Referee Marc Goddard issues apology for missing brutal eye poke that cost Daniel Cormier against Stipe Miocic

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Daniel Cormier’s glorious MMA career came to a close at UFC 252 with a unanimous decision loss to Stipe Miocic in the final fight of their trilogy over the UFC heavyweight title.

But the fight was not without controversy, as Cormier suffered a debilitating eye injury during the contest that referee Marc Goddard missed.

The eye poke that changed the fight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier

The eye poke that changed the fight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier

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In the third round, Miocic’s out-stretched fingers accidentally jabbed DC in his left eye and the swelling was immediate.

Cormier was seen telling his corner at the end of the third round that he couldn’t see out of his left eye, and following his loss he said it was just black.

“I just can’t see out of my left eye, it is what it is,” he explained.

“It sucks; being on the losing end of two fights in trilogies is a very sad position to be in, but I will deal with it as I’ve dealt with it in the past.

“I can’t see anything out of my left eye – it’s black – but it is what it is.

Daniel Cormier’s left eye was clearly compromised following his bout with Stipe Miocic

Daniel Cormier’s left eye was clearly compromised following his bout with Stipe Miocic

“I told Marc but he said he thought it was a punch, but after he said he’d seen it on the replay.”

Goddard certainly missed this one; whether that be a points deduction or not, Cormier should have been allowed time and treatment.

Former light-heavyweight and heavyweight champion Cormier went to hospital after the fight and discovered he had a torn cornea.

Doctors are going to wait to see how the injury heals before making a decision on surgery.

Goddard took to Twitter after the fight to offer his public apologies for the miss.

“I practice what I preach and as a man I stand tall and head on,” he wrote. “If you accept plaudits then you must with mistakes too, that’s proof that you are listening, honest and implore improvement. Rough with the smooth, acceptance and ownership.

“Immediately after the fight when seeing the replay I apologised to Daniel Cormier and his team and I do so publicly and unreservedly for missing what I shouldn’t have – but I cannot call what I do not see.

“I don’t have replays and multiple angles, it’s a one shot take in real time.

“I cannot convey just how much I have both lived and loved this sport for the past 20 years. I truly appreciate all who understand.”






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