The most famous referee in the history of MMA, ‘Big’ John McCarthy is rumored to be headed for a return to officiate at a UFC event for the first time in over two and a half years.
The news comes from Sherdog.com’s Greg Savage who mentions it on his twitter account, stating, “Just heard “Big” John McCarthy is scheduled to referee the UFC on Versus card in San Diego.” So far there’s no official confirmation however.
The UFC On Versus card is set for August 1st and is headlined by Jon Jones Vs Vladimir Matyushenko.
McCarthy became part and parcel of the UFC experience from as early on as UFC 2 and helped set the standard by which referees must not try to live up to in the octagon. At the end of 2007 he announced that he was stepping down from his duties as a referee to begin a new broadcasting career. He would go on to work as an analyst for The Fight Network, and later commentated for Affliction, who at the time were a major rival for the UFC.
Almost a year later in November of 2008 McCarthy began to referee again, but he has yet to officiate another UFC event, with rumors of bad blood between himself and the promotion.
For reasons that are still unclear it appears that McCarthy is finally ready to step foot in the octagon once more, and in all honesty it’s not before time. UFC president is often critical of the officiating at UFC events, so it makes no sense that one of the most respected referees in the business has not been able to get work on the sports biggest stage.