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How Much Does Herb Dean Make?


If you’re a fan of MMA, then you’d definitely have heard of the legendary UFC referee, Herb Dean. But have you ever wondered what Herb Dean’s salary is as a UFC referee?

I used to, and to be honest, I wasn’t surprised when I found out. He’s earned it and his legendary status makes it even more befitting.

He can easily go down as one of the best referees to ever enter the cage, and if there’s anything like celebrity referees, Herb Dean definitely fits the profile.

Herb Dean has been in the UFC for so long and has made a name for himself on the mat by officiating in numerous main events and many notable matches.

The former mixed martial artist with a record of 2-3, a submission, and a TKO, has climbed the ladder of success as a referee. He has been part of history, decided the fate of many, and saved lots of careers by calling the matches early.

He has, however, had his fair share of criticism but still remains one of the best as the accolades would show.

This is why this article will be looking into Herb Dean’s salary and overall earnings. Therefore,

How Much Does Herb Dean Make As Salary?

Herb Dean earns $500,000 per year as a salary with UFC. The $2.5 million dollar net worth American mixed martial arts referee and retired fighter are one of the best in the business.

He is widely regarded as the gold standard in MMA as a referee for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Dean also earned the World MMA Award for Referee of the Year every year from 2010 to 2014, and again in 2019 and 2020, according to Fighters Only Magazine.

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Herb Dean’s Salary Per Fight

He gets paid around $1500 per fight, for main card bouts in the UFC. Being a very hardworking man, you can see him on every major UFC card.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Herb Dean was born in Pasadena, California, in 1970. He began training in martial arts at the age of nine and went on to train in a variety of disciplines throughout his adolescence. Dean famously trained with Frank Trejo when UFC 1 was just getting started.

He continued to train with Trejo and eventually added judo and jiu-jitsu to his program. Dean later met boxer Larry Landless in 1996, who introduced him to MMA training at Los Angeles’ Submission Factory.

Notable UFC Matches

According to Wikipedia, the following matches are some of the notable matches Herb Dean has officiated.

At UFC 48, held on June 19, 2004, Dean refereed a bout between Tim Sylvia and Frank Mir for the vacant UFC Heavyweight Championship. At 0:50 (50 seconds) of round one, Dean called a stop to the fight when he saw Sylvia’s right forearm break due to an armbar.

However, Sylvia didn’t take it well as he felt Herb Dean called in early. Regardless of his protests, the match was not restarted, especially as the UFC medical personnel confirmed that Tim Sylvia’s hand was indeed broken.

Sylvia later apologized and thanked Herb Dean for his competency and for calling the match early, which he said saved his career.

Dean also served in another high-profile match between Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock. Dean stopped the match one minute in following numerous consecutive unanswered elbows to the head of Shamrock by Ortiz, giving the victory to Ortiz by TKO.

Shamrock wasn’t pleased with Herb Dean’s but had to live with it, as it wasn’t overturned. However, he got another opportunity and was still beaten.

Another note-worthy match would be the  UFC 70, held on April 21, 2007, Dean was the referee during the bout between Mirko Cro Cop and Gabriel Gonzaga.

Dean stood the fight up from the guard position late in the first round, a tactic often used to counter lethargy.

This move didn’t please lots of analysts who felt that Gonzaga was allegedly using ground and pound. Shortly after the match resumed, Gonzaga put Filipovic out with a kick to the head, pinning his right foot, which had been turned 180 degrees backward, beneath his body.

Fortunately, Dean was there to unpin his legs, saving Filipovic from severe injuries.

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Controversies

Despite his many accolades and triumphs, Dean has had his fair share of ring controversies. He was chastised for stopping the main event fight between Urijah Faber and Renan Baro for the UFC bantamweight title at UFC 169.

Dean earned more criticism for a late stoppage of a fight between C. B. Dollaway and Khalid Murtazaliev at UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Oleinik in 2018. In March of this year, at UFC 235, Dana White chastised Dean for handing a win to Ben Askren, who had done a bulldog choke against Robbie Lawler.

MMA Fighting Career

Dean has a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) record of 2-3. He defeated Randy Halmot by submission in his professional debut battle at Gladiator Challenge 6 in September 2001. In early 2003, he was defeated by Joe Riggs in his next match.

Dean defeated Timothy Mendoza by TKO at KOTC 39: Hitmaster the next year. He then went on to lose his next two matches to Jung Gyu Choi and Dave Legeno, respectively.

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Herb Dean’s Family Life

Herb owns a gym called Fight Academy Pasadena when he isn’t working fights (aka Herb Dean MMA). He also offers certification classes for anyone interested in becoming an MMA referee or judge.

Herb is a devoted husband and father. He enjoys playing with his children and spending time with his lovely Russian wife.

Awards

Dean has won Fighters Only Magazine’s World MMA Awards Referee of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018, 2019 (–July 2020), and (July 2020–) 2021.

Dean, however, missed out on the award in 2015 to ”Big” John McCarthy for the first time since the category was introduced.

He has also gotten his fair share of criticism even from his boss Dana White, for calling some matches too early and some others too late. Even after this Dana White still maintains that Herb Dean is one of the best referees in the UFC.

Conclusion

This article is an expose on the financial earnings of legendary UFC referee Herb Dean with a particular interest in his salary.

The legendary referee has officiated over 5700 fights and counting and remains one of the best in the UFC. Herb like most people does have a terrible day at work, but he’s never let that keep him down, and he surely has more good calls than bad.

We hope that we were able to douse some of the curiosities if not all, that you might have about Herb Dean, his salary, and his family life.

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