Referee Marc Goddard says it was an “honor” to officiate the last fight Daniel Cormier will ever compete in—but that’s nothing new.
Cormier, the former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion, competed in his retirement fight in the UFC 252 main event in August, giving up a close decision in a bid to reclaim the UFC heavyweight title from Stipe Miocic.
Goddard was the third man in the Octagon that night, and was honored as always to play a part in such a historic fight.
“It’s always an honor,” Goddard told MMA Fighting‘s What the Heck podcast. “Without sounding cliche, when you’re officiating the biggest prizes in this sport, it’s never taken lightly. Complacently doesn’t creep in. For a fight of that magnitude, to be selected again was very comforting, very humbling and it’s something I hold dear every time.”
Cormier, a former Olympic wrestler, is widely considered one of the greatest fighters in MMA history, and is inarguably one of the best heavyweights ever. Goddard shares those opinions.
“There’s not many superlatives you can leave out to describe him,” Goddard said of Cormier. “The guy has had an exemplary career, through his Olympic wrestling pedigree and fighting, working with high school kids, the personal things he’s had, and then obviously such a storied MMA career being a two-weight, two-division champion. He was a champion in Strikeforce, a champion in the UFC.
“What more can you say about a guy like that with that kind of track record?”
Daniel Cormier fought valiantly in his final fight with Miocic, which saw him slip to 1-2 in a three-fight series with the champion, but the judges’ didn’t score the fight his way. While he was understandably disappointed with the result of his final fight, he believes Stipe Miocic deserved the victory.
“I thought he won the fight,” Cormier said on DC & Helwani recently. “He did a good job and deserved to get his hand raised on that night. He won the fight.”