Francis Ngannou believes Herb Dean deserved a performance of the night for his stoppage of the Stipe Miocic rematch.
Ngannou became the new heavyweight champion last month after an impressive second-round knockout of Miocic in their UFC 260 headliner.
After knocking Miocic down in the second round, Ngannou appeared to be stunned briefly by a Miocic counter-punch. As Miocic advanced forward, he was caught by Ngannou’s own counter-punch as a left from “The Predator” put the former champion’s lights out instantly.
However, Ngannou didn’t feel like he hurt Miocic.
“I didn’t feel like I hurt him,” Ngannou said in a recent appearance on Mike Tyson’s podcast (via Middle Easy). “I was like ‘Why are you falling?’ I (threw the punch) just to counter and he went down and I’m like ‘Okay, what? I don’t know what happened but I have to follow to secure the win.’”
The rest is history as Ngannou landed a hammerfist before Dean stopped the action. Many observers notably criticized Dean for being too far away from the action — especially considering Ngannou’s power — as the veteran referee has come under fire regularly in recent months.
However, Ngannou believes Dean did a good job all things considered.
“No, honestly I watched this fight and I saw Herb Dean’s action and I think it should be the performance of the night,” Ngannou added. “Did you see how fast he ran? He was moving backwards, and then after the action you see how fast he moved in?
“The guy was on notice. He knew that if Francis touch him, don’t let (Francis) touch him again.”
Of course, Ngannou did end up touching Miocic again and Dean shouldn’t have needed to run that fast in the first place if he was closer to the action.