Saturday, December 3, 2022

Referee Marc Goddard Releases Statement On Adesanya/Pereira Stoppage

Referee Marc Goddard has spoken out for the first time on his decision to stop Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira at UFC 281.

The UFC 281 middleweight title headliner between Adesanya and Pereira came to a stunning halt as Pereira finished Adesanya in Round 5. While Adesanya took a series of hard punches from Pereira against the fence, he appeared to remain lucid as Goddard stepped in to stop the fight.

The stoppage divided fans and pundits, with some believing Adesanya deserved to go out on his shield. To that point, he was winning the fight on the judges’ scorecards and was minutes away from continuing his title reign.

Amidst some of the backlash from his stoppage, Goddard has released a statement on the UFC 281 main event.

Marc Goddard On UFC 281 Stoppage: “Protection Is Paramount”

In a recent tweet, Goddard defended his decision to call a stop to Adesanya/Pereira.

“Thank you to all who understand the role in which we play, protection is paramount,” Goddard tweeted. “Decisions are over the second they are made, the conscience lives forever. Honoured, blessed & thankful. On the biggest stage there is, of the fighters, for the fighters – they remain the Kings.”

After the fight, Adesanya claimed that if a different referee had officiated the fight, he would still be champion. Despite this take, he’s handled the loss in stride as he prepares for a likely immediate rematch.

UFC President Dana White felt the stoppage was fair due to the accumulation of damage Adesanya took from Pereira. The UFC broadcast crew agreed with White’s assessment.

This wasn’t the first time that Goddard was at the center of a controversial stoppage. He was criticized by some for his stoppage of Covington vs. Kamaru Usman at UFC 245.

A longtime MMA referee, Goddard is one of the top officials in the fight game and feels he made the right call to protect Adesanya from taking unnecessary shots.

What did you think of Marc Goddard’s Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira stoppage?