Marc Goddard has opened up on his decision to stop the UFC 281 main event between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira.
In the fifth round, Pereira had Adesanya badly hurt against the cage, and after a few more punches landed, Goddard stopped the fight. Right away, many fans suggested the stoppage was early as Adesanya never went out. ‘Stylebender’ has also come out and said he thought the referee jumped in a bit early.
“I don’t blame the referee,” Adesanya said on The MMA Hour about Goddard’s stoppage. “Marc did a good job, but you see it when I get up. I’m fine. I was lucid, I didn’t get rocked rocked, I got hit hit against the fence and my thought was, ‘Escape, laterally, either left or right.’ I went right and as I was going right. It wasn’t because I was rocked, it was my foot. You know the perineal [nerve]? It happened to Michael Chandler, [Henry] Cejudo, our boy, Jimmy Crute, it happened to him as well…
“I was waiting for him to take big shots, so I put my head down; I could see his arms and I could see his legs,” Adesanya continued about the stoppage by Goddard. That’s all I needed to look at. I know where his head is. So I’m just there moving, moving, moving. But to the referee, after two big shots and then I wobble, and I’m standing there looking like that, he’s going to be like, ‘Nah.’ And he’s being safe. So when he jumped in I’m like, ‘I’m fine. Aw, f***.’ I was literally just disappointed, I was waiting for him to gas out so I can do my work. I was going to take him down and then beat him up again.”
Now, taking to social media, Marc Goddard offered a brief statement and said protecting the fighter is most important. He also isn’t going to be thinking about the decision.
Thank you to all who understand the role in which we play, protection is paramount. Decisions are over the second they are made, the conscience lives forever. Honoured, blessed & thankful. On the biggest stage there is, of the fighters, for the fighters – they remain the Kings.🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/MHe1xGHo8F
— Marc Goddard (@marcgoddard_uk) November 15, 2022
“Thank you to all who understand the role in which we play, protection is paramount. Decisions are over the second they are made, the conscience lives forever. Honoured, blessed & thankful. On the biggest stage there is, of the fighters, for the fighters – they remain the Kings,” Goddard said.
Ultimately, with Marc Goddard stopping the fight, Alex Pereira became the new middleweight champion. Yet, it seems likely that the two will end up rematching so Adesanya will have the chance to prove he can beat the Brazilian.
What do you make of Marc Goddard’s stoppage in the Adesanya-Pereira title fight?