MMA referee Marc Goddard has finally broken his silence about his controversial call at UFC 234 main card opener.
The veteran referee drew flak after making a bad call in a light heavyweight fight between Jimmy Crute and Sam Alvey last weekend in the UFC’s pay-per-view event in Melbourne, Australia.
Even the UFC boss, Dana White, admitted in the post-fight presser that the stoppage in the final seconds of the opening round was called too early.
But if Goddard has the chance, he said he would have done the right thing.
Australian Jimmy Crute and Sam Alvey opened the Saturday’s main card with a controversial light heavyweight match.
Crute made quick work of his American visitor as he coasted to a first round stoppage win, his tenth in his professional career and his second straight under the UFC.
With two and a half minutes remaining in the opening round, the Australian fighter dropped Alvey with a powerful right hand, which sent the American to the deck dazed and confused.
The 23-year old Crute thought the fight was over and walked away, but the gutsy American recovered only to be battered with solid punches during a scramble.
But Alvey refused to give up as he tried to defend the onslaught, but referee Marc Goddard stopped the fight in the dying moments of the first round, giving the win to the Australian fighter.
Alvey believed that the call was too early while Crute said that his opponent was done when he was hit with a takedown and head kick.
While the Australian was celebrating his win, Alvey went ballistic inside the cage as he tried to contest the call to Goddard.
— Submission Radio (@SubmissionRadio) February 10, 2019
UFC boss Dana White sided with the American fighter during the post-fight presser, claiming that Goddard really did a bad job in that light heavyweight bout.
“The ref screwed that up, too. The ref jumped in there and (Crute) thought the ref was breaking it up.”
“The ref did a really, really bad job. Real poor refereeing in that fight.”
“When something like that happens, it could’ve caused Crute the fight, because if Alvey got back up – and then (Goddard) goes to stop it too soon, then he stops it too early, in my opinion.”
“It happens sometimes, and it sucks for Sam.”
Amid the backlash, the 15-year veteran is handling the controversy like a real man.
He admitted that the stoppage was a mistake and said he would have done the right thing if given a chance. (via MMA Fighting)
“Yes, I know that Sam obviously jumped straight back up, obviously demonstrating to me and telling me he’s OK.”
“But at that point, the fight is called. And you know what? Going back and looking at it again, if I could run it back again, yeah I would have taken a half step back. I would have let another two shots or three shots play out. And I’m gonna put it down to a mistake. I’m big and ugly enough to do that.”
“When Sam gets dropped, I run in and my focus, my peripheral vision then becomes tunnelled.”
“My eyesight is honed in on one person, and that one person is Sam Alvey.”
“What I’m looking for as I run is if Sam can give me a glimmer, show me something that tells me he’s still there. Something that’s gonna allow me to let the fight to continue. He does, he gets back up, he’s clearly wobbled.”
— Melbourne Informer (@melbourneinform) February 10, 2019
He insisted that the wrong call was not intentional as he handles each fight with the same approach.
Goddard, who has been officiating professional MMA bouts for 15 years, extended his apology to Alvey and asked fighters to have their faith in him.
“I approach my job and all the fights the same.”
“And I’m sorry to Sam, I really am. I feel bad. But all I want people to try and do is understand where my mental aspect came from.”
“Had I stopped the fight from the ground and pound alone, people would be rightly jumping all over me. But I’m not. It was the fact of what happened before that.”
“This sport is ingrained in me. Not just the mind, I’m operating from the heart as well. It means a lot to me.”
“I want these guys to have their trust and faith in me. I don’t know. Sometimes it’s like the old adage — you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” Goddard ended.
(Featured Image Source: YouTube/The Mac Life and Twitter/IMMAF)