UFC light heavyweight interim champion Jon Jones promise to reclaim his belt at UFC 200 but there is a catch and rumors are swirling that he does not want “Big” John McCarthy to officiate his rematch with current champion Daniel Cormier as there might be unfair calls that will be made during the fight.
Jones told the media during a luncheon in Los Angeles as reported by Fox Sports why his camp filed a protest at the Nevada State Athletic Commission 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.
Jones added that McCarthy should have the decency of accepting his request and back out from calling the shots in the fight that will be held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on July 9. Jones went as far to say that McCarthy should have sensed that he is not welcome and would have other referees take his place.
“I don’t want to go as far as to say you’re not welcome, you know like why would you even want to be a part of someone’s big night who doesn’t want you in there with them? I would respect that and say, ‘You know what, I’ll back out of this one, I don’t need to be a part of this one if they don’t want me to be part of it’. I don’t feel as if we’ve had the best interactions over the years, and I just really hope that he’s not the referee,” Jones explained.
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.
With just barely a week to go before Jones and Cormier step inside the Octagon, looks like Jones will just have to stick it out with McCarthy, who was chosen by the Nevada State Athletic Commission to officiate the said match. The fight will be the featured main event for UFC 200 which will also have Brock Lesnar against Mark Hunt; and the women’s bantamweight division clash between Miesha Tate against Amanda Nunes.
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