Marc Goddard was promoted to 2nd Degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt by Braulio Estima this past week. Marc has a face many UFC fans would recognize, but most are unfamiliar with his extensive martial arts background in BJJ, Judo and MMA. He was the first ever MMA referee from the United Kingdom and has been refereeing for the UFC and other MMA promotions since 2008. He is widely considered one of the best in the sport, along with John McCarthy.
Goddard is an also experienced mixed martial arts fighter with 13 professional fights in his MMA career, with his last fight in 2008. Unsurprisingly, four of his seven MMA wins came with a submission victory in his favor. Marc even fought Josh Thompson professionally two times. He can still be found on the mats often and runs his own referee training courses online at Goddard MMA.
Marc was celebrated by the MMA community last month when he won the Referee of the Year Award at the 14th annual Fighters Only MMA Awards in Las Vegas.
Mark has yet to publicly comment on his newest stripe. However, he stated the following on his Facebook page when he first received his black belt:
“Being presented with the Black Belt from the man (Estima) himself as well as his kind and thoughtful words was honestly a great moment in my life.
“Thank you to all my friends and past students and training partners, all the gyms and fighters I have had the pleasure of training in and for over the last 17 years or so, all of the training partners today and gone by for allowing me to learn and achieve and of course by no means finally the man himself Braulio Estima, there is no one else in this world that a black belt would have meant more from.” – Marc Goddard’s Facebook page
MMA fans should be ecstatic to have an active referee who shows dedication earning such an incredible achievement in martial arts.