Legendary MMA referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy has given his seal of approval on the UFC’s plans to go ahead with a series of events this month, despite having previously been against their attempt to host UFC 249 last month.
“The UFC as a promotion, look, they’re a great promotion,” McCarthy told MMAJunkie Radio. “I would never sit there and say they’re not. And I know people that they use as medical advisors – Jeff Davidson is their chief guy that they go to and he’s a guy I’ve worked with as a ringside physician for years in Nevada, and he’s fantastic. He’s a great guy and I know that he’s putting together a plan and I know he’s going to be working with a guy called Don Moosie who is a physician in Florida who is also the president of the Ringside Physicians Association. So they’re doing everything that they can to make this as functionally safe as possible. Does that mean they can cover every little gnat’s ass there is? No. That’s impossible unless they put people into quarantines for weeks before, and then weeks after. It’s a position where you can only go so far.
“But I believe they’re going to be doing all the right things for the officials, I believe they’ll be doing all the right things for the fighters, and there comes a point where you’ve got to start to try to move forward. And I think that, after waiting what they’ve waited, I think this is a good time, and the athletic commission in Florida is able and willing to do it, so I think anybody that asks me about doing this show, I would tell them, ‘Go do it.’ (The) prior show? ‘Don’t do it.’”
McCarthy also went into more detail about why he previously disapproved the plan to host UFC 249 in California on April 18th.
“There’s two sides to it. We had UFC 249, where they were trying to put it on tribal land in California, and everything that they were doing was going against what they had always done. They were running from regulation – because the California State Athletic Commission could not do it, said they would not do it.
“You had some of the very best officials sitting in California. Guys like Herb Dean, Jason Herzog, Mike Beltran, Frank Trigg, Mike Bell, Ron McCarthy. All these guys that go everywhere were not going to do that show because, hey, we can’t do that. It’s not a regulated show and it’s in our state. But you had some guys that were going to do it. Now they made a decision – it was a bad decision, because there comes that point where you gotta say, ‘I can’t do that because it’s wrong.’ It’s wrong for the sport. The promotion wants to do it – that’s great. But I’ve got to be the guy that does things by the book, because I’m that regulator. I’m with regulation.’”