3 of the best MMA referees, and 1 of the worst

A quick look at one of the toughest jobs in MMA and some of the people who do it
Jul 6, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jorge Masvidal (red gloves) punches Ben Askren (blue gloves) as
Jul 6, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jorge Masvidal (red gloves) punches Ben Askren (blue gloves) as / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
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One of the best MMA referees, Marc Goddard

The sport of mixed martial arts has grown exponentially in the last 30 years and spans the entire globe. When one thinks of international referees, you need only cross the pond to find one of the best in Marc Goddard.

A pioneer in the UK MMA scene, Goddard is noted as the first UK referee chosen to referee an event for the UFC and the first UK referee to be licensed in the United States. Prior to stepping into the cage as the third man in, Goddard had a 14 fight professional career spanning from 2002 to 2008.

Goddard's officiating resume is world-class. That same excellence shows in his desire to promote quality, consistent officiating through his MMA referee and judging courses.

Goddard has certainly drawn plenty of ire from fighters and fans alike, most recently from former middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, when he lost to Alex Pereira at UFC 281. Despite the criticism, Goddard is steadfast in his decisions and consistently applies the rule set to his fights.

Speculatively, it is this consistency that causes the heartburn with his decisions because fighters and fans have grown accustomed to loose applications of certain rules or are not always cognizant of rule changes at various venues.

Do not let the noise of a few loud voices detract from those who recognize Goddard's exceptional dedication. In 2022, Goddard was awarded as the referee of the year by Fighter's Only World MMA Awards.

Like any professional, Goddard does not rest on his experience alone, continuously training and learning about the martial arts that combine to make the sport he is passionate about. Goddard is even a second degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under the Gracie Barra banner.