Referee Marc Goddard gives in-depth response to Usman-Woodley backlash

Marc Goddard
Image: @marcgoddard_uk on Instagram

Kamaru Usman’s unanimous decision defeat of long-time UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley was a performance to remember. Unfortunately, the fight will also be remembered for a few controversial calls from referee Marc Goddard — most notably a handful of controversial stand-ups, issued when Usman was in dominant positions, seemingly working hard.

After a comment from MMA Fighting’s Luke Thomas on Twitter, referee Marc Goddard issued a lengthy explanation of his calls in this Usman vs. Woodley matchup.

Here’s what he had to say:

1. It was a full 25 minute 5×5 fight. There was ONE single solitary stand up the whole entire fight. That came in the 4th round.

2. I don’t know where or how came the notion “multiple stand ups” (not from you it’s what I saw wrote)

3. There was a total of 3 separations the ENTIRE fight.

4. My use of the words “it’s a fight”! have been totally misconstrued. I only spoke in answer to Kamaru who asked why?

5. My use of the words “it’s a fight” was NOT the correct wording to use at that point. It was the wrong choice! I should have used different wording, no question. I have nothing but respect for Kamaru and his entire performance.

6. My actions & words have been misconstrued & for that I can explain in full. Kamaru Usman fought an unbelievable fight & if my words “it’s a fight”’caused him of all people offence on the back of such an amazing performance then I’m truly sorry. My words at that time were wrong

7. I have received an unbelievable amount of messages, literally hundreds. Questions and disagreements I can ALWAYS deal with that goes with the job, but the vile abuse not so much. This happens to my wife & son too.

8. Hopefully when I speak it can go some way to offering up an explanation as to why I do what I do, and when.

9. Commiserations to Tyron and respect & to Kamaru.

In closing I will continue to give my all to this sport. A referee makes decisions, not always popular, not always correct but please know I have devoted 20 years to MMA & ALL of its facets. Im far from perfect, I’m just like everyone else. Thanks  – Marc Goddard on Twitter.

What do you think of this explanation from Marc Goddard? What did you think of his calls in the UFC 235 co-main event?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/7/2019.