Herb Dean is a former professional fighter who is now a professional mixed martial arts referee for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is sometimes called ‘The Predator’ and has been described as ‘The Gold Standard’ for professional referees in this field. Dean’s career in mixed martial arts began in 2001, and he has since become a wealthy man. It is estimated that Herb Dean’s net worth is now $1.5 million, and here is how the fighter and referee achieved his wealth.
Dean’s Early and Personal Life
Herb Dean was born in Pasadena, California, on September 30, 1970. Very little is known about his early years, as he likes to keep his private life out of the media. However, it is known that he became passionate about martial arts during his childhood. He first began martial arts lessons at the age of nine. Some of the disciplines he studied include Jodo and Jiu-Jitsu. Due to Dean’s stance about his private, there is very little information about his family. All that he has revealed is that he married a Russian lady and that they have three children together. Dean has stuck to his roots and remains living in Pasadena with his family.
Herb Dean’s Fighting Career
When Herb Dean became an MMA fighter, he joined the Submission Factory team for his training. He made his fighting debut in California in 2001 when he participated in the Gladiator Challenge, which he won. Winning the match was a breakthrough in his career, as it opened many more opportunities for the fighter and gained him recognition. He went on to participate in events such as ‘Spirit Mc 9’ in South Korea, ‘Cage Rage’ in London, KOTYC 39 in California, ‘Rage in the Cage,’ and a fight in Arizona. In total, Herb Dean competed in five different matches over a period of six years. Of these matches, he won only two. One win was by knockout, and the other win was by submission.
Dean’s Career as an MMA Referee
Herb Dean is now better known as a referee for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Those who are high in the field have great respect for Dean, and UFC president Dana White and UFC color commentator Joe Rogan have both described him as being the gold standard for referees in MMA. Likewise, articles written in publications such as SB Nation, Fightland, Bleacher Report, Fox Sports, and ESPN have all described the referee in this way. Dana White has also said that he never questions Dean’s judgment, as he seems to see things that others watching a match do not see and are only apparent when watching the replays in slow motion.
During his career, Herb Dean has acted as the referee at many notable fights and has gained respect for stepping in at the right time to prevent serious injury or suffering. One notable incident was the bout between Frank Mir and Tim Sylvia in 2004. Dean stopped the fight after only 50 seconds when he saw Sylvia’s arm break during an armbar. Even after stopping the fight, Sylvia wanted to continue fighting and argued with Dean that he was fine to continue. However, Dean insisted that he had heard and seen the fighter’s arm snap and refused to restart the bout. Despite his protestations, Sylvia had an X-ray that night that revealed significant damage to the limb, and this led to a long recovery. Sylvia later admitted that he knew that he had broken his arm but wanted to continue anyway. The fighter went on to admit that Dean was right to stop the fight and says that the referee’s actions probably saved his career as an MMA fighter.
Another notable fight for which Dean refereed was the bout between Ken Shamrock and Tito Oritz in 2006, a rematch that had created huge anticipation. Despite the big build-up to the event, Herb Dean stepped in and stopped the fight one minute and 18 seconds into the first round. His decision was based on Oritz delivering several elbow blows to Shamrock’s head and Shamrock not responding. Dean gave the fight to Oritz, and Shamrock angrily protested the referee’s decision. Shamrock was eventually escorted from the building. The result led to a second rematch between the two fighters later that year, and Oritz once again won the match. A year later, Dean was the referee at the bout between Gabriel Gonzaga and Mirko Filipovic. Towards the end of the first round, Gonzago administered blows to Filipovic’s head that left him confused. Gonzaga then kicked Filipovic in the head, knocking him. As Filipovic fell, his foot had become pinned in such a way that it rotated 180-degrees as he fell. Dean’s quick actions meant that he was able to free the pinned foot to prevent more serious damage. Despite the many occasions that he has stopped fights to prevent injury, there have also been occasions where Herb Dean has faced criticism for stopping a fight too late. It is not uncommon for referees in any sport to face criticism of this type.
His Acting Career
In addition to his career in MMA, Herb Dean has also had a career as an actor. According to IMDb, Dean’s first acting role was in the 2012 film ‘Here Comes the Boom. He has also had small roles in the 2017 film ‘A Violent Man’ and the 2019 film ‘The Divine Fury.’
Herb Dean’s Net Worth
According to Otakukart, Herb Dean’s net worth is now $1.5 million. He initially made money as a professional fighter but now earns a living as a referee for mixed martial arts fights. It is worth noting that referees for this sport earn significantly less than referees for boxing matches. Dean has also made some money acting, although to a lesser degree.