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"Honored to be third man for your fights" - Referee Marc Goddard pens heartfelt message on Joanna Jedrzejczyk's retirement

Marc Goddard (left) and Joanna Jedrzejczyk (right)
Marc Goddard (left) and Joanna Jedrzejczyk (right)
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Jacek Okninski

Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s retirement touched not only fellow fighters and fans but also others who contributed to the UFC. One of them was veteran referee Marc Goddard, who shared a heartfelt message for the former champion.

Jedrzejczyk’s decision to retire came as a surprise to many, but the Pole decided to call it quits after her second loss to Zhang Weili at UFC 275. Fellow fighters, fans, and UFC brass thanked her for the emotions that she delivered during her fights. However, Goddard’s message was of a different kind as he stated that it was an honor to referee here bouts.

Marc Goddard posted on Twitter:

"An important aside, if its the end for you @joannamma then you can go with your head held very high. Honour to be third man for your fights. Your accomplishments for female, Polish & World MMA are written in the history books. Congratulations & a long happy retirement for you."
An important aside, if its the end for you @joannamma then you can go with your head held very high. Honour to be third man for your fights. Your accomplishments for female, Polish & World MMA are written in the history books. Congratulations & a long happy retirement for you.

To be exact, Goddard refereed two of Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s fights. The first one took place at UFC Fight Night: Jedrzejczyk vs. Penne back in 2015. Goddard stopped the fight in the third round when 'JJ' dished out punishment to a grounded Jessica Penne in the third round.

The second was the last bout of her career. After being dominated by Weili’s takedowns in the first round, Joanna Jedrzejczyk was knocked out with a spinning back fist in the second encounter. This time, Goddard had to stop fight after the Pole was the one to suffer a knockout loss.

WALK OFF SPINNING BACKFIST FOR @MMAWEILI 🤯 #UFC275 https://t.co/dkuCZcIsYo

Former opponent shares a heartfelt message to Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Goddard’s words about Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s influence on Polish MMA aren’t exaggerated. She has been the face of the sport in Poland for many years. She was the first MMA fighter to be nominated for the prestigious Polish Sports Personality of the Year award.

However, her influence expanded beyond recognition by her countrymen as she paved the way for another female Polish fighter, Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Both of them fought in a strawweight title fight at UFC 205 where Jedrzejczyk won by unanimous decision.

In the lead up to this fight, there was some bad blood between the two Poles, but they later became friends. Kowalkiewicz also took to Instagram to share a heartfelt message for her fellow countrywoman:

"I have been "number 2" practically throughout my sports career. It does not bother me, on the contrary, I am proud of it because you were @joannajedrzejczyk and you will always be No. 1 for me! You are a legend, you have written a beautiful and inspiring story. You are not only a great athlete who accomplished the impossible, but also a wonderful person. When our relations were not the best, I needed help ... I called you and although you didn't have to help me, I could count on you 🙏❤️ you are great not only in the octagon but also in life. Now use it to the fullest. With all my heart, I wish you the best ❤️🙏 You were, are and will be a great inspiration ... ❤️"[Translated by Google]

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Edited by Allan Mathew
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