7. Marc Goddard Continuously Stops Grappling - UFC 235
Marc Goddard is one of the most divisive referees in the sport today. At UFC 235, when reffing the Welterweight Championship bout between Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman, he was in rare form coaxing the ire of fans.
While Usman dominated Woodley with his wrestling at a relentless pace, Goddard would separate them on three occasions against the cage and issue a stand up of the men. This despite Usman being in a dominant position and working hard to keep it that way.
Even commentator Jon Anik stated on Twitter that Goddard's reffing was 'wildly inconsistent'. And Usman was working his ass off'. The referee received huge backlash online for seemingly giving Woodley more opportunities for his only way to win the fight via a standing knockout.
After a particularly confusing separation, when Usman asked Goddard why he was doing this mid-fight, the ref responded with, 'It's a fight'.
This naturally garnered even more criticism, especially from the wrestling allegiance of the sport who felt Goddard was pushing the notion that wrestling was not a legit fighting style. It also seemed to support the mentality of blood-hungry fans who will boo a match the second fighters hit the mat.
Goddard's aggressive retorts to the critics of his choices, his claims that the commentary team did a poor job, and apologizing for his comments to Usman only fuelled the fire of hate for his decisions.
He was lambasted long after this one was decided.