Controversy ensued at the event as referee Herb Dean seemingly allowed Dollaway to take a lot of unnecessary punishment and even Dollaway has stated that he didn’t feel protected by the referee on that night.
“I’ve been on the other side before, where I thought a fight got stopped too early for me. But, being on the other side now, it’s like — it’s a rough job being a ref, they want to give you the benefit of the doubt, but at the same time, you’re there to protect us, and I don’t know what was going on, but I don’t feel like I got protected,” Dollaway told MMA Fighting. “He didn’t stop the fight. Ever. Like, he was telling me to get on the stool and I didn’t even want to fight. Like, ‘Dude, I’m done.’ I was pretty out of it. I’m going to go out and take more punishment, that’s all that was going to basically happen at that point. I understand being a referee’s a tough job, we all make mistakes in life. It just sucks when it’s you.”
Dollaway has suffered the majority of his defeats via some form of finish, with five losses coming by KO/TKO and two coming by way of submission.
The fighter admits that MMA is a tough game for all involved, while understanding a referee does have a tough job.
“It’s a tough job. I understand it. You get criticism from both sides. Like I said, you stop it too early, you get criticized, you stop it too late. And I’ve had fights that I thought were stopped too early and protested, but the ref needs to say, ‘F*ck you, I’m here to protect you,’ basically. Like, ‘Shut up.’ But like I said, it’s a cold game that we play,” says Dollaway.
Dean has yet to respond to the criticism from Dollaway and the MMA community, but remains one of the most respected officials in the sport today.