Herb Dean Defends Arbitrator Against Dominick Cruz’s Charge

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Herb Dean disagrees with Dominick Cruz’s heavy charges against fellow referee Keith Peterson.

Cruz (22-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) was arrested at the end of the second round of his UFC 249 bantamweight title fight with Henry Cejudo and was visibly unhappy with Saturday’s stop. After Cejudo dropped Cruz with one knee, several unanswered punches forced Peterson to give up the fight when Cruz was about to go up.

In his post-fight speech with Joe Rogan, Cruz accused Peterson of smelling of alcohol and cigarettes, adding that he wished he had been screened. But Dean says he was around Peterson before the fight and that he didn’t feel like he was under the influence.

“I didn’t smell of alcohol on Keith Peterson,” Dean told internet personality “The Schmo” on Tuesday. “Keith Peterson has been around us all day, and I’ll tell you this: if one of us suspects that someone drank the day of the fight, there is no way but an official let that go. We’re going to call someone. It is very serious work that we do. “

With regard to the shutdown, Dean defended Peterson’s decision, blaming it on a matter of unfortunate timing and a difficult place for him and Cruz to face.

“I would just say it’s a very difficult situation,” said Dean. “Because Dominick was injured and when someone is injured, as an arbitrator, your job is to manage the threat that comes after them while they try to recover and get their facilities about them and be able to do the right things.

“And it’s been a good while, and there have been a lot of shots coming as he tries to pull himself together. Keith Peterson made a decision based on what he saw, and I think it meets the standards of a judgment. The situation changed in a fraction of a second, and it’s a bad situation for anyone.

“So this is the situation we want? Of course not. But looking at it, can I see something that he did wrong that I would have done differently? I do not think so. “

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