Herb Dean

Introducing Herb Dean, the most renowned referee in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) world. With a successful history dating back to the late 90s, Dean has presided over some of the most iconic fights and events, declaring huge bouts between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz as well as Alexander vs. Rampage and many more.

To date, he has officially officiated over 2000 professional fights and has been elected for the Referee of the Year award every year from 2007 to 2017. Despite some controversial moments, his dedication and commitment has made him the golden standard for professional MMA referees. Join us in this post as we learn more about Herb Dean and his rise to being one of the most respected referees in MMA.

Herb Dean

Herb Dean Professional Achievements

Herb Dean has become a respected and renowned figure in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) world. He is renowned for his reliable decisions and effortless regulation of highly competitive and intense fights.

With a successful history of being a referee since the late 90s, he has been a centerpiece feel in some of the most iconic fights and events such as the famous match between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz.

He also refereed matches which pushed the envelope of the UFC and MMA fight rules, such as the Alexander vs. Rampage and Kimbo vs. Thompson Superfights.

He has officially officiated over 2000 professional fights and has also been elected for multiple awards for his part in fixing up and creating the standards for professional MMA refereeing across the globe, including being presented with the Referee of the year award every year from 2007 to 2017.

In addition to his prestigious awards, Dean has received praise from fellow referees in the MMA community, as well as the fighters and their coaches.

His effort to find a fair solution all throughout the match, regardless of the gravity of the situation, makes him the golden standard for professional MMA referees. Herb Dean is real living evidence of the statement that excellence demands respect from everyone in the field of Mixed Martial Arts.

Herb Dean’s Personal Life

Herb Dean is an accomplished individual who grew up in a family that was passionate about sports. His earliest experiences with martial arts began when he was a student at UC Santa Barbara, where he took up Tae Kwon Do.

After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, Dean slowly began to transition his interest into pursuing a career as a referee for MMA matches. Early in his career, he became a full-time athletic commissioner in the state of California and was also appointed to a number of other MMA referee positions.

Herb Dean is a man of strong moral character who believes in justice and fairness. As a referee, one of his primary goals is to promote the safety of the fighters in every match.

His passion for MMA, dedication to justice and unwavering professionalism have helped him reach the position he is in today.

To further his career in the field, Dean has also taken up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which was instrumental in helping him become familiar with the different techniques and moves fighters use.

Aside from his professional life, Dean has a compassionate side as well. He is an advocate for human rights and uses his influence and leadership to provide aid to those in need.

He devotes most of his spare time to volunteer work and has previously served as a board member for two philanthropic organizations. He strongly believes that individuals should exercise the power of kindness and give back to the world in whatever capacity they can.

Over the course of his career, Dean was able to show off his in-depth knowledge of the sport and years of experience in martial arts to gain a solid foothold within the MMA community. After much hard work, he finally made it to the top to become the head referee of many championship-level fights in the UFC.

He is also a key figure in designing and modifying the rules and regulations of the sport, to ensure the safety of both fighters and viewers. His dedication and commitment to being a MMA referee are undoubtedly commendable.

Herb Dean

Controversies in Herb Dean’s Career

Herb Dean has been one of the most respected referees in the MMA industry for years, but his career has not been without criticism. There have been several instances throughout the years where his decisions have been questioned and his judgment has been put under scrutiny. One such moment was in the fight between Benson Henderson and Eddie Alvarez in 2014. The match was deemed controversial by many as Herb Dean had made controversial decisions throughout the fight, making it seem like Alvarez had been unfairly targeted.

Another moment that caused controversy and drew criticism towards Herb Dean was the fight between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018. Throughout the fight, Dean appeared to favor McGregor and seemed to ignore any type of illegal tactics used by him, something that left viewers scratching their heads. These controversial moments have taken their toll on Herb Dean’s reputation, but despite all the criticism and scrutiny, he is still one of the most respected referees in the MMA world.

While these two fights may have caused some controversy, it has not diminished the impact that Herb Dean has had on the MMA industry. He is still widely respected and admired for his years of service and commitment to the sport. Even when criticized, he has stood strong and continued to support the rules and regulations of the sport.


Herb Dean’s commitment and dedication to the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has been an inspiration for many aspiring referees and athletes alike. His expertise in officiating and understanding of the fight rules have made him one of the most respected referees in the industry and a golden standard for professional MMA referees.

His name has become synonymous with fairness, justice, and integrity, making him a symbol of excellence in the sport. While he has had some controversial moments, Herb Dean’s impact on the sport speaks for itself and he will be remembered for many years to come as an ultimate example of what it means to be a reliable, diligent, and respectable referee.