There was some controversy in Eddie Alvarez’s disqualification loss to Iuri Lapicus at ONE on TNT 1. Veteran referee Big John McCarthy has weighed in on the situation, and he is not happy with the way the ref handled the situation.
McCarthy is a pivotal figure in the history of MMA, and although he has somewhat lost favor over the years, he still provides valuable insight into the officiating side of fighting. Anytime there is a controversial call by a ref, fans look to him for his opinion on the matter.
So naturally this was the case again, after the way things went down with Alvarez’s most recent bout. Despite the blows seemingly being inconsequential, Eddie was disqualified after a few shots seemingly landed to the back of the head against Lapicus.
John McCarthy Goes Off On The Ref
It goes without saying that John McCarthy was not a fan of how referee Justin Brown handled the situation in this fight. Speaking in an episode of his podcast, the former referee and current Bellator commentator broke down his thoughts on the matter.
“You guys need to understand, you have a responsibility to a lot more than your understanding. You have a responsibility to those fighters. You have a responsibility to the promotion, and you have a responsibility to the fans of MMA and the sport of MMA that you’re going to do something that’s reasonable within what you can do,” McCarthy said (h/t MMAFighting)
“Just to take a championship fight and throw up a red card or to disqualify somebody, you’re not using your brain. You’re not being reasonable, and you’re not thinking of the full context of what you have.”
John McCarthy goes on to explain that by looking at the situation, he does not feel like Alvarez could see where his punches were going. So it was clear that the intent was not for the strikes to be illegal.
At the end of the day, Big John says that the intent matters when it comes to situations like that. So the referee should have looked to take a point instead of stop the bout with disqualification.
“You can see that Eddie at a point where he hears the referee, he goes from trying to loop shots to he turns it into a hammerfists, which is telling you, ‘Oh, you want me to change,’ and he starts to do it, and the referee comes in…
“You have limited power in certain areas to do things, and you try to lend that out in a judicious fashion. You don’t become the judge, jury and executioner, unless you have to,” McCarthy continued.
“Was Eddie Alvarez attempting to foul Lapicus? No, he was not attempting to foul. So there was no intent there. If Eddie has Lapicus and turns over and bites his nose, then Eddie needs to be disqualified, because that is something that’s way outside the sport, way outside the rules. But to think that every fighter knows where everything lands and knows exactly where their opponents are, you’re asking too much of fighters.”
What do you think of these points from John McCarthy? Do you agree with the stoppage and disqualification of Eddie Alvarez?