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Dana White criticizes referee Herb Dean's performance in Ultimate Fighter finals fight

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Esther Lin, Sportsfile

LAS VEGAS – With Ryan Hall winning the 22nd edition of The Ultimate Fighter by scoring a decision over Artem Lobov on Friday night, there were a few boo birds to be found.

One of them was UFC president Dana White, though he wasn't booing the fight or the performances. He was booing veteran referee Herb Dean for allowing Hall to ride on Lobov's back for a couple of minutes in the third round. And he wasn't very happy with anybody who criticized the grappling ace Hall for his efforts.

"I'll tell you what, if any of you saw what I tweeted at the end of the night, what drove me crazy was that Herb Dean let him stay on his back for the last three minutes standing," White said in the post-fight press conference at the Cosmopolitan. "No damage was being done. Nobody was really advancing their position. And this is for everything — this is for The Ultimate Fighter."

White didn't like that Dean allowed Hall to remain on Lobov's back, which — though a dominant position — played into a stalemate for a long sequence.

"Stand them back up and...Herb I think is one of the best," White said. "I don't think he did his best tonight. And then I saw a lot of people talking negatively about [Hall]. One of the things about this kid is, with his jiu-jitsu, it's so sick and at such a high level. You haven't seen a guy who can go in and just slide in and take the leg and try to step over to the other side. You know, you're in his guard and try to step to the other side and he gets the leg, and he goes from one thing to another to the back. And even though he didn't get the submission, if he had pulled off one of those submissions people wouldn't be bitching about it

"Which is one of the reasons I think that Herb should have allowed them to fight for the last three minutes. There was no fighting in the last three minutes of that fight. That's irritating. You know, and I think that leaves a bad taste in everybody's mouth."

In the end Hall — who, like Lobov, was given a second chance after losing on the show — won a unanimous decision, moving his record to 5-1 overall as a pro fighter.