Saturday night, Francis Ngannou became the new UFC heavyweight champion during the main event of UFC 260. He knocked out Stipe Miocic, took the belt, and sparked countless comments about whether Ngannou will now face Jon Jones or Derrick Lewis. However, he was not the only figure in the octagon that created debates on social media. Referee Herb Dean also did so after stopping the fight in the second round.
Dean became a meme on Saturday after several fans rewatched the final moments of the fight. They noticed that the referee came running from across the octagon and made jokes comparing him to muppets, cartoon characters, and other famous sprinters. Other social media users weighed in and expressed the opinion that Dean had "taken too long" to stop the fight. Of course, many others expressed the opinion that Dean arrived exactly when he meant to, much like Gandalf the Grey.
"Once again people just blaming the refs for not stopping the fight and Francis getting one more punch in," one person added on Twitter. "Bruh he started running the moment Stipe started to fall lol. People don't know s— about MMA and every Saturday it shows. Herb Dean was on top of it."prevnext
While many UFC fans had critical comments about Dean and how he ran from across the cage, others took a different approach. They voiced support for the longtime referee, especially after he dove toward Miocic. "Herb Dean is one hell of a brave man to step in the way of those follow up strikes from Ngannou. My man fully risked his life to save Stipe.. respect," one person tweeted.prevnext
Herb Dean watching a man get beat to death pic.twitter.com/uC4bm1MEnp— Joe Glusco (@JoeGlusco01) March 28, 2021
"Say what you want, Herb Dean did his job. People claiming that was a bad stoppage are smoking a—. The stakes were high, he gave Stipe an ample amount of time to fight back, Stipe got dropped and dove straight in. This was a good stoppage," a fight fan added to the conversation.prevnext
Herb Dean gonna get somebody’s killed man pic.twitter.com/Rlm6u4taIl— Dontre Graves 🏁 (@DontreGraves) March 28, 2021
"Mma fans: herb dean got too close and f—ed up the fight! He's the worst! Also mma fans: herb dean didn't magically float inches away from nearly 600 pounds of massive fighting humans and didn't instantly stop the fight last night. He's the worst!" one Twitter user commented. Dean has long been a UFC referee and has simultaneously been called "too fast" and "too slow" with his stoppages.prevnext
"Stipe probably had 3-4 good fights left in him but after that late hammerfist from Ngannou that put the nail in the coffin with his career. That's not Ngannou's fault, he was just doing his job but Herb Dean was like 2.5 seconds late with the stoppage," another Twitter user commented. There were countless debates on Saturday night about whether Dean had stopped the fight at the right time or if he was too late.prevnext
Herb Dean after Ngannou dropped Miocic pic.twitter.com/vJgWzCUzq4— monke (@JonathanLAK) March 28, 2021
Several people on social media weighed in and made comments about Dean diving onto Miocic's body in order to stop the fight. There were countless jokes, but many also praised the decision. "Herb Dean threw himself at Stipe like he was trying to save his life, and you know what? He just did. Woooooooow," one Twitter user commented.prevnext
Herb Dean once again reffing from outside the cage https://t.co/QSiLvavNu3— Tumen-Erdeni Tushin (@chunguskhan03) March 28, 2021
"If I'm ever getting the tripe beaten out of me I hope Herb Dean isn't there to 'help' me out," another Twitter user added. Several expressed the opinion that Dean had taken far too long to run in and stop the battle after seeing Miocic take the knockout punch.prev