Herb Dean explains why he didn't stop Michael Bisping-Anderson Silva fight 6 years ago

Herb Dean explains why he didn't stop Michael Bisping-Anderson Silva fight

It was the standout moment from the UFC London main event.

Referee Herb Dean has given his view on the controversial non-finish to Saturday night's UFC London bout between Michael Bisping and Anderson Silva.


Bisping was the winner of a unanimous decision but Silva thought he had won the fight after delivered a crushing knee that sent the Englishman crumpling to the canvas as the bell rang to end the third round.

The Brazilian wheeled away in celebration but Dean had not stopped the fight and had to inform 'Spider' and his corner that the contest would continue.

Dean was a guest on the MMA Hour this evening and he explained to Ariel Helwani the reasons for not calling a halt to the fight after the devastating blow from Silva.

"He [Silva] hit him with a knee and dropped him and then he walked off to celebrate," Dean said.


"In MMA, We don't stop a match just because someone gets dropped. I saw that when he fell he was not unconscious, he was facing Anderson. Anderson did got give him a threat to protect himself from, so I don't want to start playing what if - what if he'd attacked or not - but the bottom line is he didn't attack.

"The round ended but because Anderson was celebrating there was some confusion as to what was going on. I never had any confusion, I knew I hadn't stopped the match, the match was going to continue."

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Bisping himself went on to blame Dean for allowing the knee from Silva as he was signalling to replace his mouthpiece, but Dean pointed to the MMA rulebook and speculated that the Brit may not have read the fine print, as it were.


"Maybe he doesn't know the rule," Dean said. "A lot of fighters read about the fouls but don't know all the rules about the mechanics so maybe he wasn't aware of that.

"You replace a mouthpiece during a lull in the action. Bisping signalled once, but Anderson was actually in the process of attacking him, so for a lot of reasons that are pretty evident, you can't stop the action to replace a mouthpiece during a heated exchange, and that qualified as a heated exchange.

"If we did that we'd have guys who were getting their bell rung spitting out their mouthpiece trying to get a little extra time.

"That instruction was given to him in the dressing-room and again before the match started. I told both fighters to protect themselves at all times and they know that is their responsibility.


"At the same time, an MMA match is very stressful and a lot of weird things happen. You do things that you look back on and think 'why did I do that?' So I don't know why he did that, but it's definitely in the rules, it's in writing that the referee is to wait for a lull in the action to replace the mouthpiece."