For the second time in a row, veteran mixed martial arts referee Herb Dean will oversee a title defense between UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao and a top-ranked Team Alpha Male product.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) voted unanimously on Tuesday to appoint Dean as the referee to preside over UFC 173's main event, Renan Barao (32-1, 1 NC) vs. T.J. Dillashaw (9-2), which is scheduled to take place May 24, 2014 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
Dean infamously oversaw Barao's most recent title fight against Team Alpha Male leader Urijah Faber, which ended via a controversial first-round TKO stoppage despite Faber responding to Dean's prompts for defense by flashing a thumbs-up sign.
In addition, the NSAC unanimously selected Derek Cleary, Tony Weeks and Chris Lee to judge UFC 173's championship bout.
According to MMADecisions.com, Cleary has thus far served as a dissenting judge for two split decisions in 2014 (Trevor Smith def. Brian Houston at UFC Fight Night 35, Rudy Morales def. Jimmy Jones at Bellator 115), while Weeks has done the same three times (Iuri Alcantara def. Wilson Reis at UFC Fight Night 36, Ernest Chavez def. Yosdenis Cedeno at UFC 170, Rick Reeves def. James Terry at Bellator 115), and Lee has done it once (Alexis Davis def. Jessica Eye at UFC 170).