Herb Dean explains why fence grabs are hard to enforce – after he penalized Leon Edwards but let Usman grab on left and right

UFC 278 title bout between Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards delivered for spectators. But in between rounds 1 and 5 which obviously went to the current welterweight champion Leon Edwards there was A LOT of rule bending going around – and the only person to get penalized for it was Leon Edwards.


We’ve done a complete tear down on all the infractions from the match so we’ll just attach a brief overview here.

Edwards advanced to Usman’s back. Here Usman started bending the rules with Edwards actually complaining to Dean about the inside of the glove grabs by Usman.

You can see Usman's taped thumb clearly going under the wraps of Edwards' glove

Usman holds onto the Fence to pin Leon Edwards early in Round 2 and uses hanging on to the fence to transition.

It was more of the same from Usman in round 4, for better and for worse.

Now Herb Dean is ‘reacting’ to the event he so aptly refereed. Dean gave an interview to Helen Yee in which he elaborated:

“Well, so fence crabs are, are very difficult thing to deal with in sport because it’s a natural reaction. And people, you know, it’s gonna happen, but to deduct a point… So let’s take a look at what a point deduction means in the sport. What does it point deduction mean?”


“What’s the most common score that goes to the cards 29/28. So that means we have a one point sport, there’s for the majority of fights that happen that go to the cards. 29/28 is the most common score. ”

“So when you take a point, that means you’ve taken a win. So it’s not like in other sports where you have 12 rounds, and you take a point it’s a much stiffer punishment and the majority of fights that happen when you take a point you’ve taken win and so to have that balance there that point that grab might be needs to significantly affect the fight and and it doesn’t always have to happen right away and so that’s those things are judgment calls with the referee.”