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Merab Dvalishvili is not happy with longtime UFC referee Marc Goddard.
The two have a long history, as Goddard is at least partially responsible for Dvalishvili’s most recent loss to Ricky Simon, which happened back in April 2018. Dvalishvili won the vast majority of the 15-minute fight, but he found himself trapped in a tight guillotine in the closing second of the fight. Dvalishvili pumped his legs until the bell in an attempt to prove that he was conscious, but Goddard assisted the referee in deeming him asleep at the bell.
Frankly, it was a pretty unprecedented situation, so I’m not sure there was a right or wrong call really. Still, it’s a touch ironic that Goddard was in charge for the UFC 292 main event, which saw Sean O’Malley dethrone Aljamain Sterling — Dvalishvili’s good friend and training partner — via second-round knockout. The only problem? Some viewers, like color commentator Joe Rogan, deemed it an early stoppage.
Dvalishvili agrees, and he admitted to having a phobia of Goddard after the pair of incidents in a lengthy rant.
“I have “markgoddardphobia” not only because of what happen last Saturday,” Dvalishvili wrote on Facebook. “He was cageside ref when I fought Ricky Simon in 2018. After I fought hard in the last minute to not tap out from a choke, I made it to the bell.
“The main ref in the cage let me fight til the end because he saw I was not sleeping and kept moving to show i was still fighting to the end. So Mark Goddard didn’t let them use the judges score which i dominated first two rounds. He pushed everyone to say I lost consciousness in the middle of the choke but I was never out. First they say i lost to TKO but now if you check my record they changed it to a technical submission. Any new fans that didn’t see this fight ... go check it out and let me know what you think. We work so hard ... are ready to die in the cage ... Let us fight til we can’t fight anymore.”
Officiating a cage fight is neither a glorious nor lucrative profession. It’s a challenging job, one where mistakes carry severe consequences for the athletes. Goddard is a well-respected pro with a better track record than most, and I don’t think either of Dvalishvili’s examples are egregious — they more fall along the lines of debatable. Perhaps Dvalishvili will request not to have Goddard as his referee in the future, as fighters do have that option.
On one hand, Manel Kape is one of the most exciting 125-pounders on the planet, and I’d really like to see him fight top contenders. On the other hand, watching him rage on Twitter is hilarious.
He has 3 weeks to recover if this concussion really happened. You bastard https://t.co/2zOEilkYE4— マネル・ケイプ Manel Kape (@ManelKape) August 21, 2023
I'm collecting bodies without even having to put the sword in their hearts.— マネル・ケイプ Manel Kape (@ManelKape) August 21, 2023
This is definitely a mental game
There should be a punishment for these athletes who give up very close to the fight. The drop in the ranking or financially. Believe that the symptoms of diarrhea would go away as soon as there were these punishments@Mickmaynard2 @danawhite @AliAbdelaziz00 @seanshelby pic.twitter.com/0Ogtaz3DmI— マネル・ケイプ Manel Kape (@ManelKape) August 21, 2023
PFL is really chasing big signings. Will it equate to new viewers at any point soon?
What are the odds that someone other than Sean O’Malley graces the next UFC video game cover? They seem slim.
Big shoutout to Ilima-Lei MacFarlane for making a difference!
Former Bellator champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane has raised over $2.5 million for the fires in Hawai’i pic.twitter.com/CebZiuYp6f— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) August 22, 2023
A first look into Francis Ngannou’s preparation with Mike Tyson!
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Awkwardly crossing your feet along the cage then immediately spinning into a backfist when your opponent goes to counter — THE EMANUEL NEWTON SPECIAL!!!
The tweet reads a little dramatic to me, but this slow-mo is still real cool.
Aljo threw that hand in Sean’s face to get a reaction so he could level-change to a takedown. Sean didn’t even blink. Eyes locked on target. That freaked Aljo out. He froze. You can see it in his face he knew it was about to be lights out. Ice-cold distance control. pic.twitter.com/rG1gbVZmMo— MMA Gone Wild (@mmagonewild) August 22, 2023
Old school Korean Zombie violence!
A young undefeated TKZ scraps Shintaro Ishiwatari at Sengoku 7. A year later he would make his WEC debut.— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) August 21, 2023
Bas: "How do you get a nickname like The Korean Zombie?" https://t.co/yGyDG5CJop
Incredible footage of an eagle capturing it’s prey!
Midnight Music: Phil Collins was so powerful in 1985 that he could write a song about a made up word and hit No. 1 — and it still slaps.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.