Veteran referee Herb Dean had refereed four Anderson Silva fights prior to UFC 162 and seen others cageside. So when Silva began to clown Chris Weidman in the main event of this past Saturday’s pay-per-view, he did little else but pay close attention.
Dean couldn’t hear what, if anything, “The Spider” was saying when he gesticulated at Weidman in the middle of exchanges.
“I didn’t have any problem with it,” Dean told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “If that’s what he wanted to do. Everybody is in there for their own reasons, and he’s in there to do something great, and he challenges himself to be able to do his antics while he’s right there in the danger zone, and he was doing his thing.”
Unfortunately for Silva, that led to a different result than any of the other times he stepped into the octagon and toyed with his opponents. For the first time in his octagon career, his antics caught up to him when Weidman landed a left hook that sent him crashing to the mat.
But because Silva had just moments before been feigning the type of damage he actually took at that moment, Dean wasn’t quite sure whether it was all just a part of the act.
“It was almost a replay of the pantomime that he had done,” he said. “I saw him go down. I respond to it whether it’s pantomime or not, but to be honest, I wasn’t sure. But I’m going to respond and get in close to get a better look. Once I got in there and got a better look, he was unconscious to me.”
Dean might actually have helped Silva wake up by pushing off the swarming Weidman. The deposed champ grabbed one of his legs as the new champ paraded around the octagon, enjoying the biggest win of his undefeated career.
Silva had defended his title 10 times and had never been defeated in the UFC before Weidman one-upped him and took the belt.
Referee Dean has overseen hundreds of bouts in addition to his times in the cage with Silva, and was aware that he was part of history before he ever set foot in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. But like just about everyone, he wasn’t expecting to see what he saw.
“You put two well-trained guys who are trying to take each other’s will away, anything can happen,” Dean said. “But the way it happened, to get caught in the middle of his antics, I think that was a little bit surprising.”
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