Marc Goddard issues public apology after missing eye poke Daniel Cormier absorbed at UFC 252

Marc Goddard, Daniel Cormier, UFC 252
Image: @marcgoddard_uk on Instagram

Referee Marc Goddard, who was the third man in the Octagon for the UFC 252 heavyweight title fight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier, has issued a public apology.

Mid-way through Miocic and Cormier’s fight, the former landed an inadvertent eye-poke that left the latter with compromised vision. When Cormier complained about sustaining an eye-poke, however, Goddard denied that a foul had been committed.

Speaking on social media after UFC 252 concluded, Goddard admitted that he made an error in this fight, and reminded that he does not have the benefit of instant replays or multiple angles during fights.

See what he had to say below:

“I practice what I preach, and as a man I stand tall and head on,” Goddard wrote, addressing the controversy in the Miocic vs. Cormier fight. “If you accept plaudits then you must with mistakes too, that’s proof you are honest, listening, and implore improvement. Rough with the smooth, acceptance and ownership.

“Immediately after the fight when seeing the replay I apologized to Daniel Cormier and his team and do so publicly and unreservedly for missing what I shouldn’t have—but I cannot call what I do not see,” Goddard added. “I don’t have replays and multiple angles, it’s a one shot take in real time.

“I cannot convey just how much I have both lived and loved this sport for the past 20 years. I truly appreciate all who understand.”

In the end, Stipe Miocic defeated Daniel Cormier by unanimous decision to retain the UFC heavyweight title. What role do you think the eye poke in question had in this fight?