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UFC referee Marc Goddard reveals real reason he's requested to 'never' officiate a Leon Edwards fight

UFC referee Marc Goddard reveals real reason he's requested to 'never' officiate a Leon Edwards fight

Goddard has stated he will never officiate Edwards in the UFC - for a little-known reason.

UFC referee Marc Goddard has revealed the reason he has requested to never officiate a fight involving MMA star Leon Edwards.

The British welterweight star is the current UFC Welterweight Champion, having held the title since August 2022.

He has twice successfully defended the belt, retaining against Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington.

But Edwards, who will take on Belal Muhammad at UFC 304 in Manchester later in July, will not have Goddard as the referee of his next fight - or any fight, for that matter.

Speaking to the Overdogs Podcast, the official has revealed that he has a little-known connection to the reigning champion.

He explained: "You've never seen me referee Leon Edwards in the UFC, and you never will.

"I was Leon Edwards' first coach in MMA. Way, way, way back when, when he was just an amateur.

"Again, the common sense element for me, with the link, you've never seen me referee him and you never will.

"We'll just keep it out of the way. I just don't want any hassle. And I don't want to be put in a predicament where I'm making a call that could go against him. So it's both ways."

Goddard went on to open up on another similar dilemma that he was faced when it came to another UFC star.

"When Israel Adesanya fought Alex Pereira for the second time in Miami, I specifically requested not to do that fight. I did the first fight [which Adesanya lost]," he began.

"The reason I requested not to do the fight was because I was thinking about Izzy. I have reffed him since, I have reffed his fight with Sean Strickland.

"I was thinking of a fighter then. This was his night, it was about him. I didn't want to walk into the dressing room and him to have any sort of negative connotation or something like that."

Featured Image Credit: Getty / Overdogs Podcast

Topics: UFC, Leon Edwards, MMA