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UFC referee Herb Dean: Dan Henderson was 'still in the game' against Vitor Belfort

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Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

If you're one of the many mixed martial arts (MMA) fans who believe Dan Henderson's fight against Vitor Belfort was stopped prematurely, you'll be happy to hear you're not alone, as longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) referee Herb Dean believes "Hendo" was still in the game.

From his conversation with Bruce Buffer (via MMA Fighting):

"I think if Mario was one step back, which he could have easily been, or a step in a different direction, he could have gotten that second to realize Dan was there and was still in the game. I think on a different day Mario might have made a different decision. I think Mario ... I think he was making a different decision as he was touching him. He realized Dan was kicking him off. He did see [Henderson] go. He saw his head go limp. He saw another punch coming. That's the big thing. You see something that they need to protect themselves from. That punch missed and gave Dan a second more to get back into the game. I think that was what was crucial."

Audio below:

Henderson was felled by a leg kick in his FOX Sports 1 main event against Belfort in last weekend's (Sat., Nov. 7, 2015) UFC Fight Night 77 event in Sao Paulo, Brazil (watch it). "The Phenom" quickly pounced and began raining down punches, leading to an intervention from referee Mario Yamasaki.

Who just can't seem to catch a break in Brazil.