Strikeforce Results: Herb Dean's Actual Missed Call Being Overlooked

Herb Dean

One of the biggest stories in the wake of Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson was referee Herb Dean's actions in the main event. While I've written that I feel the stoppage was correct and that Dan Henderson had Fedor Emelianenko knocked out, others (such as MMA Nation's Jonathan Snowden) have taken issue with the speed of the stoppage and/or the strikes to the back of Fedor's head in the final moments of the fight.

The minor controversy has completely overshadowed a moment from the undercard which seems to point out a larger failing on the part of Dean. It appears that during the bout between Gesias Cavalcante and Bobby Green saw Cavalcante lock in a rear naked choke in the final moments of the second round. Sherdog explains:

...referee Herb Dean elected not to call the tapout at the bell, allowed the fight to proceed and left Cavalcante to sweat out a decision. The 28-year-old Brazilian was awarded a split verdict, as all three judges scored it 29-28, two of them in his favor.

MMA Weekly's play-by-play backs up the tap:

JZ moves to full mount, Green rolls and JZ looks for the choke. Green appears to tap as the round comes to a close but the referee doesn't see it and the round ends. Replay shows he clearly tapped.

I've said many times that I feel that "Big" John McCarthy's time as the sport's best referee is well in the past and that Herb has taken the title. But even the best still are prone to making huge mistakes during the course of a bout.

At least Dean's error didn't cost the right man a victory.

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