Marc Goddard, who was referee for Andre Fili versus Artem Lobov at UFC Gdansk, has revealed why he gave Conor McGregor the boot from cageside.
During the second round of their fight, Fili had the advantage over Lobov with a top to ground position, when Goddard put a brief halt to the bout.
The referee walked over to McGregor, who had been in his corner shouting encouragement and instructions to Lobov (who is a longtime teammate), and asked him to leave the area. It’s a pretty ballsy move to ask the UFC’s golden boy to vacate the premises but Goddard wasn’t having any of his antics.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Goddard revealed:
The reason I interjected is because Artem gets a fourth cornerman cageside giving instruction.
That’s not allowed. Imagine he had Conor talk him through a fight-ending sequence. Then what?
During the fight ‘The Notorious’ was prowling the Octagon – generally just being McGregor not abiding the rules and formalities. I guess you would assume that the Irishman thinks the rules don’t apply to him as he refused to stay in his designated seat and wanted to have some sort of influence on the fight.
However, despite McGregor’s influence the American-Samoan beat his Russian opponent via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Goddard went on to say:
Conor was basically acting like a fourth cornerman.
Walking around the cageside 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.
He also refused to play favourites or give McGregor a pass just because he’s the poster child/moneymaker for the organisation.
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.
Anyone who knows me will tell you I’ve done this forever, in any country in any situation. My integrity is not wavered and neither is the rules. We can’t allow that. I simply had to act.
McGregor didn’t do himself any favours post-fight either as footage emerged of him backstage talking to Lobov and using a homophobic slur in reference to Fili.
In the video he’s overheard calling Fili a ‘f*ggot’.
Not cool, McGregor. Definitely not cool.
‘The Notorious’ hasn’t been in a fight since the mutli-million dollar
spectacle clash with Floyd Mayweather this August – which was McGregor’s first professional boxing match.
UFC President, Dana White, has hinted McGregor’s next opponent could be Tony Ferguson, adding the match-up would make the most ‘sense’ following ‘El Cucuy’s’ win over Kevin Lee at UFC 216, which saw him claim the Interim Lightweight Championship.
A potential bout between the two could unify the lightweight title, however the ball would be firmly in McGregor’s court.