UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier came to the aid of “Big” John McCarthy and explained that the reason Jon Jones wanted him replaced in their scheduled July 9 fight in UFC 200 is simply that Jones lack discipline. He added that Jones does not want to be corrected of his ways.
Cormier was referring to Jones’ crawling thing that he does when he starts off a fight. Cormier noted that McCarthy once corrected Jones when he faced Vitor Belfort at UFC 152. Jones went on to win the match via submission in the fourth round defending his then light heavyweight title.
“I think there are issues between him and Jon because if I’m not mistaken I think he once came out in that little crawling thing he does and Vitor (Belfort) kicked at his head. John (McCarthy) said ‘Hey, you want to stay down there and play the game, get up and fight’ and I think John is also very active in terms of correcting fighters with their hands open, which could lead to eye poking,” Cormier explained via Fox Sports.
Cormier added that McCarthy is a professional when it comes to officiating and would not be a noted referee if he was biased in any way in a fight. Fox Sports reported that McCarthy has already stated that he does not care about Jones’ whining and Cormier knows he’ll handle the fight as a professional.
“John McCarthy is a professional,” Cormier said. “And he’ll do his job to the best of his abilities, regardless of what Jon has to say about it.”
Cormier advises Jones to clear his issues with McCarthy personally rather than going around and telling the media about it. He added that explaining it in public does not good. Cormier stressed that the best approach to it is to talk to McCarthy because they could not reverse the decision made by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
“I think that the approach is probably not the smartest approach. Once it happens, it happens. You don’t go around to the media and say well this guy’s an [expletive], I don’t want him refereeing my fight. That’s not the smartest way to approach it,” Cormier said.
Jones told the media during luncheon in Los Angeles as reported by Fox Sports why his camp filed a protest at the Nevada State Athletic Commission Tuesday to have another referee replace McCarthy and stated that he does not feel the energy with him. Jones added that his reasons are deep rooted and personal in nature. He further argues that he does not see McCarthy as the referee who would officiate his fight with Cormier.
“I really don’t want to get into it too deeply. I’ll just say based on some interactions that I’ve had with him, I don’t really feel as if it would be an energy that isn’t necessarily the best in there. To him, it’s just refereeing a fight and he does it probably once a week somewhere. For me, this is my life, this is my story, this is my legacy, this is everything to me and if I don’t agree with his energy that he brings to the fight, if I was him, I wouldn’t want to be a part of it,” Jones said.
McCarthy, 53, a former Los Angeles police officer, has officiated mixed martial arts since UFC 2 and helped author the current Unified Rules which oversee the sport. He’s also been the third man in on several of Jones’ biggest bouts, including matchups with Alexander Gustafsson and Vitor Belfort.
Aside from being a referee, McCarthy founded the C.O.M.M.A.N.D: a training and certification school for MMA referees and judges. McCarthy was the most senior referee in the UFC and is well known for his delivery of “Let’s Get It On!”, a catchphrase created by boxing referee Mills Lane.
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