At UFC 252, Marc Goddard missed a big eye poke between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier. However former ref Big John McCarthy does not think the Goddard is to blame for what happened.
An unfortunate footnote to the trilogy between Miocic and Cormier, was the aspect of eye pokes in the fights. The first two saw DC give Stipe the ol’ Three Stooges treatment, and although he did the same in the third fight last weekend, the seemingly more egregious example came the other way. Referee Marc Goddard missed a fairly severe poke to the eyes of the challenger, one that Cormier said resulted in a loss of vision for the rest of the fight. This was a big narrative after the fight, but it should be noted that DC did already have damage to the eye before the poke.
John McCarthy Weighs In On The Eye Poke
The frustrating thing about Marc Goddard missing the eye poke, is that he says he was unable to take action about something that he did not see. However former referee and current Bellator commentator, John McCarthy told Luke Thomas that Goddard had another option. While he says that Goddard is not to be blamed for missing the poke, the rules in Las Vegas allowed him to view an instant replay, without ending the fight like in other states, meaning he could have allowed DC extra time to recover.
“For someone to say ‘Marc Goddard should have seen it,’ nice try,” Big John said. “It’s so hard so see everything that goes on in a fight, and in that situation you have to, at that moment, actually be looking at DC’s face, and it’s not possible to say those things are always going to work.
“The one thing that is different in Nevada,” McCarthy continued. “Nevada has the rule different than what is the unified rules, when it comes to the use of instant replay. The use of instant replay in the state of Nevada can be utilized at any time that the referee feels that there was a possible foul, or something that they want to go back in look at. So in Nevada, what Marc Goddard could have done – and sometimes when you’re working all these different locations, and the rules change, it becomes tough to remember exactly what the rules are in one location, compared to the other locations you were just working.
“So the one thing that he could have done,” McCarthy explained. “Is on the break he told DC he thought it was a punch, and it’s easy to see when you watch it in slow motion on instant replay. It’s not easy to see when it’s done in real time, so it’s understandable why it was missed. But he gets to that point where he tells DC to go ahead and sit down, and he walks out and (looks at) that instant replay while the break is taking place. He quickly sees it was an eye poke, he lets the break go to its natural conclusion, he kicks everybody out of the ring, and he calls time at the end of that break, and he’ll bring in a ringside physician, and give DC time to clear out his vision.”
🔊 "For someone to say Marc Goddard should have seen it… Nice try." 👀@JohnMcCarthyMMA explains the use of instant replay in Nevada and tells @lthomasnews what he thinks the UFC should do to alleviate eye pokes in the sport after #UFC252 pic.twitter.com/Zm5xUzAyuc
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) August 17, 2020
At the end of the day, the issue with eye pokes is more than just this situation, and something that needs to be changed with an adjustment in the UFC’s gloves. However John McCarthy brings up a good point that Marc Goddard likely missed that he could have used the instant replay at any time. It is undeniably ironic that the Unified Rules in MMA are different in different states.