Dana White: Incidents like Dan Hardy vs. Herb Dean ‘can never happen’ in UFC again

LAS VEGAS – UFC president Dana White has come to the defense of referees and judges in the aftermath of the highly publicized spat between Dan Hardy and Herb Dean.

After UFC commentator Hardy and veteran referee Dean had a verbal confrontation in the aftermath of what many believed to be a late stoppage in Francisco Trinaldo’s TKO of Jai Herbert at UFC on ESPN 14, White has drawn a line in the sand.

“I want to make this very clear: If you work for me, and you approach a judge or a referee or any type of official, I will fire you,” White told reporters, including MMA Junkie, on Friday. “You will lose your job. You will never work for me again if you do that. Nobody has the right to – listen, you want to criticize judges, you want to criticize referees, you didn’t agree with a decision or things like that – we love Dan. Dan got emotional. The problem is now with this setup it’s a lot easier to do. It’s a lot easier to interact with everybody, from the fighters to the refs to the media and everybody.

“If you work for me in any capacity,  and you approach a referee or judge or official, I will fire you that night on the spot. That can never happen here ever again.”

White indicated he won’t take action against Hardy after the incident. However, it appears there’s going to be a zero tolerance policy moving forward. White said he was aware of Friday’s situation at the UEA Warriors 12 event in Abu Dhabi, where referee Marc Goddard was shoved and grabbed by a fighter who’d just choked his opponent but wouldn’t immediately release, leading to a disqualification.

It’s clear White doesn’t want that type of conduct to happen in the UFC, nor anything like what happened between Hardy and Dean. He said his message goes directly to Hardy, but it applies to everyone.

“I’m speaking to him right now,” White said. “I’m speaking to everybody. Don’t ever do it ever again. And if you’re a fighter, and you put your hands on or threaten any official, you will never, ever fight here again. Period.”

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