that's what we want to be enforced for the back of the head, from the ears back.'

"When I went to Nevada, I told them about it so we would be all on the same page," continued Dean. "They said that they were okay with that as the back of the head. That's what they want us to enforce, so that's what I enforce everywhere.

"It can be on the side of the head, but if it's behind the ears that's considered the back of the head," he added. "That's not what I've always enforced in MMA. I've been refereeing for nine years. Most of the time I was enforcing the flat of the neck going up to the top. But when the this sport became regulated, we need to enforce what the athletic commissions tell us to enforce."

You May Like