Besides Royce Gracie, ‘Big’ John McCarthy was probably the most iconic character to come out of the early UFCs. Most kids my age (at the time) imagined that if John wanted to enter the tournament as a fighter instead of a referee, he would have done better than most of the guys competing. Not sure what gave us that idea, but we still stand by it today in homage to our favorite referee. Dude is an icon, and still gives us an old-school feeling of epic badassery that no other referee carries. At this point, he’s been doing it for longer than anyone else, and he’s seen just about every kind of knockout or submission you’ve dreamed of; and probably some you never knew existed. We could sit there and argue other referees do the job better, but we’d respectfully disagree the same way we turn down a side of brussels sprouts at Thanksgiving dinner. Sometimes, it’s just easier to stick with meat and potatoes. In this example, the gravy is made of blood and the stuffing is what gets beaten out of legendary vale tudo fighters en route to MMA immortality.
Check out Bobby Razak’s History of MMA featuring John McCarthy and think of it as your complimentary Delorean that takes you back to the 1990’s.