Rising UFC middleweight Merab Dvalishvili put on a brutal showing against a respected veteran at last week’s (Sat., Sept. 15, 2018) UFC Fight Night 136 from Olympic Stadium in Moscow, Russia.
But he didn’t just beat longtime fighter CB Dollaway at the UFC’s debut in Russia. No, he floored him and absolutely rained down one of the most one-sided beatings the Octagon has unfortunately ever witnessed. Dvalishvili was only doing his job, however, the true fault of the fight was on referee Herb Dean.
Dean let Dvalishvili land countless shots on a turtled Dolloway who was making no effort to defend himself whatsoever. Dan Hardy, who was cageside calling the fights, pleaded for longtime official Dean to stop, yet he would not answer. He finally stepped in to call off the fight in a strange scene. The comparisons to disgraced ref Mario Yamasaki for the inexplicable decision had already begun, however.
Hardy appeared on this week’s episode of The MMA Hour to detail his opinion of Dean’s jaw-dropping negligence. The former welterweight title contender offered his respect for the longtime official, but also insisted the fight was over:
“It’s difficult to criticize Herb Dean because he’s refereed me before and he’s been excellent. He’s had an excellent career as a referee so far. I mean, I don’t know what went wrong, to be honest. For me and I think for everyone in the arena who starts to boo, I think we all saw the fight was over.”
“The Outlaw” then went in Dean a bit more, adding that he did Dolloway a disservice by letting him take so many shots:
“I feel like Herb did him a disservice there,” Hardy said. “He could have saved him from at least 10 seconds of punches. He was curled up on his side, then he moved belly down, and for me, that’s too many, when they’re belly down, they’re done.”
Hardy admitted that Dolloway was a warrior but the fight had reached a point where he had nothing left to give. At said point, Hardy believed, it was the ref’s job to save the fighter from themselves:
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“I watched the fight back today and I think it was 26 seconds before the end of the round, I said something about Dollaway, fatigue had taken over and he had not a lot to give,” Hardy said. “He was trying to fight back he’s a warrior, he wouldn’t give up. I always appreciate a guy who will take a beating until the referee stops it, but that’s what the referee is for is to save the fighters from themselves and from their ego and pride.”