This past Monday, legendary mixed martial arts referee “Big” John McCarthy joined Ariel Helwani live on MMA Fighting’s “The MMA Hour”.
Towards the end of his segment, Big John was vocal regarding his exclusion from UFC events taking place in Nevada following a falling out with Keith Keizer of the Nevada State Athletic Commission:
“Keith got mad at me when I left [officiating for a full-time position with The Fight Network as an on-air commentator], and I did an interview and I said, you know, basically at the time that I thought he was putting some people in positions to judge fights that didn’t understand actually what the fighters are doing, and that’s-that’s wrong,” McCarthy said. “I said that, and I stood by it and he got mad and from that, he’s never licensed me again and that’s OK. That’s his choice, and I’m not going to sit there and I’m not going to cry about it and worry about it. I work where people want me to work, I work all over the world and if I don’t work in Nevada then that’s their choice and that’s OK.”
Following his comments regarding his status in Nevada, Helwani inquired as to why McCarthy, who was in his words the “Founding Father” of MMA refereeing, wasn’t currently involved in international cards for the UFC in markets such as Brazil, London and Japan.
“Let’s be honest,” McCarthy began, “if the UFC goes to an international place, goes to Brazil or goes to London or Japan, there is no commission. It used to be if you saw me in a UFC it was the commission that was putting me there.
“Things have kind of smoothed out, I don’t think Dana [White] is as mad at me as he was in the past, and that’s OK,” McCarthy said with a laugh. “But, you know- Marc Ratner [VP of Regulatory Affairs with the UFC] is the one putting those guys there, so if Marc Ratner calls me, I’ll go. If he doesn’t, I don’t,” McCarthy finished, noting that he did not believe Ratner had any issues with him personally, but that any lack of communication between the two may have stemmed from Ratner’s knowledge of Big John’s past tension with UFC President Dana White.
During his time on-air, McCarthy also discussed the explosion of women’s MMA, culminating with Ronda Rousey’s 135-pound title defense against Liz Carmouche in the main event of UFC 157 this weekend; an event in which McCarthy will be involved as an official inside the cage.
“I did Ronda’s very first pro fight, and she’s a phenomenal fighter. And I’ve done quite a few of Liz’s matches and she’s a great fighter, she’s a tough girl who goes after people, so it should be a really good fight.”
McCarthy noted, however, that he would not campaign to get the assignment for the first ever UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship match:
“Absolutely not, I don’t do that. I don’t campaign to do shows, if- if someone wants me and they call me, I’ll go. But I never ask for anything like that, that’s not the way I do business.”
To listen to the full interview with “Big” John McCarthy, click here and also hear “Big” John’s thoughts on the evolution of MMA refereeing and judging.Tags: big john, big john mccarthy, john mccarthy, mma, MMA NEWS, NSAC, ufc, ufc news