UFC President Dana White's worst fears did not come to reality after the Nevada State Athletic Commission decided who would referee the upcoming fight between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman at UFC 162 on Friday.
In a meeting held by the commission in Nevada on Friday, veteran referee Herb Dean was chosen as the official that will oversee the upcoming bout between Silva and Weidman for the UFC middleweight title.
This will come as happy news to White, who spoke out just a few weeks ago about referee Steve Mazzagatti following his perceived misstep in not stopping the fight between Josh Burkman and Jon Fitch on time during the World Series of Fighting 3 event in Las Vegas in early June.
For years, White has ripped Mazzagatti as one of the worst referees in the sport, but stated several times that his pleas routinely fall on deaf ears when it comes the Nevada State Athletic Commission assigning him to major fights. His worry following his latest rant was that the commission would somehow punish him for his comments by assigning Mazzagatti the main event at UFC 162.
Speaking with the media following the conclusion of UFC 161, White expressed his feelings about Mazzagatti and the commission on the matter.
They'll make him the main event now. Now because I said this, the Nevada State Athletic Commission will give him the (Anderson) Silva fight (at UFC 162). It's not corrupt when you talk about the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the fact that they keep doing this, it's complete and total ego. Because I keep complaining, they will keep putting him front and center.
The commission either wasn't listening or didn't care what White had to say because Dean will get the assignment to referee one of the biggest fights on the UFC roster in 2013.
Dean is routinely praised as the best referee in the sport, and he will oversee the upcoming fight pitting the longest reigning champion in UFC history against the undefeated challenger in Weidman.
The judges for the crucial title fight will be Marco Rosales, Adalaide Byrd, and Patricia Morse-Jarman, who all have veteran experience in MMA as well. The judges may have an easy night, however, because in his 16 fight career with the UFC, Silva has only gone to decision a total of two times.
This will also be the fourth time Dean has refereed a title fight with Anderson Silva serving as the incumbent champion. The last fight Dean oversaw was the UFC 134 bout when Silva defeated Yushin Okami in 2011.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
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