Leading third men: The five referees who oversaw the most UFC fights in 2020
This year was wild not only for fighters, promoters and coaches, but also referees.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the landscape in which and how fighting could take place. The UFC spent the first two and a half months creating their usual tour schedule before the pandemic brought the sports world to a standstill.
When fighting resumed, UFC moved to Jacksonville, Florida. After three shows in The Sunshine State, the promotion was carried out in two locations that were used for the rest of the year - Las Vegas and Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Umpires and judges in these jurisdictions saw more UFC action than the others.
The UFC sponsored 41 events within 12 months. 34 referees were appointed during these shows. Below is a full list of all umpires who have fought at least one UFC fight in 2020 (in alphabetical order by last name). The list does not include matches from Dana White's Contender Series. The data were calculated using the Tapology MMA database:
Camila Albuquerque, Mike Beltran, Bill Bookwalter, Lucasz Bosacki, Michael Cardoso, Larry Carter, Julio Catarino, Joe Coca, Mark Craig, Herbalist, Marc Goddard, Eduardo Hardy, Kerry Hatley, Jason Herzog, Scott Howard, Mike King, Kevin MacDonald Osiris Maia, Dan Miragliotta, Rich Mitchell, Jacob Montalvo, Daniel Movahedi, Anders Ohlsson, Keith Peterson, Jeff Rexroad, Leon Roberts, Robert Romero, Kevin Sataki, John Sharp, Mark Smith, Wayne Spinola, Neil Swailes, Chris Tognoni, Jerin Valel.
But which of these referees did the UFC 2020 use the most? Scroll down the list below to find out.
5. Marc Goddard and Dan Miragliotta (tie) - officiated 35 UFC fights
In 5th place - it's a tie between veteran referees Marc Goddard and Dan Miragliotta, both of whom took on their fair share of duties in 2020. Both men have also had dozens of fights outside of the climb, though the pandemic made the fights harder to get by. Notable UFC fights Marc Goddard officiating in 2020: Dan Hooker versus Paul Felder, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira versus Mauricio Rua 3, Stipe Miocic versus Daniel Cormier 3, Michelle Waterson versus Angela Hill, Holly Holm versus Irene Aldana, Marlon Moraes versus Cory Sandhagen, Brandon Royval versus Brandon Moreno, Deiveson Figueiredo versus Alex Perez, Alex Morono versus Anthony Pettis, Marlon Moraes versus Rob Font, Stephen Thompson versus Geoff Neal, Notable UFC fights versus Dan Miragliotta in 2020: Junior Dos Santos versus Curtis Blaydes, Ilir Latifi against Derrick Lewis, Dominick Reyes against Jon Jones, Joseph Benavidez against Deiveson Figueiredo 1, Israel Adesanya against Yoel Romero, Jairzinho Rozenstruik against Francis Ngannou, Walt Harris against Alistair Overeem, Tyron Woodley against Colby Covington, Greg Hardy against Marcin Tybura, Marlon Vera against Jose Aldo.
4. Chris Tognoni - officiated 50 UFC fights
June 13, 2020; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Julia Avila (Red Gloves) reacts after defeating Gina Mazany in her bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night at UFC APEX. Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger / Zuffa LLC via USA TODAY Sports
Chris Tognoni comes in fourth. Tognoni was halfway through 100 UFC bouts for both veteran names and junior ranks in the year 2020 ended. Notable UFC fights Chris Tognoni in 2020: Sodiq Yusuff versus Andre Fili, Aljamain Sterling versus Cory Sandhagen, Lauren Murphy versus Roxanne Modafferi, John Dodson versus Merab Dvalishvili, Ed Herman versus Mike Rodriguez, Renato Moicano versus Rafael Fiziev.
The story goes on
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