Referee John McCarthy claims Jon Jones “would have lost his world title if I wasn’t doing his fight at UFC 165”

Jon Jones, John McCarthy

Veteran mixed martial arts referee John McCarthy claims Jon Jones would have lost his world title at UFC 165 if it were not for him.

Jones (26-1 MMA) squared off with Alexander Gustafsson for the first time at the September 2013 pay-per-view event in Toronto, which resulted in arguably the greatest light heavyweight contest in mixed martial arts history.

Bones‘ and ‘The Mauler‘ went to absolute war for twenty-five straight minutes at UFC 165, resulting in both men being taken to hospital following the contest. Jon Jones was awarded a unanimous decision victory that evening, something referee John McCarthy claims would not have happened had he not been overseeing the contest.

“Let’s talk about it this way, Jon Jones thinks I hate him,” John McCarthy explained on the Weighing in Podcast with Josh Thomson. “He actually at one point you know he wanted to, it was before the Daniel Cormier fight I think, but he came out in the media and said he didn’t want me doing his fight. And it was because of the fight that he had with Vitor Belfort in Toronto, Canada. Where you know, there was kick thrown and stuff. But it’s ok that Jon feels like ok you know he doesn’t like me. Is it that I didn’t like Jon? No! I really did like Jon Jones. And I’ll be flat out honest. Jon would have lost his world title if I wasn’t doing his fight at UFC 165 when he fought Alexander Gustafsson. There is not another referee that would have told the doctor ‘No I am not stopping the fight’ and let him go out for the fifth round. And let that fight continue. Because referees are not going to put their career on the line for a fighter. So there going to say ‘you want it stopped?’ and then do this with there hands (motioning to stop the contest) and the fight is going to be over. Alexander Gustafsson is going to be the winner.”

Jones-Gustafsson-Hospital

Josh Thomson asked John McCarthy to explain what happened in more detail.

“When Jon Jones fought Alexander Gustafsson he got hit with a, I think it was a right hand that was on the right eye, in the first round and split his eye open. And he went through the fight, second round, third round, and then the cut got a little bit worse at the end of the third round. At the end of the fourth round the doctor came in and looked at me and he says ‘you know what I don’t like the way his eye is looking, I think we should stop the fight’. And I looked at it, and Jon had just won the fourth round. You know, came back because Alexander was winning it but then Jon came back and won and almost finished Alexander in that fourth round. He was the champion and he had been fighting with the eye the way it was for the entire fight. And never was he dabbing at it or anything. So I looked at him and I said ‘He just won that last round I don’t think we need to stop this fight’. He goes ‘I don’t like it’. So I said ‘I tell you what, we’re going to let the fight go on and if I see that cut change at all, I’ll stop the fight and bring you in’. Right. So he said ok and he (Jon Jones) goes out and I am thinking to myself I am never stopping this fight. Ok, because I am not going to take someone’s title based on a cut that.. you know, I know what bad cuts are and that wasn’t… I am not saying I am smarter than the doctor but when it comes to injuries in fights I am smarter than the doctor. Especially when it comes to cuts. So that’s how much I hated Jon Jones.”

What do you think of John McCarthy’s claim that if he were not the referee at UFC 165, Jon Jones would have lost his title to Alexander Gustafsson. Share your thoughts in the comments section PENN Nation!

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on June 25, 2020