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UFC 264: Referee Marc Goddard exonerates Gilbert Burns of alleged illegal punches in Stephen Thompson fight

Referee Marc Goddard defends Gilbert Burns’ ground-and-pound strikes against Stephen Thompson at UFC 264.

Gilbert Burns landed (mostly) legal shots on Stephen Thompson in the final seconds of their UFC 264 fight — just ask referee Marc Goddard.

The highly-ranked Welterweight contenders clashed in the co-main event of UFC 264: “Poirier vs. McGregor 3” inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, this past weekend (Sat., July 10, 2021). Burns’ offense in the final few seconds of the fight had some fans calling foul play.

Burns — who ultimately won the 170-pound contest via unanimous decision (recap here) — was accused of landing numerous illegal blows to the back of Thompson’s head in the closing moments of their fight. Goddard, who refereed the bout, was asked by a fan to explain his decision to not halt the exchange or penalize Burns. Goddard broke down the alleged illegal punches with written analysis and a slow-motion video that supports his case.

“Of course I can. I’ll always try to offer [an] explanation, sadly it gets drowned out. You’ll see that only the fourth shot is a glancing blow to the nape of the neck. The first shots are top and side. The last five clearly to the shoulder. I try to maintain clarity in chaos! Hope this helps.”

For full UFC 264 play-by-play updates and results click here. And to check out the latest and greatest “McGregor vs. Poirier 3”-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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