Referee “Big” John McCarthy will be conspicuously absent from UFC 104 this Saturday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The 15-year officiating veteran, who’s logged in nearly 600 fights worldwide dating back to UFC 2 and has a long background in helping shape the sport’s current rules, was not assigned by the California State Athletic Commission to work the event.
“I contacted (the CSAC) and told them I was free on Oct. 24,” McCarthy told Sherdog.com Friday. McCarthy said he was later informed that he hadn’t been assigned to the event, the UFC’s first in California since UFC 76 in November 2007. McCarthy did not comment any further on the development.
And why was Big John not assigned to work UFC 104? Here’s the CSAC’s Dave Thornton with their official explanation.
“McCarthy is a licensed referee in California and as such is on our regular rotation list for MMA refs,” Thornton wrote. “McCarthy is assigned to a Strikeforce show in November in Fresno.”
Oh that makes sense. Lets not assign our best referee to work one of the biggest events California will see all year because his name isn’t next on the rotation.
Hooray for government and politics. Once again, they prevail over common sense.