Referee “Big” John McCarthy will be conspicuously absent from UFC 104 this Saturday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The 15-year officiating veteran, who’s logged in nearly 600 fights worldwide dating back to UFC 2 and has a long background in helping shape the sport’s current rules, was not assigned by the California State Athletic Commission to work the event.
McCarthy, a California native, has been re-licensed in the state since November 2008, after returning from a yearlong retirement to pursue broadcasting opportunities. McCarthy has refereed and judged at multiple events in California this year.
McCarthy was also informed in mid-September that his application to referee fights in Nevada would be placed in a “pending” file by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer said the state had no space for McCarthy at this time.