First of all, Marc Goddard must have some insane air miles. The Birmingham, UK native is one of the most respected MMA referees on the planet. Every week he is at some event. These range from the most high-profile UFC cards to less-vaunted events around the world.
Goddard worked at UAE Warriors 12 in Abu Dhabi over the weekend and was his typical calm and collected self. Some people accuse him of arrogance and showmanship but most people believe that he is just a confident and assertive figure. He also is a former professional fighter so it’s best to respect him.
In sum, you should always follow the referee’s instructions. If they say the fight is over, then stop. However, one moron didn’t get the message. Check out how one fighter decided to put his hands on Goddard after holding onto a choke for far too long.
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) July 31, 2020
Ahmed Al Darmaki fought Bogdan Kirilenko in a featherweight bout on the card, with Goddard the third man in the cage. Al Darmaki managed to take Kirilenko’s back and the Abu Dhabi native sunk in a tight rear-naked choke. It was a great submission and Kirilenko tapped out.
However, the problem was that Al Darmaki didn’t let go. Goddard roared at him to release the choke and had to physically intervene. It was a very bad look but it got even worse when Al Darmaki reacted. He put his hands on Goddard, pushing him back several times.
Goddard wasn’t intimidated and moved towards him to remonstrate until Al Darmaki’s corner took him away. As a former heavyweight with a record of 7-6, Goddard isn’t too worried about some uppity 145lber. It was a dumb move and it didn’t end well for Al Darmaki in the end.
lmao i had to see the rest. He tries to apologize after he finds out he’s being DQ’d, flips Goddard off when he notices it won’t get him anywhere, and then you can hear someone saying “I’m not going to let you get to him (Marc)” while the result is shown 😂 pic.twitter.com/diPzBYrH7U
— ed (@thxtguy) July 31, 2020
Things got even worse for Al Darmaki. First of all, he leaped onto the cage to celebrate. But then he realized that the referee intended to hit him with a DQ. He jumped down to apologize to Goddard and attempted to put things right. However, Goddard made his mind up. Al Darmaki flicked him off and stormed away with his team.
Later, when Goddard stood next to Kirilenko for the official decision, someone said “I’m not going to let you get to him.” Clearly, Al Darmaki wasn’t ready to let it go. He embarrassed himself in front of the world. It wasn’t the smartest move by any means at all.
All in a days work! 😊
Man, am I ready for home! I love the UAE, and it’s people. ❤️
— Marc Goddard (@marcgoddard_uk) July 31, 2020
As you can see from Goddard’s tweet after the fight, he was clearly unfazed. In sum, he was just looking forward to going home, which is unsurprising because he is always working somewhere. But the moral of the story is always listen to the referee’s instructions. First of all, Al Darmaki messed up by not releasing the choke.
Holding an RNC for too long can result in brain damage or even death. It’s not a game. However, everybody makes mistakes but you don’t go after the referee when all is said and done. That was just a bridge too far.