Even when Ronda Rousey wins in dominating fashion, she still incites controversy.
The UFC women's bantamweight champion fought Sara McCann at UFC 170 Saturday night just two months after a brutal championship defense against bitter rival Miesha Tate.
No such feud existed between Rousey and McCann, though both are former Olympians, but the fight still went down with controversially. Rousey scored a TKO in just 66 seconds — the fastest knockout in the brief history of women's UFC — but referee Herb Dean took the brunt of the fans' anger afterward.
- PHOTOS: Celebrities attend 'Avengers: Endgame' premiere in Los Angeles22 Pictures
- PHOTOS: Memorial spotlights the man behind Nipsey Hussle rap persona14 Pictures
Rousey kneed McCann in the midsection, immediately sending her to all fours on the canvas. Rousey followed with a few weak punches to the head, but Dean stepped in right away to stop it.
Dean is not a fan favorite among referees, with a reputation for stopping fights too early. Literally just three weeks ago, UFC President Dana White criticized Dean for an early stoppage in UFC 169's fight between Renan Barao and Urijah Faber.
"He rarely ever makes mistakes, but he made a mistake tonight," White said of Dean following the fight in Newark, N.J. the night before the Super Bowl. "Faber was blocking those shots; he gave the thumb’s up."
UFC fans might beg to differ on Dean, though he certainly is heavily experienced and White has always backed him. So he got the call for Rousey versus McCann and again we got a little controversy.
You can watch the video above and make your own call, but let's be fair, it looked like Rousey would've been able to pounce on McCann and beat her with ground and pound if the fight had continued.
But the commentators on Twitter were not kind to Dean ...
Geeze.... Herb Dean has been a disaster lately.— Todd Grisham (@GrishamESPN) February 23, 2014
Not sure about that call. McMann was on her way back up. Herb Dean was the ref. Damn, I really wanted to to see more of that.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 23, 2014
Bad, albeit not terrible, stoppage by Herb Dean.— Todd Martin (@ToddMartinMMA) February 23, 2014
Even soccer players were upset with the stoppage ...
Herb Dean has been a disaster lately. Way too many early/late stoppages. Not an easy job for sure, but damn. Sort him out @danawhite...— Alecko Eskandarian (@alecko11) February 23, 2014
It'll be interesting to see who Rousey takes on next. Cris "Cyborg" Santos, who easily ended the Gina Carano phenomenon, is the obvious "super fight" but the two fight at different weight classes, so it might be tough to work out.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports. Hey, it wasn't an arm bar at least!