Thursday, June 30, 2022

John McCarthy Clarifies Hot Take On Hypothetical Usman/Diaz Bout

John McCarthy has attempted to clarify some controversial recent comments, which saw him suggest that veteran Nick Diaz would ‘light up’ UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman in a hypothetical fight.

Last month, fan favorite Diaz expressed a desire to return to the Octagon later this year, with his preference being a title fight against “The Nigerian Nightmare.” Given the Stockton native’s underwhelming return to competition last September against Robbie Lawler, most emphatically dismissed the 38-year-old’s remarks.

But one man who didn’t was former UFC referee McCarthy, who appeared to believe that Diaz would be able to find success on the feet against Usman, who has defeated the likes of Colby Covington and Gilbert Burns, and brutally knocked Jorge Masvidal out last April.

Unsurprisingly, McCarthy’s comments met severe backlash, not least from social media rival Aljamain Sterling. The bantamweight titleholder, who has gone back and forth with the Bellator analyst since some words were exchanged over his UFC 273 title defense, took to Twitter to question whether McCarthy even watches fights.

Now, after a host of MMA personalities shared their disagreement with his take, McCarthy has sought to explain them.

In a recent episode of his Weighing In podcast, the 59-year-old clarified that he doesn’t actually believe Diaz should receive a title shot, nor does he think that the Stockton native would be able to dethrone Usman.

While he remained firm on the idea that Diaz has the striking abilities to cause anyone issues on the feet, McCarthy did admit to omitting a crucial “if” in his statement, which would have certainly lessened the barrage of criticism that followed the comments.

“I don’t think that Nick should be put in against Kamaru. I don’t think that’s the fight. And very simply put, I even said back then, Kamaru wins that fight,” said McCarthy. “What I should’ve said is if Kamaru will start standing up with him, and if he starts to get lit up, he’s going to go right to his wrestling.

“The ‘if’ should’ve been put in there. I wasn’t saying that he was gonna get lit up. I was saying, you know, don’t take anything from Nick Diaz in the standup game. He will cause anyone problems,” added McCarthy. (h/t Sportskeeda)

This marks the second time in recent memory that McCarthy has somewhat retracted or altered a previous statement. He notably did the same following April’s UFC 273 pay-per-view, which saw Sterling defend his bantamweight gold against Petr Yan.

The former referee initially slammed the judges for the verdict, suggesting there was “no way” that Sterling won the result-deciding first round. After rewatching and assessing the frame closer, McCarthy changed his tune, admitting that the round was “razor-close.”

What do you make of John McCarthy’s clarification?

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