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Daniel Cormier questions Herb Dean’s handling of Alex Pereira’s low blow before UFC 300 KO of Jamahal Hill

In Sports
April 18, 2024

Daniel Cormier believes Jamahal Hill was thrown off before getting knocked out by Alex Pereira at UFC 300.

Pereira took out Hill in Round 1 of their light heavyweight title fight this past Saturday. The fight-ending sequence happened right after Hill landed a low blow on Pereira, who waved referee Herb Dean away to continue fighting. Just seconds later, Pereira dropped Hill with his signature left hook and finished him.

Cormier suggests that Dean should have separated Pereira (10-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC) and Hill (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) after the inadvertent low blow instead of letting them continue in the exact same position. Cormier believes the momentary pause without a full stop distracted Hill.

“I saw some things a little differently after watching it with him (Hill),” Cormier said on his “Funky and the Champ” show with Ben Askren. “He spoke about foot placement as a southpaw fighting a conventional fighter, the range, and everything else. … I run it by my cousins and my nephews, and my nephew had the same idea. They thought that Herb Dean made a mistake. While we are all lost in the idea of Herb goes to step in, Alex puts his hand out, Herb steps back. When you have an illegal strike, they are saying that they should have been separated and then they come back together as a fresh restart.

“It didn’t happen. Very short time later, Alex landed the shot that put Jamahal down and knocked him out, seconds after what should have been a restart.”

Cormier continued, “I’m not taking a side in this deal. I’m just asking what you make of that. Generally, when an illegal strike happens, they separate the athletes, they come back together, and then the fight restarts. In that moment, it felt like Alex had said, ‘I’ve got my timing, I’ve got my foot placement.’ He went and landed, but they feel like they were much closer than they should have been.”

PFL analyst and former referee John McCarthy weighed in on X, saying Dean handled the situation perfectly.

It is inherently bad for the sport and unbelievably embarrassing to hear people who supposedly know the sport of MMA smear the actions of @HerbDeanMMA as if he was responsible for the knockout of @JamahalH @ufc 300. Let’s make this as clear as possible for everyone. Herb was perfect in the actions he took in allowing @AlexPereiraUFC to call off the timeout for the kick to the groin he took and then keep the action of the fight in motion. The fighter who is fouled by a strike to the groin is in control of how much time they need to take to sufficiently recover from the foul. They have up to 5 minutes of time if they need it. Many times fighters do not want a stop in the action because they feel they have gained momentum in the fight and do not want to give any time to their opponent. Everything Herb Dean did was exactly what we would train any official to do under the same circumstances. Luckily we had an official in the cage who understands the rules and the mechanics needed to successfully manage a world title fight instead of the talking heads that guess at what is right or wrong.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 300.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie

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