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Big John McCarthy’s application to referee in Nevada filed with the rest of them

Big John McCarthyIt’s not looking like we’re going to see “Big” John McCarthy, easily the most recognized and respected referee in mixed martial arts, overseeing any bouts in the state of Nevada anytime very soon.

According to a recent report on, an application submitted to the Nevada State Athletic Commission from McCarthy on September 10 was met with a mailed response from NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer, stating that the state of Nevada “[does] not anticipate adding any additional referees at this time. We will place your application in the pending file in case the situation changes.”

Big John became a figure stone in the Ultimate Fighting Championship between the years of 1994-2001, where his presence during every broadcast became a staple for the promotion.

McCarthy has been staying as busy as ever since his departure from the UFC, refereeing numerous events around the globe, along with a stint as a commentator for Affliction and numerous appearances on The Fight Network.

The fan favorite referee kept a level head about the situation, stating in the report on Sherdog that, “I’m a very busy person. I have no problems with anybody in Nevada. I think the most important thing is you’ve got to be someone who’s honest and has integrity. Don’t be influenced by outside things, what fans are saying. You let the fighters do their thing. They’re the ones that should be deciding the fight.

“When you do your job right as a referee, there’s not gonna be a lot of people saying things. The sport is growing; the officiating is having to grow with it. The whole reason I’m [back] reffing is because it’s what I love to do, and I’m going to enjoy doing what I’m doing.”

  • edub says:

    Keith Kizer is a douche. Fix the system, don’t get mad when people criticize it. The fans should have some type of say as to who controls the governing bodies of combat sports. Id vote Keith be fired tomorrow if this were the case.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    big john must have slept with his wife or sister. Why wouldnt you want 1st face of refereeing when it comes to mma?

  • fanoftna33 says:

    He may still be a referee in other states, like when the ufc comes to CA next month for Machida vs Shogun, it will just take some time before he is brought back in to Nevada.

  • xtreme_machine says:

    John “The Law” McCarthy


    John “The Enforcer” McCarthy

  • Angry Mike says:

    Maybe just a form letter that’s sent out to acknowledge his application. Anybody who’s ever dealt with a state agency can tell you that the stuff they send you isn’t necessarily specific to you or tailored to the reason you communicated with them.

  • jj says:

    I hope to see Big John once again overseeing the biggest fights out there. When the best referee in the business is working there’s rarely controversial stoppages or officiating boo boo’s, and when a guy’s livelihood and health are on the line this shouldn’t be an issue.

    The UFC needs to bury the hatchet and put Big John back in charge for their own sake. Any state AC should leap at the opportunity to have him on their team, despite of whatever agenda the UFC is silently pushing in the background.

  • Bullylover says:

    great point jj. couldn’t of said it better myself.

  • barryb says:

    It’s a slur on the other refs to imply fighters are in danger if BJM is not immediately reinstated and put on the biggest fights. The guy ran his mouth and burnt some bridges, it is up to BJM to initiate the olive branch. Like it or lump it there are personalities involved almost everywhere you can’t just quit a job, trash who you were working for, then expect to waltz back in when it suits and expect the pearly gates to swing open and there you go legendary big john there’s your job back buddy we’re very grateful you decided to come back and help us. Reality is the tail does not wag the dog.

    I’m sure it is not impossible that he can get back in, and if he is the best then definitely he should be working the biggest fights, but i’m also sure it has to be done the right way and yes I would imagine it needs to involve some grovelling apologies and admissions of being out of line, too full of himself etc.

    Fingers crossed it all gets sorted out eventually and BJM is back in the octagon soon.

  • edbuzz says:

    I’ve been a UFC loyalist since the very first pay per view but I’m beginning to form a very negative opinion of Dana White and the Fertitta brothers. Dana appears to carry out petty vendetta’s and the organization as a whole is paying the fighters a very small percentage of the total revenue’s being brought into this sport. I’m beginning to resent the way they are treating the fighters.

    This is the best sport in the world in my opinion. I routinely spend an extra $45 a month for pay per view events. I don’t spend that to watch the Yankees, Jets, Knicks, Giants, or Mets and yet every one of their athletes, even the scrubs, get paid way more money than MMA fighters.

    The UFC is making that kind of money right now with their pay per view events. They are grossing over a billion dollars a year right now. Why is it that the fighters total pay roll for a PPV event can be covered with money spared on ticket sales alone? The fighters don’t share in any pay per view money. The Fertitta’s and Dana White are making serious loot on the blood, sweat and tears of these fighters.

    Have they set up any sort of pension fund for retired fighters? Have they any plans for the long term care of these fighters? The NFL/MLB/and NBA have these already in place.

    Dana White loves to claim this is the fastest growing sport in the world and that one day he sees it on the same level as the Major Sports in this country. Well Dana, you’re about there. So when are you going to pay the fighters more or set up a pension fund or set up long term care plans for the fighters you are exploiting for billions of dollars?

    You want us to care for this sport. So we do. What about you showing some affinity for your fighters that have made this organization what it is?

    Why does Dan Severn still have to fight into his late 50’s? I’m sure it has to do with his need to make money more than it does his love of the sport.

    F you Dana, Frank and Lorenzo!

  • MMASwami says:

    Meh, I’ve got no sympathy for him. He wanted to go and do other shit and that all failed and now he wants preferential treatment to ref again??

    And for the people blaming DW and Zuffa?? That is some of the dumbest shit I’ve heard. This is totally on Kizer and the NSAC.

  • Niv says:

    MMA Swami actually the fact that Lorenzo Fertitta was a borad member in the NSAC and is close with Kizer tells me that this whole thing stinks to high heaven of a fix.

  • Angry Mike says:

    There’s a streak of paranoia about White and UFC that isn’t rational. As far as I know, there’s no evidence that BJM has been blackballed or that UFC is trying to keep him out of Nevada. And I’ve seen nothing suggesting that he’s not welcome back in the UFC. Money talks and bullshit walks, which means that if BJM wanted back in the UFC fold and UFC thought it would help their bottom line, they’d find a way to resolve their differences (assuming there are any) and put him back to work.


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