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Referee Marc Goddard apologizes for missing eye poke on Daniel Cormier at UFC 252

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Referee Marc Goddard owns up to his erroneous judgment call during UFC 252’s headliner between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic.

Towards the end of the third round of Saturday’s UFC 252 headliner, challenger Daniel Cormier complained about an inadvertent eye poke from Stipe Miocic. He raised it with presiding referee Marc Goddard, saying his left eye was compromised.

Goddard, however, saw it more as a punch at the time.

“Daniel, you got punched. Sit down, my friend,” Goddard was heard saying on the broadcast during the round break.

But after getting to watch the replays, Goddard realized the error in his previous judgment call. A few hours after the fight, the veteran official issued a public apology via Twitter, while also explaining his side of the story.

I practice what I preach & as a man I stand tall & head on. If you accept plaudits, then you must with mistakes, too, that’s proof that you are listening, honest, and implore improvement.

Rough with the smooth, acceptance & ownership. Immediately after the fight when seeing the replay I apologised to Daniel Cormier & his team & I do so publicly & undeservedly for missing what I shouldn’t have. But I cannot call what I do not see.

I don’t have replays & multiple angles, it’s a one shot take in real time. I cannot convey just how much I have both lived & loved this sport for the past 20 years. I truly appreciate all who understand.

Cormier claims he couldn’t see out of his left eye throughout the fourth and fifth rounds. He ended up losing via unanimous decision.