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Refereed by John McCarthy

Renowned mixed martial arts referee "Big" John McCarthy is easily the most recognizable, beloved, and by many measures the most experienced referee in professional cagefighting. His resume stretches all the way back to March 11, 1994, where at UFC 2: No Way Out, he served as the lone referee for every single bout on the sixteen man, single-elimination card eventually won by defending champ Royce Gracie. In a time in which "no-holds-barred" fighting's defined ruleset was (by definition) virtually nonexistent, no judges or athletic comissions presided over the events, and the borders between entertainment and chaos in the cage were fuzzy at best, Big John served as the original peacemaker and arbiter of last resort, and his decisiveness, "take charge" attitude and early knowledge of submission holds played a major role in maintaining MMA's tenuous claim to sporting legitimacy.

"Big" John's trademark proclamation at the beginning of each bout: "[Fighter 1], are you ready? [Fighter 2], are you ready? Let's get it on!" has always been synonymous with the nervous buzz of excitement just before a big UFC fight, even during a period from December 2007 through August 2010 in which McCarthy was temporarily estranged from the sport's biggest promotion. Much like boxing ring announcer Michael Buffer, who carried his trademark "Let's get ready to ruuuuumble!" fight call with him across various promotions, "Big" John's "Let's get it on!" is used by him and him alone.

Born October 12, 1962, McCarthy was ably suited to the role of referee when the UFC began airing fights in the early 1990s. He had been a police officer with the Los Angelese Police Department since 1985, and held a Tactics & Self-Defense Instruction Certification that he earned in 1993. He was also a practicing martial artist, and one of the few individuals outside the Gracie family familiar with the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (McCarthy was awarded his black belt in BJJ in January 2007). Finally, he stood an imposing 6'4" and 240 lbs., important for keeping order in the UFC's rough-and-tumble infancy. From the early goings, his judgments were decisive and generally correct in the cage. He was able to identify threats from today's most recognizable Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu finishes, including triangle chokes and armbars, at a time when most of the audience and announcers could not.

Perennially one of the most sought-after autographs in MMA, McCarthy is the first MMA referee to experience legitimate crossover success as a television and cultural personality and general ambassador of the sport. In addition to officiating bouts for Affliction, Impact FC and Strikeforce, McCarthy held announcing duties for Affliction and did television work for Canada's Fight Network. He played a major role in drafting the modern day Unified Rules of Combat and helped facilitate their passage in a majority of U.S. states. He is a multiple-time speaker at the national Association of Boxing Comissions, where he has argued eloquently for the acceptance of MMA as a legitimate sport, and teaches seminars for the International Professional Ring Officials Association (IPRO). As a side note, McCarthy was also allegedly approached more than a decade ago by officials from Japan's Pride Fighting Championships, then the biggest MMA promotion in the world, and offered a contract to fight under the promotion in a "worked" match, allegedly to be held against Japan's Nobuhiko Takada. McCarthy turned the offer down.

"Big" John McCarthy continues to referee for the UFC and other promotions to this day, and despite refereeing more UFC title bouts than any other referee by far, has maintained a reputation admirably free from controversy over his decisions in the cage. Portions of this article draw on information from John McCarthy's page on Wikipedia, available at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McCarthy_(mixed_martial_arts), and from his personal website, located at www.bigjohnmccarthy.com/.

Refereed by John McCarthy

Bout   Event   Date   Org
Stephen Thompson vs. Johny Hendricks UFC Fight Night 82 2016.02.06
Joseph Benavidez vs. Zach Makovsky UFC Fight Night 82 2016.02.06
Josh Burkman vs. KJ Noons UFC Fight Night 82 2016.02.06
Patricky Freire vs. Ryan Couture Bellator 148 2016.01.29
Paul Daley vs. Andy Uhrich Bellator 148 2016.01.29
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Amber Tackett Bellator 148 2016.01.29
Angela Hill vs. Alida Gray Invicta FC 15 2016.01.16
Megan Anderson vs. Amber Leibrock Invicta FC 15 2016.01.16
Cristiane Justino vs. Daria Ibragimova Invicta FC 15 2016.01.16
Colleen Schneider vs. Raquel Pa'aluhi Invicta FC 15 2016.01.16
Alex Morono vs. Kyle Noke UFC 195 2016.01.02
Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit UFC 195 2016.01.02
Brian Ortega vs. Diego Brandão UFC 195 2016.01.02
Muhammed Lawal vs. Teodoras Aukštuolis RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2015 2015.12.31
Muhammed Lawal vs. Jiří Procházka RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2015 2015.12.31
Gabrielle Garcia vs. Lei’d Tapa RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2015 2015.12.31
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Jaideep Singh RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2015 2015.12.31
Jiří Procházka vs. Vadim Nemkov RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2015 2015.12.31
Anatoly Tokov vs. AJ Matthews RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2015 2015.12.29
Valentin Moldavsky vs. Yuta Uchida RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2015 2015.12.29
Muhammed Lawal vs. Brett McDermott RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2015 2015.12.29
Vadim Nemkov vs. Goran Reljić RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2015 2015.12.29
Kirill Sidelnikov vs. Carlos Toyota RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2015 2015.12.29
Alexandre de Almeida vs. Lance Palmer WSOF 26 2015.12.18
Johnny Nuñez vs. David Jordan WSOF 26 2015.12.18
Josh Hill vs. Bekbulat Magomedov WSOF 26 2015.12.18
Leonardo Santos vs. Kevin Lee UFC 194 2015.12.12
Conor McGregor vs. José Aldo UFC 194 2015.12.12
Demian Maia vs. Gunnar Nelson UFC 194 2015.12.12
Tony Ferguson vs. Edson Barboza The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale 2015.12.11
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Jason Knight The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale 2015.12.11
Frankie Edgar vs. Chad Mendes The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale 2015.12.11
Alibeg Rasulov vs. Ramazan Kuramagomedov MFP 2015.12.05
Gamzat Hiramagomedov vs. Ramazan Gamzatov MFP 2015.12.05
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Nadyr Bulkadarov MFP 2015.12.05
Bakhachali Bakhachaliev vs. Armen Gulyan MFP 2015.12.05
Andre Fili vs. Gabriel Benitez UFC Fight Night 78 2015.11.21
Neil Magny vs. Kelvin Gastelum UFC Fight Night 78 2015.11.21
Leandro Silva vs. Efrain Escudero UFC Fight Night 78 2015.11.21
Chidi Njokuani vs. Ricky Rainey Bellator 146 2015.11.20
Francisco France vs. Ben Reiter Bellator 146 2015.11.20
Alonzo Menifield vs. Zach Rosol Bellator 146 2015.11.20
Guilherme Viana vs. Houston Alexander Bellator 146 2015.11.20
Melvin Manhoef vs. Hisaki Kato Bellator 146 2015.11.20
Will Brooks vs. Marcin Held Bellator 145 2015.11.06
Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Justin Lawrence Bellator 145 2015.11.06
Daniel Straus vs. Patricio Freire III Bellator 145 2015.11.06
Sam Watford vs. TJ Hepburn Bellator 144 2015.10.23
Matt Secor vs. Jeremie Holloway Bellator 144 2015.10.23
Brennan Ward vs. Dennis Olson Bellator 144 2015.10.23
Joey Ruquet vs. Jacob Rosales Fight Club OC 2015.10.15
Gilbert Smith vs. Bristol Marunde RFA 31 2015.10.09
Matthew Lopez vs. Justin Linn RFA 31 2015.10.09
Vinicius Quieroz vs. Ewerton Teixeira Bellator 143 2015.09.25
Amador Ramirez vs. Saul Elizondo Bellator 143 2015.09.25
Joe Warren vs. L.C. Davis Bellator 143 2015.09.25
John Teixeira vs. Gleristone Santos Bellator 143 2015.09.25
James Terry vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha Bellator 142 2015.09.19
Brandon Hester vs. DeMarco Villalona Bellator 142 2015.09.19
Mike Malott vs. Thomas Diagne Bellator 142 2015.09.19
Josh Paiva vs. Matthew Ramirez Bellator 142 2015.09.19
Liam McGeary vs. Tito Ortiz Bellator 142 2015.09.19
Tonya Evinger vs. Pannie Kianzad Invicta FC 14 2015.09.12
Cindy Dandois vs. Megan Anderson Invicta FC 14 2015.09.12
Aspen Ladd vs. Amanda Bobby Cooper Invicta FC 14 2015.09.12
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Mariana Morais Invicta FC 14 2015.09.12
Andrea Lee vs. Rachael Ostovich Invicta FC 14 2015.09.12
Tiago Trator vs. Clay Collard UFC 191 2015.09.05
Paige VanZant vs. Alex Chambers UFC 191 2015.09.05
Andrei Arlovski vs. Frank Mir UFC 191 2015.09.05
Alex Reyes vs. Thomas Noel KOTC 2015.08.29
Brandon Girtz vs. Melvin Guillard Bellator 141 2015.08.28
Jamelle Jones vs. Hector Carrillo Fight Club OC 2015.08.27
Jacob Rosales vs. Israel Cruz Fight Club OC 2015.08.27
Devin Goodale vs. Tamahau Mc Comb TFE 2015.08.22
Sean Crenshaw vs. Donte Stubbs TFE 2015.08.22
Lucas Rota vs. Casey Ryan TFE 2015.08.22
Glover Teixeira vs. Ovince St. Preux UFC Fight Night 73 2015.08.08
Chris Camozzi vs. Tom Watson UFC Fight Night 73 2015.08.08
Amanda Nunes vs. Sara McMann UFC Fight Night 73 2015.08.08
Jonathan Wilson vs. Chris Dempsey UFC Fight Night 73 2015.08.08
Antônio Silva vs. Soa Palelei UFC 190 2015.08.01
Ronda Rousey vs. Bethe Correia UFC 190 2015.08.01
Warlley Alves vs. Nordine Taleb UFC 190 2015.08.01
Kin Moy vs. Blair Tugman Bellator 140 2015.07.17
Brennan Ward vs. Roger Carroll Bellator 140 2015.07.17
Ryan Quinn vs. Waylon Lowe Bellator 140 2015.07.17
Chris Honeycutt vs. Paul Bradley Bellator 140 2015.07.17
Jéssica Andrade vs. Sarah Moras UFC Fight Night 71 2015.07.15
Kevin Lee vs. James Moontasri UFC Fight Night 71 2015.07.15
Sean Strickland vs. Igor Araújo UFC Fight Night 71 2015.07.15
Frank Mir vs. Todd Duffee UFC Fight Night 71 2015.07.15
Stephen Thompson vs. Jake Ellenberger The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale 2015.07.12
Jorge Masvidal vs. Cezar Ferreira The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale 2015.07.12
Josh Samman vs. Caio Magalhães The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale 2015.07.12
Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald II UFC 189 2015.07.11
Thomas Almeida vs. Brad Pickett UFC 189 2015.07.11
John Howard vs. Cathal Pendred UFC 189 2015.07.11
Hacran Dias vs. Levan Makashvili UFC Fight Night 70 2015.06.27
Yoel Romero vs. Lyoto Machida UFC Fight Night 70 2015.06.27
Sirwan Kakai vs. Danny Martinez UFC Fight Night 70 2015.06.27
Pat Curran vs. Emmanuel Sanchez Bellator 139 2015.06.26
Alex Huddleston vs. Javy Ayala Bellator 139 2015.06.26
Augusto Sakai vs. Daniel Gallemore Bellator 139 2015.06.26
Cheick Kongo vs. Alexander Volkov Bellator 139 2015.06.26
Kimbo Slice vs. Ken Shamrock Bellator 138 2015.06.19
Patricio Freire vs. Daniel Weichel Bellator 138 2015.06.19
Justin Guthrie vs. Steven Mann Bellator 138 2015.06.19
Bobby Lashley vs. Dan Charles Bellator 138 2015.06.19
Eddie Alvarez vs. Gilbert Melendez UFC 188 2015.06.13
Tecia Torres vs. Angela Hill UFC 188 2015.06.13
Johnny Case vs. Francisco Trevino UFC 188 2015.06.13
Ozzie Alvarez vs. Steven Ciaccio Fight Club OC 2015.06.11
Alex Suhonosov vs. Trevor Clapper Fight Club OC 2015.06.11
Dustin Poirier vs. Yancy Medeiros UFC Fight Night 68 2015.06.06
Dan Henderson vs. Tim Boetsch UFC Fight Night 68 2015.06.06
Anthony Birchak vs. Joe Soto UFC Fight Night 68 2015.06.06
Joseph Benavidez vs. John Moraga UFC 187 2015.05.23
Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson UFC 187 2015.05.23
Fernando Gonzalez vs. Curtis Millender Bellator 137 2015.05.15
Virgil Zwicker vs. Razak Al-Hassan Bellator 137 2015.05.15
Ricky Rainey vs. Jesse Juarez Bellator 137 2015.05.15
Livia Renata Souza vs. Katja Kankaanpaa Invicta FC 12 2015.04.24
Shannon Sinn vs. Maureen Riordon Invicta FC 12 2015.04.24
Latoya Walker vs. Peggy Morgan Invicta FC 12 2015.04.24
Faith Van Duin vs. Amanda Bell Invicta FC 12 2015.04.24
Sijara Eubanks vs. Gina Begley Invicta FC 12 2015.04.24
Will Brooks vs. Dave Jansen Bellator 136 2015.04.10
Steve Ramirez vs. Jonathan Santa Maria Bellator 136 2015.04.10
Marcin Held vs. Alexander Sarnavskiy Bellator 136 2015.04.10
Matthew Martinez vs. James Stahl Fight Club OC 2015.04.02
Marcos Galvão vs. Joe Warren II Bellator 135 2015.03.27
Stephen Banaszak vs. Brad Mitchell Bellator 135 2015.03.27
Francis Carmont vs. Guilherme Viana Bellator 135 2015.03.27
Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Alejandro Villalobos Bellator 135 2015.03.27
Francisco Trinaldo vs. Akbarh Arreola UFC Fight Night 62 2015.03.21
Leonardo Santos vs. Tony Martin UFC Fight Night 62 2015.03.21
Demian Maia vs. Ryan LaFlare UFC Fight Night 62 2015.03.21
Alan Jouban vs. Richard Walsh UFC 184 2015.02.28
Norifumi Yamamoto vs. Roman Salazar UFC 184 2015.02.28
Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano UFC 184 2015.02.28
Valmir Lázaro vs. James Krause UFC 184 2015.02.28
Muhammed Lawal vs. Cheick Kongo Bellator 134 2015.02.27
Tamdan McCrory vs. Jason Butcher Bellator 134 2015.02.27
Brennan Ward vs. Curtis Millender Bellator 134 2015.02.27
Casey Greene vs. Mario Delgado Lights Out @ Sportsmen's Lodge 2015.02.20
Matt Spencer vs. Justin Vázquez Lights Out @ Sportsmen's Lodge 2015.02.20
Alfred Khashakyan vs. David Hernandez Lights Out @ Sportsmen's Lodge 2015.02.20
Richard LeRoy vs. Brandon Hastings Lights Out @ Sportsmen's Lodge 2015.02.20
Daniel Weichel vs. Pat Curran Bellator 133 2015.02.13

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