Referees in mixed martial arts, as in other sports, almost always remain in the background. However, there are stars in the MMA referee corps, whom every sports fan knows by sight. Marc Goddard, the top UFC referee, is one of them.
Conflict with McGregor
In his youth, Goddard practiced jujutsu and boxing for several years, which eventually led him to the MMA, where the rules were then very different from those of today. Marc had his first fight in 2002 and won. However, in 2004, the Briton was seriously injured and accidentally tried himself in a new role. One of Goddard’s friends needed a referee for an amateur tournament he organized, and Marc accepted the offer. So his career began.
There were many scandals in Goddard’s career, though. The biggest was his conflict with Conor McGregor when the referee was not afraid to push the Irishman out of the cage, who was rushing to congratulate his friend on the victory. An angry Conor even hit one of the tournament organizers, bombarding Marc with threats. The referee took what was happening stoically and did not insist on punishing McGregor during the proceedings.
Fighter vs. Referee
Goddard has seen too many threats in his life as a judge to respond. For example, Ahmed Al-Darmaki even used his fists on Marc. After winning the fight, the UAE native did not want to free the opponent and became angry with the referee when he intervened. He pushed Marc, started shouting insults, and grabbed him by the shirt. It seemed that a fight was about to begin, but Goddard calmly and methodically continued to admonish Al-Darmaki.
If you also want to become an MMA referee, here are the basic principles from Marc Goddart, UFC top referee, “You need to have attention to detail, be honest and self-confident.”
Do you like Goddard as a UFC referee?
Also, you can read GSP regarding the possible return in a fight against Khabib.