Everyone has weighed-in on Conor McGregor’s behavior at the Bellator 187 card in Dublin. He stormed the cage as his teammate Charlie Ward was finishing John Redmond, then all hell broke loose. Since then, he has released an apology and the lead regulator that night has put out a statement on his actions. Finally, referee Marc Goddard sat down and wrote a lengthy post on his official Facebook detailing everything about what transpired, including some interesting details not apparent on first viewing. One of the keys being that it was unknown whether the fight was over or not.
“The punch and action that followed naturally resulted in a surge of crowd noise, one that was so significant I had already made my determination that I could not audibly hear the bell sound for the end of the round, I had made my decision to step in with the belief that bell had indeed been sounded, when in actual fact it had not. This is a critical fact to the ensuing proceedings. At this point on my step in, and you will clearly see from the video replay that I only step across and do not wave the fight off. Charlie Ward, understandably so had reeled off in celebration thinking that I had indeed ended the contest and not as I had actually done, called time on what I believed to be the end of the round. Two distinctly different endings.”
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) November 10, 2017
“Immediately behind me Conor McGregor is running after me, incensed that the fight was not yet officially ruled over, trying to get round a commission representative, this is unbeknownst to me and again if you look at the video he then breaks free of the commissioner and round into my back, it was a light and insignificant touch of no concern to me but what is of paramount importance here is the facts. The video does not lie. Again at this point I wanted to look at John Redmond and had notified his corner that it was not over, I had called for what I had believed to be the bell. Conor McGregor’s actions and ensuing melee of additional people with and connected to him, again with zero need or authority to even be in the cage, had also resulted in John Redmond being knocked around by the very people who were trying to ensure his safety and well being. It was then that finally, in a second of respite amongst the carnage do I get to see the timekeeper who tells me that bell was sounded one second after I had stepped across. This is when it becomes apparently and easily clear to me that the fight was now officially ruled and over and Charlie Ward had indeed rightfully won the fight, based upon my actions alone.”
Conor McGregor also slapped a commissioner tonight as he was told to get down from the cage. Not good.
— Dale Jordan (@MMAMadDale) November 10, 2017
“Conor McGregor was then forcefully ejected from the cage, whilst still trying to get to me and continuing his verbal tirade and threats, including ‘seeing me in Birmingham’ [my hometown] Conor McGregor’s threats are of no concern to me. He then circled outside of the cage and jumped back up on the cage and when a commission official tried to get him down he struck out to him. The video presents all the evidence that is needed. People are mistakenly under the belief that they are entitled to their own opinion and I’m not really up for that train of thought however, we can argue that one, but what you’re never entitled to is your own facts – these will always remain unchanged.”
To summarize: Marc Goddard was signaling the end of the round. Charle Ward thought Goddard stepped in to declare a TKO victory. Conor McGregor was thought the fight should have been finished and was hyped up that it seemed like it already was, then he stormed the cage and the rest is history. Despite all of this, Marc Goddard goes on record saying he doesn’t wish that Conor McGregor be punished for his antics and reflects on officiating him during his Cage Warriors roots.
“I do not wish for any further action to be taken against any party, in particular Conor McGregor, but ultimately that is entirely out of my hands. I hope that the situation can be reviewed, learned from on how we could prevent a repeat instance and then case closed, we move on for the good of the sport. I have known, witnessed and refereed Conor on many previous occasions over the years and watched, even in support of his meteoric rise, speaking publicly to commend him and offer an insight when others had turned against him. I have known Conor before he was the mega star that he is now, long before he amassed his fame and fortune – the difference being I respected him the same and treated him no different back then.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 11/14/2017.