Saturday 21 April 2018

'Conor McGregor’s threats are of no concern to me' - Referee Marc Goddard issues statement on Bellator 187

Referee Marc Goddard looks on during the bout between Cody Stamann and Terrion Ware during the UFC 213 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 9, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Referee Marc Goddard looks on during the bout between Cody Stamann and Terrion Ware during the UFC 213 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 9, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Referee Marc Goddard has issued a lengthy statement on his view of last Friday's melee at Bellator 187 following Charlie Ward's first round victory over John Redmond at the 3 Arena.

UFC Lightweight champion Conor McGregor sparked chaos when he scaled the Bellator cage before Goddard had declared that Redmond was unable to continue in the contest.

Incensed by Goddard's decision to not wave the fight off, McGregor shoved the referee and proceeded to argue with him while stumbling over a downed Redmond.

McGregor apologised for his actions on Tuesday and vowed to learn from his mistakes while also labelling Goddard's decision not to stop the fight as 'horrendous'.

Later on Tuesday, Goddard issued a lengthy statement clarifying his view of events.

The veteran referee said that McGregor's threats were of no concern to him and that his primary motive at the time was ensuring the safety of Redmond.

After a couple of days of downtime and reflection I would like to offer some clarification on the events that unfolded...

Posted by Marc Goddard on Tuesday, November 14, 2017

"I wanted to look at [John] Paul Redmond and had notified his corner that it was not over, I had called for what I had believed to be the bell," said Goddard in a statement on his Facebook account.

"Conor McGregors actions and ensuing melee of additional people with and connected to him, again with zero need or authority to even be in the cage, had also resulted in [John] Paul Redmond being knocked around by the very people who were trying to ensure his safety and well being.

"It was then that finally, in a second of respite amongst the carnage do I get to see the timekeeper who tells me that bell was sounded one second after I had stepped across.

"This is when it becomes apparently and easily clear to me that the fight was now officially ruled and over and Charlie Ward had indeed rightfully won the fight, based upon my actions alone.

"Conor McGregor was then forcefully ejected from the cage, whilst still trying to get to me and continuing his verbal tirade and threats, including “seeing me in Birmingham” [my hometown] Conor McGregor’s threats are of no concern to me. He then circled outside of the cage and jumped back up on the cage and when a commission official tried to get him down he struck out to him.

"The video presents all the evidence that is needed. People are mistakenly under the belief that they are entitled to their own opinion and I’m not really up for that train of thought however, we can argue that one, but what you’re never entitled to is your own facts – these will always remain unchanged."

Goddard also added that he has no desire to see any further action taken against McGregor and that his primary concern at this stage is the future of MMA and ensuring that similar incidents do not happen again.

"I do not wish for any further action to be taken against any party, in particular Conor McGregor, but ultimately that is entirely out of my hands," added Goddard.

"I hope that the situation can be reviewed, learned from on how we could prevent a repeat instance and then case closed, we move on for the good of the sport.

"I have known, witnessed and refereed Conor on many previous occasions over the years and watched, even in support of his meteoric rise, speaking publically to commend him and offer an insight when others had turned against him.

"I have known Conor before he was the mega star that he is now, long before he amassed his fame and fortune – the difference being I respected him the same and treated him no different back then.

"The sport of MMA is the bigger picture here and is of my primary concern and anyone who knows me, truly knows me, will underline that. As I said on Saturday morning before leaving Dublin – I operate with integrity, belief and values – all of the time, every time."

Mike Mazzulli, the director of the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation(MTDAR) and president of Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC), has claimed that McGregor has been axed from UFC 219 over his behaviour at the event.

Mazzulli contacted top officials in the UFC following the flashpoints and has claimed that McGregor has been pulled from the December 30 event as a result.

“I had some executives from the UFC contact me within two hours of what occurred, and they basically said to me that it is completely unacceptable in their eyes and that they will be doing something,” Mazzulli told The MMA Hour. “They did inform me that he was set to be on the December 30th card and he will not be on it. So, I do commend UFC to some extent for doing that.”

McGregor had not been confirmed for UFC 219 but it was believed that he was in line to face interim title holder Tony Ferguson on the card.

McGregor is not licenced with the MTDAR but they are exploring whether or not they can take action against the Dubliner.

“I will be speaking to my attorneys upon returning to the United States and see if I have any action,” said Mazzulli. “I did contact the members of the ABC that does have him licence and I did inform them on what had occurred. Now, I don’t know what they are going to do. Each commission is autonomous within the ABC, but we do share medicals and the safety aspect as well as rules and regulations.”

“If it was at Mohegan, there is no doubt in my mind he would be suspended and fined, and he would not be fighting at Mohegan for a minimum of six months,” he added later. “No doubt.”

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