UFC.com Article On Retirement Of “Big” John McCarthy


The following is an article from UFC.com:

There’s only one Big John McCarthy

By Thomas Gerbasi

It was the perfect going away gift for a referee — Saturday’s lightweight war between Roger Huerta and Clay Guida. But like all great `third men’, John McCarthy — who retired as an active referee following last weekend’s main event – was noticeable by being noly noticeable, making all the right moves and all the right calls, a fitting end to a 13 year journey that saw McCarthy become as much a part of the UFC as the great fighters who have graced its Octagon.

And as I told him Saturday, there will always be just one Big John McCarthy.

A part of the UFC since its second show in 1994, McCarthy, with his trademark `Let’s get it on”, was the sole arbiter in the early days of a sport with little in the way of rules or regulation. Yet by UFC 3, McCarthy was given more responsibility in terms of being able to stop fights and protect the fighters, and as the years went on, he was known as not only a stern taskmaster when it came to enforcing the ever increasing list of rules which governed competition, but as a compassionate one who put fighter safety paramount over everything else.

Eventually, McCarthy became more than just a referee, as he was deeply involved with the training of future officials and as an ambassador of the sport to regulators, the media, and the fans.

But when it came down to it for McCarthy, through 535 bouts, it was all about the fights, and for the fighters, having John McCarthy referee your match was a sign that you made it to the big time. As Guida said after his gallant loss to Huerta, “He’s somebody this sport won’t soon forget. It was an honor to have that guy shake my hand and say `Let’s get it on’ one last time. You can’t put a price on something like that. It was awesome.”

John McCarthy stayed the course. He survived the sport’s `dark ages’ and was able to witness the explosion of the sport in the mainstream. It was something he knew would happen eventually, as he said in a 2005 UFC.com interview.

“I believe the UFC is only going to get bigger and better,” said McCarthy. “The sport of MMA is growing at a phenomenal rate right now and the popularity is only going to grow. Boxing is great, but it is the sport
of our fathers, while mixed martial arts is the sport of the new generation. Kids of today like the extreme sports; anything that goes faster, flies higher, hits harder or has more risks is what ignites the interest of today’s young man or woman. The sport of Mixed Martial Arts delivers those types of things in the fighting arena. It is not just about who punches the hardest, but who has the most overall fighting skill. Fighting is not just about punches. That is only one aspect of fighting and that is not enough. Real fighting encompasses all ranges of fighting. The ability to punch, kick, elbow, throw, take down, control and submit your opponent is what makes MMA so exciting. As a referee in the sport I am lucky to be a part of this evolution. I have been blessed by all of the experiences I have been through because of this sport. I have been there from the beginning; I have taken part in the changes and growth of the sport, being there in the beginning with the good times and then into the bad times and now back. I cannot say that I would not have changed a thing, because that is not true. I would have changed the bad times if I could and trust me I tried. But in the end it has all been an incredible experience and adventure that I will remember forever.”

Same here. Good luck Big John, and thanks for the memories.


Want to advertise your site in this space? E-mail the website staff today!

Latest Episode of the MMA News Podcast (View All)

Latest MMA News

Jorge Masvidal

Jorge Masvidal: ‘I Only Want The Highest-Ranked Dudes’

Jorge Masvidal is ready to dust himself off and move on to the next one. At UFC 211, Masvidal took on Demian Maia inside the...
Cris Cyborg

Cris Cyborg Releases Statement on Incident With Angela Magana

Things got physical between Cris Cyborg and Angela Magana at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Athlete Retreat. In a video released by Cage Pages, Cyborg...
Ryan Couture

Ryan Couture on Bellator 180 Bout: ‘I Don’t Think Size Will be a Big...

Ryan Couture doesn't believe size will play a huge factor in his bout at Bellator 180. On June 24, Couture will meet Haim Gozali inside Madison...
Yair Rodriguez

Yair Rodriguez on UFC 211 Loss: ‘I am Better Than That’

Yair Rodriguez has broken his silence over his one-sided loss to Frankie Edgar. Rodriguez competed against "The Answer" inside the American Airlines Center in Dallas,...
Glover Teixeira

Glover Teixeira on Alexander Gustafsson Bout: ‘It Will Probably Last All Rounds’

Glover Teixeira is preparing for a five-round war against Alexander Gustafsson. Teixeira will go one-on-one with Gustafsson this Sunday night (May 28) inside the Ericsson Globe...
Jessica Eye

Jessica Eye on TUF 25 Finale: ‘I’m Basically Fighting For my Job’

Jessica Eye knows her spot on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster is in jeopardy. Eye will battle Aspen Ladd inside the T-Mobile Arena in...
Michael Page

Michael Page Says He’s Lost a ‘Hell of a Lot of Respect’ For Paul...

Michael Page isn't fond of Paul Daley's actions after his Bellator 179 bout this past Friday night (May 19). Daley took on Rory MacDonald inside...
Al Iaquinta

Al Iaquinta on UFC Athlete Retreat: ‘I Felt Uncomfortable Being There’

Al Iaquinta still isn't chummy with the folks at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). When "Raging" announced his return to the Octagon, many thought he...
Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather: ‘I Look Forward to Signing my End of The Deal’ to Fight...

If Floyd Mayweather signs on the dotted line, he will get his super fight with Conor McGregor. Late last week, McGregor signed his portion of...

As Expected, Vitor Belfort Will Not Retire Following UFC 212

Yes, UFC 212 marks the final fight in the UFC career of former champion Vitor Belfort. But "The Phenom" is not walking away from competition...