2010 Bloody Elbow Reader Awards: Official of the Year

Photos by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Herb Dean

Successful referees adhere to the credo of the Milford Academy: be neither seen, nor heard. This makes writing praise for a referee quite a difficult task. Saying that Herb Dean garnered the title of "Best Official in MMA" because he screwed up the least seems to be underselling Dean's qualities as a referee and the difficulties of the job at the same time.

Dean does one thing extremely well: He makes strong, confident decisions and sticks by them. It's OK for a referee to be wrong. It's expected, and it's appropriate to acknowledge your mistakes in retrospect. A referee can never appear indecisive in the heat of the moment.

Take Yves Lavigne, for instance. Yves is a pretty good referee when you look at his total body of work, but he'll never live done the massacre he forced Matt Brown to inflict on Pete Sell at UFC 96. Brown beat up and dropped Sell early, causing Yves to step in to stop the contest 20 seconds into the bout. Or not. Sell stood up, Lavigne second-guessed himself, and Sell endured another minute-plus of punishment. (Mike Goldberg, of course, praised Lavigne's decision-making in the heat of the moment.)

Notable fights:

-Cain Velasquez vs. Brock Lesnar
-Georges St. Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck
-Anthony Pettis vs. Ben Henderson
-Frankie Edgar vs. B.J. Penn 2
-Jon Fitch vs. Thiago Alves
-Chris Leben vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama

Full results after the jump.

Bloodyelbow_reader_awards_medium

Official of the Year Voting
1st 2nd 3rd Total
Herb Dean 24 18 4 178
Josh Rosenthal 19 13 3 137
Mario Yamasaki 1 2 5 16
Yuji Shimada 2 2 16
John McCarthy 3 5 14
Dan Miragliotta 1 2 1 12
Yves Lavigne 1 5 8
Nelson Hamilton 1 5
Cecil Peoples 1 5
Keith Kizer 1 1 4
Steve Mazzagatti 2 2
Jason Herzog 1 1
Kim Winslow 1 1
Marc Goddard 1 1
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