Marc Goddard learned a lot from reffing the UFC 252 main event.
Former two-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier retired after suffering a unanimous decision loss to UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 252. Goddard served as the officiator for that fight. The longtime referee says officiating the final professional MMA fight for DC was “very humbling.”
“It’s always an honor,” Goddard said on What the Heck (via Mike Heck of MMA Fighting). “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.”
There was some controversy in the bout as Goddard missed an accidental eye poke from Miocic to Cormier late in the third round of their encounter. Goddard has already apologized to DC for making the critical error, but Goddard says that recognizing his mistakes and accepting them is a process for moving forward.
“For me, speaking publicly as an official, there’s an old adage that it’s frowned upon if the officials talk,” Goddard said. “There’s certain people in certain places and certain positions that do not like when officials speak with the media in any description. I’ve never supported that kind of thought because, first and foremost, if I’m ever gonna talk about the sport, and talk about it publicly, nobody has to tell me how to uphold the integrity of the sport. Nobody has to tell me to be professional, nobody has to tell me to say the right thing because I think I’ve demonstrated that many times over the years. When it came to the actual thing with DC, it’s just part of me as a person. Acceptance and acknowledgement are big things for me. I’ve always been the same. You can Google my name and there’s a handful of instances where I’ve actually spoken out and said I could’ve done things differently. But with something like that in such a pivotal fight, obviously on the replay, it was clear as day what happened. I just felt compelled to do that. It’s part of my acceptance. This is a very personal thing for me and speaking out the way that I did, it meant a lot to me, personally, to be able to accept and acknowledge the fact that I made a mistake. I’m not afraid to use the words wrong, mistake, difference, sorry, whatever it may be. That’s just me as a person. Not everyone is the same and it gets me in trouble sometimes with certain people. I won’t stop doing that because from an ethical and a values point of view, it means the most to me.”
Goddard is expected to be on the docket for officiating future UFC cards, whether they’re in the UFC Apex or Fight Island.