John McCarthy announces 2020 COMMAND Course in hopes of improving refereeing and judging in MMA

Big John McCarthy, Ariel Helwani, , Robbie Lawler, Ben Askren, Greg Hardy, Alistair Overeem

Referee Big John McCarthy has re-launched his COMMAND Course in hopes of improving MMA refereeing and nurturing the next generation of talent.

Though he is now retired from officiating, John McCarthy is widely regarded as one of the best referees in MMA. Industry experts including Joe Rogan have praised his aptitude as a ref and his dedication to the sport.

Now McCarthy is giving back by launching the 2020 addition of his highly-regarded COMMAND Course, which trains MMA referees and judges.

Both McCarthy and Rogan have been critical of the current state of affairs in referee and judge calls in MMA, especially with respect to recent UFC cards. Earlier this month at UFC 247 in Houston Texas, Rogan was in attendance and blasted the “incompetent judging” throughout the night.

This week, McCarthy also slammed an incident of poor refereeing at UFC Norfolk.

McCarthy called out the referee Kevin MacDonald for his controversial stoppage of the Ion Cutelaba vs Magomed Ankalaev bout. Cutelaba got off to a wobbly start after absorbing some early shots from his Russian opponent. MacDonald reacted with an arguably premature stoppage and awarded Ankalaev the TKO victory. McCarthy critiqued the decision as “horrendous” and stated the bout ended “horribly.”

McCarthy also criticized the athletic commission for failing to act on poor refereeing or judge calls. Luckily, McCarthy can hopefully affect some positive change with his re-launched COMMAND Course.

According to the COMMAND website, McCarthy and fellow MMA ref Jerin Valel are offering a 2-3 day course that is nationally recognized.

“COMMAND is an ABC (Association of Boxing Commissions) nationally recognized training and certification schooling program for mixed martial arts referees and judges. While each State/Province has their own set of rules and standards, the COMMAND course is well known by most commissions and in some cases a mandatory course for their officials.”

The course takes place on the July 10-12 at Xtreme Couture MMA in Las Vegas, at the height of International Fight Week.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/2/2020.