Longtime official and Bellator commentator John McCarthy has been very critical of the referee who disqualified Eddie Alvarez at the ONE Championship show on TNT last week.
In particular, the former UFC champion was on his way to scoring a TKO victory, but in the heat of the moment, the lightweight legend landed shots illegally to the back of his opponent Iuri Lapicus’s head and was forewarned of the same issue moments before the ending sequence of strikes.
Following the mayhem, one of the best referees in the game, “Big John” McCarthy believes that the disqualification was unjustified due to the referee’s overreach.
While McCarthy did not mention the referee Justin Brown by name, he did insist that big errors were present in his duties as a fight official.
“You guys need to understand, you have a responsibility to a lot more than your understanding,” John McCarthy said on his Weighing In podcast with retired fighter Josh Thomson. “You have a responsibility to those fighters. You have a responsibility to the promotion, and you have a responsibility to the fans of MMA and the sport of MMA that you’re going to do something that’s reasonable within what you can do.”
It appears the longtime official is unhappy with the referee’s decision to stop the fight and underlined the importance of an official’s duty to the fighter and the organization.
Initially, Alvarez was very concerned for Lapicus’s health but was adamant that a bad call was made and that the disqualification should be overturned. However, shortly after Alvarez began to campaign for a reversal of the result, ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong put out a video that basically supported the decision made by the referee, implying that it was indeed the right call in the end.
In addition to being critical of the referee’s performance, McCarthy underlined that Alvarez was unable to properly see from that position. While “Big John” understands the shots Alvarez threw were illegal (but unintentional), he believes the context of the fight is important to make a determination.
“Just to take a championship fight and throw up a red card or to disqualify somebody, you’re not using your brain. McCarthy said. You’re not being reasonable, and you’re not thinking of the full context of what you have.”
McCarthy believes that Alvarez is a veteran who was trying to follow the rules, and the back-of-the-head shots were unintentional due to being tied up in a grappling position. Even though McCarthy admits he doesn’t know what was said to the fighters in the back before they made the walk, he is under the impression that the rules were not made clear enough if something like this took place.
What do you make of John McCarthy’s opinion about the Alvarez and Lapicus fight? Let us know below!