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While Kamaru Usman’s victory over Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 was as decisive and uncontroversial as a title fight can be in mixed martial arts, there were some questions from fans as to certain choices referee Marc Goddard made through the contest.

On multiple occasions, Goddard elected to separate Usman and Woodley from the clinch, and at one point instructed the pair to stand after he felt a grappling exchange in which Usman had top control had failed to be advanced.

While the break ups and stand ups earned attention from viewers, it was a comment made by Goddard to Usman that drew most ire, with the referee tilling a confused Usman, “It’s a fight” as a reason as why the fighters were being separated.

Today on social media, Goddard responded to a tweet by MMAFighting’s Luke Thomas to offer partial explanation of the situation and to address the criticism he’s received since last Saturday.

“1. It was a full 25 minute 5×5 fight,” Goddard wrote. “There was ONE single solitary stand up the whole entire fight. That came in the 4th round. 2. I don’t know where or how came the notion “multiple stand ups” (not from you it’s what I saw wrote) 3. There was a total of 3 separations the ENTIRE fight. 4. My use of the words “it’s a fight”!have been totally misconstrued. I only spoke in answer to Kamaru who asked why? 5. My use of the words “it’s a fight” was NOT the correct wording to use at that point. It was the wrong choice! I should have used different wording, no question. I have nothing but respect for Kamaru and his entire performance.

“6. My actions & words have been misconstrued & for that I can explain in full. Kamaru Usman fought an unbelievable fight & if my words “it’s a fight”’caused him of all people offence on the back of such an amazing performance then im truly sorry. My words at that time were wrong. 7. I have received an unbelievable amount of messages, literally hundreds. Questions and disagreements I can ALWAYS deal with that goes with the job, but the vile abuse not so much. This happens to my wife & son too.8. Hopefully when I speak it can go some way to offering up an explanation as to why I do what I do, and when. 9. Commiserations to Tyrone and respect & to Kamaru. Thank you.

“In closing I will continue to give my all to this sport. A referee makes decisions, not always popular, not always correct but please know I have devoted 20 years to MMA & ALL of its facets. Im far from perfect, I’m just like everyone else. Thanks.”