Marc Goddard is a veteran MMA referee and the UFC favourite has just been promoted to second degree BJJ black belt by his coach, Braulio Estima. Goddard is one of the most experienced referees there is, and he’s incredibly well-known on the UK MMA scene thanks to his tireless work that spans the course of over a decade now. Goddard has come an incredibly long way from officiating local fights to becoming the very first UK referee to work for the UFC, and quickly becoming the first UK referee to be licensed and sanctioned in multiple US states as a result.
Goddard isn’t just a fan of the sport with a deep understanding of the rules, like many MMA officials he’s actually an avid practitioner himself. Before he ever set foot in the cage to oversee a match, he was actually a competitor. He made his professional debut all the way back in 2002, well into the early days of the sport within the context of the UK. Goddard won his first three professional fights in a row and up until his last fight in 2008, he managed to put together a record of 7-6-1 before retiring from competition.
It was during his time as a fighter that Goddard got his first introduction to refereeing almost by luck, back in 2004. A promoter had been let down by another referee, and Goddard was happy to step in and help out so that the event could continue as planned. From there, his career as an official has snowballed and he now finds himself refereeing for some of the most high-profile MMA fights on the planet and being regarded as one of the best in the sport at his job. Now after over three years as a Gracie Barra black belt, Goddard has just been awarded his second degree.
The news that veteran UFC referee Marc Goddard had been promoted to second degree BJJ black belt was announced in a post to Braulio Estima’s official Instagram account: