Some have argued that Conor McGregor is the UFC’s ‘golden boy’ and can do whatever he wants, when it comes to the promotion, but referee Marc Goddard says that’s not the case when he’s officiating.
If you watched UFC Fight Night 118 on Saturday then you know that McGregor was featured plenty, but not because he was fighting. The lightweight champ’s longtime teammate and friend, Artem Lobov, took on Andre Fili, and McGregor was in attendance as a result.
Not only that, but once the fight began, McGregor left his seat and was cageside. The Irish star could be seen yelling instructions at Lobov, and even moving around the cage to follow the action. Finally, in round two, Goddard told McGregor he had to leave the area, and officials intervened.
Following the event, which saw Fili decision Lobov, Goddard had this to say about his interaction with McGregor (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“The reason I interjected is because Artem gets a fourth cornerman cage side giving instruction,” Goddard said. “That’s not allowed. Imagine had Conor talked him through a fight-ending sequence. Then what?”
“Conor was basically acting like a fourth cornerman,” Goddard added. “Walking around the cage side wherever and whenever he wanted. When Fili took down Artem, Conor was right there. That’s simply not fair and not allowed. I won’t have it. He can’t do as he pleases.”
“If Conor had stood up, stayed at his seat, then he could have shouted till his hearts content. That’s what he’s supposed to do. But what he simply cannot do, what he is not allowed to do, is approach the cage at any point and as I say act as the fourth corner. That’s unfair and unjust…”
Yup. Rules are rules right? So, you can’t fault Goddard for what he did, even if you’re a huge fan of McGregor and his SBG team.
If you want to point fingers, however, you could ask why no one else from the UFC got involved until Goddard did. After all, monitoring the action in the cage is hard enough, let alone having to police what’s going outside of it.