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Referee Marc Goddard says he made ‘wrong choice’ in comment made to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Marc Goddard has issued a series of statements and explanations regarding his officiating at UFC 235.

The veteran referee took to Twitter on Thursday to respond to some of the criticisms he has received for his work in the co-main event, a UFC welterweight title fight won by Kamaru Usman over Tyron Woodley.

In the tweets, Goddard addressed his controversial statement to Usman in the fourth round after standing up the fight with Usman in top position. Goddard told the then-challenger “It’s a fight.” Goddard wrote on Twitter that he was “wrong” for saying that.

“It was the wrong choice! I should have used different wording, no question,” Goddard wrote. “I have nothing but respect for Kamaru and his entire performance.”

He added that his “it’s a fight” statement was in response to Usman asking him why the fight was stood up. Goddard also wrote that there were only three separations and one stand up in the five-round fight, which Usman eventually won by unanimous decision.

“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 im [sic] truly sorry,” Goddard wrote. “My words at that time were wrong.”

Goddard received criticism from fans, media and even UFC play-by-play man Jon Anik following the Usman vs. Woodley fight, which took place March 2. After a back-and-forth about Goddard’s officiating, Anik tweeted that Goddard has and “arrogance with which you deal with the fighters, commentators and many in this sport.” Anik later apologized.

Goddard closed his string of tweets writing that he has gotten “vile abuse” from those on social media following the fight and his wife and son have received the same.

“In closing I will continue to give my all to this sport,” Goddard said. “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.”

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