- UFC referee Marc Goddard insists he made the right call on Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya
- Goddard explained the reasoning behind the stoppage
The fact that Alex Pereira beat Israel Adesanya for the third time in their epic rivalry was already stunning. However, some found Marc Goddard’s stoppage call on the pair’s UFC 281 title fight also shocking. Nevertheless, the veteran referee is sticking to his decision.
Not one bit would change
Speaking to MMA Junkie while at the World MMA Awards, Goddard said he’d still make the same call no matter how many times they redo that fight. Goddard insisted that he’s “very comfortable” with his calls and people could ask about how he maintain the quality of his work if they think he made a mistake.
“I feel very good,” Goddard said of his fifth round stoppage call at 2:01, declaring Pereira as the winner. “Israel, I think he’s a great guy. I think he was a fantastic champion. I’m not just saying it because I’m here. I like the guy a lot. I like all the fighters. That’s my job, I’m down the line, and if I done that fight again, 11 times out of 10 I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m very comfortable with my actions, and the people who know me will know I’m my harshest critic.”
It’s all for protection
Adesanya’s coach Eugene Bareman said he thought it was an early stoppage, but also admitted Izzy was already in trouble before Goddard barged in. On the other hand, Goddard echoed somewhat the same take on the matter and pointed out that at the end of the day, his job is to protect the fighters.
“It’s a very fine line. We don’t get second takes, reverse angles, etc. People find it weird when we say we’re there to protect the fighters when they knock hell’s bells out of each other for 25 minutes,” Goddard explained. “At the end of the day, my job is to act instinctually and correctly to protect the guys. It was an amazing fight. Congratulations to Alex, all the respect in the world to Izzy. I’m happy with what I did.”
It is yet to be known if Pereira would defend his middleweight belt first or would consider moving up to light heavyweight. However, “Poatan” already gave Adesanya his stamp of approval on a rematch if “The Last Stylebender” insists.