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Marc Goddard issues apology for missing Stipe Miocic's eye poke on Daniel Cormier at UFC 252

MMAJunkie logo MMAJunkie 8/16/2020 Farah Hannoun
Stipe Miocic holding a ball © Provided by MMAJunkie

Referee Marc Goddard has taken ownership for missing Stipe Miocic‘s gnarly accidental eye poke on Daniel Cormier.

In the UFC 252 headliner, which took place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, heavyweight champion Miocic (20-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) poked Cormier in his left eye in Round 3. Goddard ruled it as a punch when Cormier complained. The poke caused Cormier to lose sight in his eye, he said, for the remainder of the fight, which he thinks played a factor in his unanimous decision loss to Miocic.

In the wake of the incident, Goddard has issued a statement saying he apologized to Cormier (22-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) and his team for missing the the eye poke and that in the moment, he thought it was a punch.

“I practice what I preach and as a man I stand tall and head on. If you accept plaudits then you must with mistakes too, that’s proof that you are listening, honest and implore improvement. Rough with the smooth, acceptance and ownership. Immediately after the fight when seeing the replay I apologized to Daniel and his team and I do so publicly and unreservedly for missing what I shouldn’t have – but I cannot call what I do not see. I don’t have replays and multiple angles, it’s a one shot take in real time. I cannot convey just how much I have both lived and loved this sport for the past 20 years. I truly appreciate all who understand.”

According to Jon Anik on the ESPN+ post-fight show, Cormier was transported to a local hospital after the fight with a “tear” in his left eye. During the fight, Cormier told his cornermen he couldn’t see out of the eye.

Goddard has been involved in a few recent incidents, including an altercation with UAE Warriors featherweight Ahmad Al Darmaki, who shoved Goddard when the veteran referee tried to peel him off due to his refusal to let go of a submission. As result, Al Darmaki was disqualified.

Goddard has also been subjected to plenty of criticism from Colby Covington, who expressed his discontent toward the ref’s stoppage in his loss to welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 245.


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