Former referee Big John McCarthy believes Dana White owes him a thank you — maybe even some butt-kissing.
McCarthy has been instrumental in overseeing MMA fights since the sport’s early days. He made his officiating debut in the UFC at the promotion’s second show, all the way back 1994. Since then, he has gone on to referee iconic bouts including Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo, the shortest title bout in UFC history.
The 57-year old has also refereed for multiple organizations including K-1, Strikeforce, Affliction and King Of The Cage.
In recent years, he has halted his referee career to focus on commentating for Bellator, and on his podcast, Weighing In with Josh Thomson. He is also the founder and teacher of COMMAND, a training and certification course for aspiring MMA referees and judges.
Perhaps most notably, McCarthy has had a huge influence on the rules of MMA. In fact, he believes had he not influenced the sport in such a significant way, it might not exist today. Based on that fact, he feels he deserves some recognition from the UFC President.
John McCarthy: "Truthfully, Dana White should be kissing my ass in some ways. Because if it wasn't for some of the things that I did, there wouldn't have been a sport."
— Bellator MMA News (@BellatorMMANews) March 5, 2020
“Truthfully, Dana White should be kissing my a*s in some ways,” McCarthy said on his weighing in podcast. “Because if it wasn’t for some of the things that I did, there wouldn’t have been a sport.”
Meanwhile, there are other referees whose questionable calls have spelt disaster for MMA bouts. Dana White slammed referee Mario Yamasaki for giving Kevin Lee a premature stoppage win against Michael Chiesa. Yamasaki also landed in hot water after failing to stop a battering delivered from Valentina Shevchenko to Priscila Cachoeira which resulted in Dana White banning him from future UFC events.
John McCarthy has also been very vocal about the incompetency of some referees in the sport. Last week, he bashed officiator Kevin MacDonald for his arguably premature stoppage of the Ion Cutelaba vs Magomed Ankalaev bout at UFC Norfolk.
“If you’re gonna do a job, do the goddamn job,” McCarthy said. “Quit trying to look cool, quit trying to be a fan, do your frickin’ job.”
Do you think Dana White owes John McCarthy some recognition for his influence on MMA?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/5/2020.