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Marc Goddard finally opens up about controversial stoppage in Kamaru Usman-Colby Covington fight at UFC 245

UFC 213: Nunes vs Shevchenko
UFC 213: Nunes vs Shevchenko
R. Nath
ANALYST
Modified 18 Feb 2020, 17:55 IST
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Marc Goddard was alongside Dan Hardy in the “LISTEN!” video podcast (H/T MMAFighting) and finally broke his silence about the controversial stoppage at UFC 245 in the main event between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington at UFC 245. The former interim Champion Covington himself abused Goddard after the fight, with some fighters calling it an "early stoppage".

Goddard went into detail justifying his stoppage, saying,

"One of the parting shots I will always say to a fighter, regardless of who it is, I say, ‘If you’re hurt, if I think you’re in any danger in a fight, I need you to do one thing: Just show me you’re still there,’” he said.

He acknowledged that the 24-minute fight was competitive and even, with the two possibly being 2-2 on the scorecards before the fifth round:

"Then Kamaru started to get the upper hand, and then he stung him a few times, and then there was the first knockdown, and then was the second knockdown. All this is real-time worrying in my mind. I am aware of the clock. I don’t want to stop the fight. I want this fight to go the distance."
" You’ve had 24 minutes of war for the highest prize in the sport from two A-line athletes. What’s not to respect? What’s not to understand? But I’m seeing things unfold, and I see Colby get put down twice in rapid order. Plus, 24 minutes of back-and-forth before that, so there’s a lot of damage sustained."

He explained that once Covington was dropped and went into turtle position, everything started to "narrow in" for him and he had a vital decision to make. Assessing it in real-time is not as easy as it looks. He then said:

I know he’s hurt,” Goddard said. “I know he’s not out; he’s hurt, which is why you see when he gets knocked down, I run in, I see him reacting, I move back. The second knockdown, you close the distance, he reacts, I move back. Then the shots start coming in. This is where things narrow down for me. I have to make a choice, one way or another.

He said that after two knockdowns he had to assess the position Covington was in and he had to "pull the trigger". Whether you agree with the stoppage or not, Goddard's point of view is justified. His job is to ensure the fighters don't take any extra unnecessary damage and many felt that the fight was stopped on time.

Published 18 Feb 2020, 17:55 IST
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