One of the dumbest situations in MMA we have right now is Big John McCarthy’s exclusion from the UFC. Big John was a fixture at UFC events from 1994 to 2007 when he left the job to try and claw his way up the sports broadcaster career ladder with the Fight Network and Affliction.
The Fight Network thing didn’t work out but the real game changer was McCarthy’s support of Affliction (including McCarthy becoming an Affliction ‘model’ at one point) and a few vaguely negative comments he made regarding the UFC and how athletic commissions are run. That pissed off both Dana White and NSAC head Keith Kizer. Here’s the situation as it stands:
On his possible return: “That’s up to the UFC. That’s not up to me. … Dana [White] is the guy who runs the UFC. He has a personal problem with me. That’s fine. It’s his decision.”
Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer told ESPN.com that referees should use caution making judgment calls outside the ring. “A referee has to be very careful what he says,” Kizer said. “If he’s out there criticizing licensees, I would not be surprised if that licensee would have a legitimate objection against that official — be it a fighter, a manager or a promoter.”
McCarthy once had words for the Nevada Commission itself; Kizer refused to entertain the idea that those comments could affect McCarthy’s status.
“I saw him at New Orleans at the Association of Boxing Commissions Convention,” Kizer said. “Said hello to him. That was about the extent of it, pleasantries.”
Dana White’s been pretty good lately letting bygones be bygones with all sorts of assholes who have said / done way worse things than Big John ever has or would. I can understand why McCarthy doesn’t want to work for the NSAC or UFC if they’ve got an axe to grind with him, but the axe seems to be pretty one sided and pointless.
The UFC needs more great refs. McCarthy is a great ref. He’s also a legend in the sport and has dedicated a large portion of his life to improving the reffing situation in MMA. What the fuck is wrong with everyone? Dana and the NSAC need to get over themselves and extend an olive branch to Big John McCarthy. Or at least agree not to blackball him, for fuck’s sake.