VIDEO | ‘Big’ John McCarthy puts blame on commentators for rule and judging controversies

“The commentators, especially the UFC post-fight or pre-fight people…they’re putting information out that’s not true. And that hurts the fans in understanding what the judges are utilizing to score that round.

The problem is this…something happens in a fight and a referee does something and it’s wrong. But Frank [Mir] or whoever or me says, ‘yeah, yeah he’s doing this’. It’s wrong. Once it’s verified by the commentator, well that was the right way of doin’ it.

And so now the next guy comes and he does something that’s completely opposite but it’s right. All the sudden he’s the idiot. He’s wrong. Because that commentator…and I used to say Joe Rogan had so much influence.

There was an instance when Tim Means fights [Alex] Cowboy Oliveira and in their first meeting, I did their second, but in their first one he gets in a position, he doesn’t understand the rules and he knees Oliveira when Oliveira is clearly down. He’s on his shin and knee on the ground, that makes him a grounded fighter. And he gets kneed to the head but his hands are in the air. And Rogan thinks, ‘oh if your hands are in the air you can get kneed’. And he puts it out to everybody.

I know that everyone that’s watching on TV now thinks that’s a legal move. You just created controversy when there was none. But you created it because you didn’t know. And if you don’t know that’s okay. Ask.”

What is one of the most frustrating things about sports? If you asked that to a room full of people, surely the common answer would be related to controversy involving the rules.

MMA is no stranger to this. With questionable decisions being made by the judges seemingly monthly, it presents a very interesting question. Why is that? An answer that veteran referee and a big figure in helping set up the unified rules of mixed martial arts, ‘Big’ John McCarthy believes falls onto commentators and analysts alike.

The reason that this is so compelling is because commentators and TV personalities are the ones who are seen and heard from most. They also don’t have to take any classes or training to get into these positions…unlike professional referees and judges who are never heard from. Except for in rare cases like this one with McCarthy who has since retired…and even turned to commentary for Bellator.

Few people in MMA know more about the ins and outs than Big John. What do you think about his point? Are the commentators to blame for misinforming the public?


This article first appeared on on 6/7/2018.