British referee Marc Goddard was the man in the middle as Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington went to war for the welterweight belt at UFC 245 on Saturday night.

After four hard rounds the fight was in the balance heading into the fifth and final round. The champion Usman showed an extra gear in that round and badly dropped his opponent on two occasions, before landing some ground and pound.

Covington was trying to defend himself and covering up well despite nursing a broken jaw. However Goddard took a close look and jumped in to stop the fight, leaving the challenger furious with the referee. He didn’t even stick around to hear the official result.

In his only post-fights comments Covington slammed Goddard for his poor officiating during the fight, accused the Englishman of f*cking him and also labelled him a fake ref.

“Normally people do their f*cking in the bedroom, not the octagon @marcgoddard_uk! I go in there to kill or be killed. You robbed me of that. You robbed the people of a fair fight. You should be ashamed of yourself. Fake nut shot. Fake eye poke. Fake stoppage. Fake ref. #ufc245”

The MMA community and fans appeared split on Goddards call. The veteran referee has now spoke out about his decision and his overall work in the fight game.

“Raw emotion & the highest of stakes, fighting is like nothing else on earth. I respect each & every person I stand between & I will give you all I’ve got. I am a human being. Thank you to all who understand what I have put into this game, that will never stop. God bless. ️”

Do you think Marc Goddard stopped Colby Covington too early?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.