Marc Goddard Talks Adesanya-Pereira Stoppage: Protection Is Paramount
The fight was waved off in the fifth and final round.
Marc Goddard has spoken honestly about his choice to interrupt the main event of UFC 281, which featured Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira.
After Pereira seriously wounded Adesanya against the cage in the fifth round and a couple more punches connected, referee Goddard stopped the bout.
Many supporters immediately asserted that the interruption was premature because Adesanya never left the stage.
“Thank you to all who understand the role in which we play, protection is paramount,” Goddard said.
“Decisions are over the second they are made, the conscience lives forever. Honoured, blessed & thankful. On the biggest stage there is, of the fighters, for the fighters – they remain the Kings.”
‘Stylebender’ has also publicly said that he believed the referee entered the match too soon.
“I don’t blame the referee,” Adesanya said on The MMA Hour about Goddard’s stoppage.
“Marc did a good job, but you see it when I get up. I’m fine. I was lucid, I didn’t get rocked rocked, I got hit hit against the fence and my thought was, ‘Escape, laterally, either left or right.’ I went right and as I was going right. It wasn’t because I was rocked, it was my foot. You know the perineal [nerve]? It happened to Michael Chandler, [Henry] Cejudo, our boy, Jimmy Crute, it happened to him as well…
“I was waiting for him to take big shots, so I put my head down; I could see his arms and I could see his legs,” Adesanya continued about the stoppage by Goddard. That’s all I needed to look at. I know where his head is. So I’m just there moving, moving, moving. But to the referee, after two big shots and then I wobble, and I’m standing there looking like that, he’s going to be like, ‘Nah.’ And he’s being safe. So when he jumped in I’m like, ‘I’m fine. Aw, f***.’ I was literally just disappointed, I was waiting for him to gas out so I can do my work. I was going to take him down and then beat him up again.”
Even though Pereira won the third time against Adesanya, Izzy was winning at least three rounds, according to the judge’s scorecards.