Herb Dean: “Submission Grappling Is Near And Dear To My Heart”

Herb Dean: “Submission Grappling Is Near And Dear To My Heart”
Image Credits: ONE Championship & Road FC

Herb Dean is one of the best-known and most respected MMA referees in the world. However, not a lot of people know that Dean was also an MMA fighter himself – and that he has trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as well.


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From recently, Dean had started officiating at ONE Championship.
In a recent interview for the promotion, he emphasized that he’s happy with the ONE’s push of submission grappling – as it’s something that’s very close to his heart:

I also really like the fact that they’re pushing submission grappling and giving these guys [BJJ athletes] a home, because that’s something near and dear to me.

I think that’s something that everyone can do as a sport. You know, your kids can do it, everyone can do it, so I’d like to see that sport being promoted and that’s a really cool thing.

He also likes the fact that ONE serves, in his words, as a “home for martial arts in general”:

What I really like a lot is the fact that it’s the home for martial arts in general.

So I get to see top-level Muay Thai, top-level kickboxing, and it’s high-level guys, the best of the best. Which is not something I’m always going to get to see at a show.
So, I really like that format.