The big argument I keep hearing from people over Big John McCarthy’s continued absence from the octagon goes something like this: he talked a lot of shit about the UFC and the NSAC, plus his impartiality is shot due to his stint as a commenter when he shared some generic opinions on a few fighters. Now obviously you know what side of the fence I am sitting on in this battle, but since I’m such a level headed and reasonable motherfucker, here’s the details so you can make up your own mind. Fighters Only has BJM’s disparaging comments:
“Dana White could use me elsewhere if he wanted me. I could referee at events in England, for instance, but he has never called me,” McCarthy said. He believes he put White offside earlier this year when he said in an interview that fans should “watch [Affliction] live and TiVo the UFC show” that was taking place on the same night.
McCarthy has also been outspoken in the past about judging in Nevada, criticising the commission for being “unfair to the fighters” by using “judges who don’t know what they are doing. Some of them don’t know what they are watching, they couldn’t name the techniques being used”.
And here’s Dave Doyle showing examples where McCarthy’s impartiality is in question:
So what do we make of passages from McCarthy’s Fight Network blog like this one from last summer, in which McCarthy gives his take on Quinton Jackson’s alleged road rage incident?
“Quinton, if the State of California takes your license from you just give me a call. I would love to chauffeur you around in that beautiful Audi R8 you have … seriously just call for anything, you will always have a fan here.” […]
Would you want to be Jackson’s next opponent (and we all know “Rampage” will be back), have McCarthy in the middle, and know that the referee has gone public saying he wants to chauffeur his opponent?
McCarthy’s blog has another post in which he says he’d pay money to watch Josh Neer fight. McCarthy, who is still licensed in California, is technically eligible to officiate Neer’s match with Gleison Tibau at the Staples Center on Oct. 24. Would it be fair to Tibau to have McCarthy officiate this match?
And McCarthy runs a gym in the Los Angeles area that boasts a roster of professional fighters. Would you want to be a fighter who won a controversial decision over a McCarthy gym fighter, then have McCarthy officiate your next fight?
McCarthy has done nothing in the course of his officiating career, including his capable handling of the Fedor Emelianenko-Andrei Arlovski match in Anaheim on Jan. 24, that would suggest he would behave in an improper manner. But the mere perception of impartiality among officials is just as important as the ability to call a proper fight stoppage. If you don’t believe that, consider that respected judge Lester Griffin is not allowed to score Forrest Griffin’s or Tyson Griffin’s fights, even though none of the above are related.
Of course, Lester Griffin is still allowed to be a judge, just not for the specific fights where there may be a perceived conflict. Commissions go over this kind of shit before every event to make sure there are no issues, and it would be no different if Big John was back … he wouldn’t be allowed to ref the oh so huge roster of three pros that come from his gym, and you could also scratch him from the fights of the few UFC guys he mentioned during his brief tenure away from reffing. But making the argument that these rare occasions justify keeping Big John out of Nevada and the UFC … well, that still doesn’t hold water with me.