McGregors’ teammate Charlie Ward was fighting on the televised undercard for Spike, his opponent was John Redmond. Ward hit Redmond with a left hand which knocked Redmond down, and seemingly out – What happened next is disputed by both McGregor & the referee for the bout, Marc Goddard.
It’s clear the following things happened, McGregor (who was not a licensed corner man, he was simply a fan in the arena) jumped into the cage to congratulate his teammate, referee Marc Goddard then goes over to both Ward & McGregor, as he goes to check on a downed Redmond, McGregor runs at Goddard and then pushes him – After being evicted from the cage, McGregor attempts to jump the cage a second time, and whilst being pushed off the top of the cage, slaps and assults a Bellator official.
Now both of the men involved have two different views of what transpired – McGregor firstly states in an ‘apology’ that “The referee Marc Godard was making a horrendous decision in trying to pick an unconscious fighter up off the floor and force the fight to continue into the second round.” McGregor continues, “Even against the wishes of the said fighters coach. The fight was over. After witnessing my fighter in a fight where the worst happened and the opponent passed away from his injuries on the night, I thought the worst was about to happen again, and I lost it and overreacted.” McGregor than goes on to apologise to Mike Mazzulli who was in charge of overseeing the commisioning of the event, Andy Ryan (John Redmond’s coach) and John Redmond himself, he finally says sorry to his fans but negates to apologise to Goddard himself.
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I sincerely apologize for my behavior at last weekends fight event in Dublin. While trying to support a loyal teammate and friend, I let my emotions get the best of me and acted out of line. As a multiple weight UFC champion, executive producer, role model and public figure, I must hold myself to a higher standard. The referee Marc Godard was making a horrendous decision in trying to pick an unconscious fighter up off the floor and force the fight to continue into the second round. Even against the wishes of the said fighters coach. The fight was over. After witnessing my fighter in a fight where the worst happened and the opponent passed away from his injuries on the night, I thought the worst was about to happen again, and I lost it and over reacted. I am sorry to everyone. I sincerely apologize to the Director of the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, Mike Mazzulli, all the officials and staff working the event, Andy Ryan and his fighter John, two stonch ones that put up a great fight every time. That side will always have my respect, and lastly every one of my fans. I love yous all! I’ve always learned from my mistakes and this will be no different.
Marc Goddard has since released a very lengthy statement of his own which is vastly different to Conor’s. In the statement Goddard states that because of the noise of the crowd he couldn’t hear the bell for the end of the round, and so he ended the fight at 4:59, not because of the knockout, but because of his belief that this was the end of the round.
“You can clearly see from the video reply that I only step across and do not wave the fight off” states Goddard, “Charlie Ward, understandably so had reeled off in celebration thinking that I had indeed ended the contest and not as I had actually done, called time on what I believed to be the end of the round. Two distinctly different endings”.
Goddard further states he went over to Ward only and even though Conor was in the cage, he was of no concern to him at all, he was simply stating to Ward that the fight was not yet over. Goddard states that “the condition and safety of the fighter trumps any and all other decisions. Thier ability to be safely allowed to continue in a contest is only ever called by the referee, the person in charge of that contest and the sole arbiter” He goes on to say that at no point in time “did I attempt to “pick up an unconscious fighter” [he was not unconscious] and of course would never “force the fight to continue”.
Despite all that transpired, Goddard says that he wishes no further action to be taken against McGregor (although that is out of his hands) and that the situation should be reviewed so no repeat could ever happen and again, and everyone involved should just move on for the sake of the sport.
After a couple of days of downtime and reflection I would like to offer some clarification on the events that unfolded…
So what do you think of McGregor’s statement? Was Goddard trying to pick Redmond up or is McGregor using the tragedy of Joao Carvalho to justify his actions on Friday? – Sound off in the comments below and be sure to check back with MMAThread.com for all the latest MMA News.