There was a look of surprise on the face of Urijah Faber when referee Herb Dean waved off UFC 169's main event at the 3:42 mark of Round 1. While Renan Barao celebrated his first defense of the undisputed UFC bantamweight title, Faber, on one knee, looked up at Dean and raised his thumb, trying to let Dean know that he had indeed signaled that he was okay moments before Dean stopped the fight.
Video replay and photographs confirmed Faber's argument. While Barao rained punches down on Faber's head, Faber blocking the shots with his left hand, raised the thumb on his right hand, which was wrapped around Barao's leg.
Many fans and fighters took to social media and lamented that Dean had stopped the fight early.
When questioned about the stoppage, UFC president Dana White responded at the UFC 169 post-fight press conference, "You've heard me up here a million times talk about Herb Dean. I think he's the best referee in the business. He rarely makes mistakes, but he made a mistake tonight. Faber was blocking those shots. He gave the thumbs up."
The loss was Faber's second defeat at the hands of Barao. The first time the two met, at UFC 149, Barao captured the interim UFC bantamweight title with a unanimous decision win. Faber (30-7) earned his second crack at Barao by stringing together four straight victories after that loss.
Barao's win on Saturday moved his unbeaten streak to 33 straight fights. His professional record now stands at 32-1-0-1.
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