Marc Goddard responds to controversial knees at UFC 297

  • Arnold Allen landed illegal knees on Movsar Evloev at UFC 297
  • Referee Marc Goddard warned Allen and let the fight continue
  • He explained his decision on Twitter
Marc Goddard
Marc Goddard / Rey Del Rio/GettyImages

During the UFC 297 main card opener between Movsar Evloev and Arnold Allen, there was some controversy over potentially illegal knees.

The moment came when Allen landed four knees as Evloev's hand was on the mat. Referee Marc Goddard stopped the action when the fourth knee landed, deemed them accidental (and illegal) and the fight continued.

The fight eventually went to the scorecards where Evolev secured the win, but not without controversy.

Many fans and even other fighters felt the knees were legal, according to the rules most commissions abide by. Unfortunately for Allen, Ontario's rules deemed Evolev's fingers on the canvas ground because "weight-bearing" doesn't matter in Ontario.

Goddard even chimed in on Sunday explaining the rules and why he made the decision he did.

"Correct in ON the ruling is deemed as fingers down constitutes grounded," he tweeted. "I let first 3 play out & 4th is where I call for neutral separation & NOT an unfair [deduction]. We also did not have anytime replay. I respectfully work with what I have & apply common sense. Thank you."

It's not often a referee will explain but it's nice that Goddard did.


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