“Let’s get it on,” will emanate from the cage again.
The California State Athletic Commission has assigned “Big” John
McCarthy a referee’s position at Strikeforce “Destruction” on Nov.
21 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
The assignment will mark the 15-year veteran’s return to
officiating after McCarthy announced his retirement in December
2007 to join The Fight Network, a Canadian-based cable channel, as
an on-air analyst and strategic advisor.
McCarthy oversaw his 535th bout between dynamic lightweights
Guida and Roger Huerta
at “The Ultimate Fighter 6” Finale last December in Las Vegas. He
officiated his first bout at UFC 2 “No Way Out” in March 1994 in
Denver, Colo., and was among the original authors of the MMA’s
first set of guidelines in 1998.
In his analyst’s role, the 45-year-old McCarthy provided color
commentary for Canada’s TKO and Hardcore Championship Fighting
promotions, and most recently called the action alongside FOX
Sports Network regulars Frank Trigg and
Glazer at Affliction Entertainment’s “Banned” last July in
McCarthy resigned from The Fight Network on Oct. 7, amidst rumors
the channel was awash with financial difficulties.
“I had a good time doing [commentary] and it was fun,” said
McCarthy. “The Fight Network overextended itself and wasn’t ready
to do certain things that they said that they were going to be able
to do. It just didn’t work out there.”
Rather than take another offer that would keep him outside the
cage, McCarthy said he chose to return to the role he originated
“I missed doing it,” said McCarthy. “Sometimes when you walk away
from something and you think it’s time, once you’re away you
realize what you’re missing –- it’s kind of like why guys come back
to fighting. It’s what I like doing. It’s what I was meant to
Retired from the Los Angeles Police Department where he served for
22 years, McCarthy instructed over 10,000 recruits in arrest and
control procedures and survival tactics.
McCarthy has not veered far from his teaching roots. He conducted
his second Certified Officials for MMA National Development
(COMMAND) referee and judges’ instructional course in October and
has a third seminar planned for late November at his mixed martial
arts academy in Valencia, Calif. The program is recognized by the
Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC).
Though most recognizable from his tenure with the UFC, McCarthy
said he has no expectations of where or when he will be placed for
“I have no control over that,” he said. “That’s up to athletic
commissions and what you get assigned to. I may do one show a year.
I may do 50. I don’t know, but if I get assigned to something, then
I’ll be going if I can.”
McCarthy was recently re-licensed as a referee with the athletic
commissions in California, Ohio, and the River Cree in Alberta,
Canada. He said he plans apply for licensure in additional states