The referee presiding over the main event of last night’s (Sat., September 22, 2018) UFC Fight Night 137 from São Paulo, Brazil, has responded to some criticisms of the fight’s stoppage.
Longtime referee Marc Goddard saw a strange scenario during the fight. Eryk Anders’ mouthpiece fell out during the third round of his battle with Thiago Santos. Santos had been landing far more power strikes throughout the fight. Anders, meanwhile, controlled the grappling department with many takedowns, making the fight a closely-contested main event.
Anders was attempting another one when Goddard stopped the action towards the end of the third frame. The referee awarded Anders position back, but it didn’t end in his favor.
Santos began unloading an assault of elbows and punches to Anders’ temple (watch highlights here). The tiring replacement fighter was wobbled badly. Anders concerningly fell three times after the round ended. Goddard called the fight off as a result.
At least one fighter had an exception with the ref’s decision. Top-ranked lightweight contender Kevin Lee is that man. Lee immediately called out Goddard on Twitter after the fight:
— Kevin MTP Lee (@MoTownPhenom) September 23, 2018
Goddard responded shortly thereafter that he did the right thing by giving Anders his position back. He only returned the fighters to their original position, which he insisted was the right call:
Mr Lee both fighters returned to exact same position that I stop to replace the gum-shield, i.e. against the fence in over/under clinch. Would you rather I start with Mr Anders pressing position taken away? We can have our own opinions, we can’t have our own facts. I respect you. https://t.co/UDV5kObAJB
— Marc Goddard (@marcgoddard_uk) September 23, 2018
Anders wants to fight again rather soon despite taking an insane amount of damage at the end of the third round. It was a great fight, and he must have been cleared at the aforementioned medical facility.
Goddard did the best thing he could have done. The controversy seems a bit of a moot point right now. Do you believe Goddard impacted the violent end of the fight with the decision?