Popular mixed martial arts referee “Big” John McCarthy has revealed he will be joining the Bellator promotion as a member of the commentary team.
The surprising news was announced today that McCarthy will be starting his career as a colour commentator at the Bellator 192 event, set to take place on January 20th. McCarthy has been confirmed by Bellator president Scott Coker as “retiring from officiating.”
A retired member of the Los Angeles Police Department, McCarthy is most certainly one of the staples of the mixed martial arts world, having officiated in the sport for over twenty years. McCarthy’s first appearance as a referee in the UFC was at UFC 2, all the way back in March of 1994 in Denver, Colorado. McCarthy is one of the sport’s most easily recognised officials, along with referee Herb Dean, and helped to create the Unified Rules of mixed martial arts in the early 2000’s, and has officiated over many historic bouts.
“It is always so hard to leave something you love, but I have always wanted to step away based on my terms rather than someone else’s,” McCarthy said regarding the career move. “My goals are to work as hard as I can to meet the expectations everyone will have for me and to hopefully someday exceed them.
“I cannot think of anyone I would rather be working with than [Bellator president] Scott Coker. Scott has always been a person I admire because of his honesty, loyalty and love for the martial arts. I want to thank everyone from Bellator and Viacom for the trust you are bestowing upon me to keep the commentating of Bellator MMA at the highest levels of the sport.”
McCarthy will work alongside former UFC fighter Chael Sonnen in his capacity as colour commentator after it was announced last month that Jimmy Smith will no longer be working in the role. McCarthy will also be alongside Mauro Ranallo and former UFC play-by-play man Mike Goldberg.
“With the addition of ‘Big’ John to our broadcast team, we have put together the premier group of MMA commentators ahead of our Jan. 20 debut on the Paramount Network,” Bellator promoter Scott Coker said. “With John and Chael providing analysis, you’re getting two people who have spent more time in the cage than they have spent with a headset on, and that will translate to a positive viewing experience for Bellator fans.”
Are you excited to hear McCarthy in his new role? Let us know what you think in the comment section!