As if UFC 232 didn’t already have enough drama surrounding the much-anticipated rematch between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, the pay-per-view (PPV) event just suffered another blow.
According to MMA Fighting's Marc Raimondi, longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) official, Herb Dean, will no longer be able to officiate the headlining Light Heavyweight title fight after an injury forced him to the sidelines.
Herb Dean is injured and unable to referee the UFC 232 main event Saturday, per CSAC’s Andy Foster. Mike Beltran will step in. CSAC plans to keep the other referees and judges already scheduled for the two title fights when the card was in Nevada. Marc Goddard has Cyborg-Nunes.— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) December 26, 2018
While the extent of his injuries weren’t revealed, they were bad enough to keep the best ref in the business from taking part in such a big bout. Stepping in for Herb is Mike Beltran, a highly-qualified official who has called plenty of high-profile fights.
Despite the relocation of the event, California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) officials did keep all the judges and original referee crew intact as if it were still going down in Las Vegas, Nevada.
UFC 232: “Jones vs Gustafsson 2,” will also feature the first-ever women’s champion vs champion title fight as Bantamweight queen, Amanda Nunes, moves up to face current Featherweight champion Cris Cyborg in the co-headlining act.
That fight will be officiated by Marc Goddard.