No Room For Big John McCarthy Says The NSAC


big john mccarthy

When legendary UFC Referee Big John McCarthy left refereeing, he might have burnt a few bridges on his way out of town. McCarthy criticized the Athletic Commissions for putting people in place that had no experience in the sport. This is what he said it 2008,

“I have a problem when you have an official who is put into place to have an impact on the sport I love when they don’t understand the sport, when they don’t understand what the fighters are doing. They understand someone getting hit in the face. They don’t understand the manipulations of the ground game and who is winning the fight. I probably should’ve shut my mouth because I’ve got a big mouth, and it’s got me in a lot of trouble, but it’s the truth. I want everyone to understand what is really happening in the sport so they can make educated decisions and judgments.” [Sherdog]

McCarthy applied for a referee license in the state of Nevada on Sept. 10th, but not approved. Here’s what Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) had to say,

“We keep our list very short … mainly because we want to keep people busy. We probably have about 20 cards a year. Some states may have 100 people licensed, but how often can they work? You want to have enough work for [referees]. It’s very important that the ref, doctor and inspectors communicate during a fight.”

“No one’s been turned down [for a license] … He’s applied, and he’s in the file with other applicants.”

While the NSAC is well within their rights to not license Big John, its hard as a fan, to think that Nevada is just “being fair” by not bring back a true veteran referee who has loyally served their commission for so many years.


  1. Greggo

    September 22, 2009 at 4:13 am

    I agree with the writer here in regards to Big John's status as a referee. I understand that you need enough "work" to go around but you also need very skilled professionals, considering the beating that can take place in MMA. There is no better ref in all of MMA as far as I've seen. I can't recall hearing any complaints about him in the past. You certainly can't say that about some of the others(early stoppages, rule enforcements, etc).

  2. roy

    September 22, 2009 at 5:39 am

    its bs, big john is the best ref by far why would you not want him in there.

  3. Miko

    September 22, 2009 at 7:10 am

    If I was Keith and John bashed the commission I ran (pretty much bashing me) I wouldn't be in a hurry to hire him back.

    You've got criticisms for me so instead of coming to me or trying to work within the system you quit and blab to the press? And now you want your old job back since your dream job over the the fight network didnt work out?

    Yeah your application is on file at the back of the line.

    We'll hire you when your number is up

  4. Bob

    September 22, 2009 at 7:19 am

    Fire Mazagatti, Miragliotta, and Lavigne. There ya go, they suck.

  5. roy

    September 22, 2009 at 8:23 am

    i see your point miko but like bob pointed out some of these guys really suck and john is by far the best if i where fighting i would want him to be the ref.

  6. zack

    September 22, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Yeah, Big J's a good ref but I'd have to say Herb Dean's my favorite. He's ref some brutal fights. (Mir/Sylvia and Gonzaga/CroCop).

  7. hosan

    September 22, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Every ref makes some bad calls in their time….except big john. I seriously haven't see any bad calls from him, but I've seen yves, herb, and steve make some real bad ones. Why wouldn't they allow the most iconic ref back into the sport, so what if he talked some smack. If he's the best then he's the best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>