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Dana White reprimands Herb Dean for Rothwell-De Lima stoppage at UFC Vegas 42

“Don’t touch them unless you’re gonna stop the fight.”

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From being touted as one of the best referees in the business, Herb Dean has been in the firing line of criticism as of late. The long-time official was once again involved in a bit of controversy during the UFC Vegas 42 co-main event between heavyweights Ben Rothwell and Marcos Rogerio De Lima.

As you’ll see in the video below, Dean grabbed De Lima by the waist, which will usually signify a halt to the action. But instead of waving it off to make the stoppage official, Dean let the action continue for a few more seconds.

This isn’t Dean’s first time to be involved in such a situation, and it’s finally caught the attention of UFC president Dana White.

“Herb needs to stop touching guys unless the fight’s over,” White told the media during the UFC Vegas 42 post-event scrum. “He goes in and grabs him by the waist and then decides, ‘Oops, maybe I’m…’

“The good thing about this one was that fight should’ve been stopped when he stopped it. And you didn’t see Ben jumping up and arguing about it. That fight should’ve been stopped.

“But he’s got to pull the trigger and stop touching guys. Don’t touch them unless you’re gonna stop the fight. And then when they played it back in slow motion, he’s kinda, like, dancing. Like he doesn’t know what to do, whether he’s gonna jump in or not jump in.

“I like him personally. He’s a nice guy. But he’s gotta stop touching people until he’s ready to stop the fight.”

Former welterweight title challenger and UFC color commentator Dan Hardy, a vocal critic of Dean, also had something to say.

The win for De Lima puts him on a two-fight streak, as he improves to a record of 19-7-1. As for Rothwell, the veteran of 17 UFC fights has dropped to a slate of 39-14.