MMA PIONEER STEPS INTO A NEW ROLE IN THE FIGHT GAME!
LAS VEGAS, Dec. 7 /CNW/ - "Big" John McCarthy has joined The Fight
Network, North America's only all-combat sports channel, in a full-time role
as an on-air personality and strategic advisor. The announcement was made
official moments ago during a live conference call in Las Vegas.
The world's most instantly recognizable MMA referee is calling it a
career in the ring and cage after 14 years. McCarthy will retire after
officiating his 535th bout this Saturday night for "The Ultimate Fighter 6"
Finale in Las Vegas.
"As I enter a new chapter in my life, I look forward to demonstrating my
love and passion for the MMA world in my new role at The Fight Network," said
McCarthy. "It's a perfect fit for me and I can't wait to get started."
A charismatic giant of the game, and a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu
himself, McCarthy is the most highly regarded authority and recognized
historian on MMA. One of the original authors of the rules that govern MMA in
the United States, his expertise and passionate advocacy of the sport has been
instrumental in the legalization of MMA and the passage of MMA regulations in
"John has been such a great referee for years that it is unfortunate he
is retiring," said Keith Kizer, Executive Director of the Nevada State
Athletic Commission. "However, I am sure he will continue to play an important
role in the sport of mixed martial arts, and that can only be a good thing."
"Big John has become a preeminent personality in the game," said George
Burger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Fight Network, "and his
presence and depth of knowledge will take our industry leading coverage of the
sport to a new level, to everyone's benefit. It is great to have him on the
For the last 14 years, "Big" John McCarthy has been the world's
best-known and most sought-after MMA referee, a career that began with UFC 2
on March 11, 1994 in Denver, Colorado. McCarthy has refereed hundreds of bouts
worldwide, including virtually every major UFC event and many of the sport's
great match-ups, including Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock I at UFC 40 in 2002,
and Randy Couture vs. Tim Sylvia at UFC 68 in March 2007. McCarthy has
refereed exactly 100 championship fights.
For McCarthy, the path that led to The Fight Network started last spring
when he signed on as a part-time MMA analyst for the growing combat sports
network. When he confided to Fight Network founder and Senior Vice President,
Strategy, Mike Garrow, that he was looking for new opportunities to expand his
involvement in the fight game, the network jumped on the opportunity to offer
him a full-time position.
Commenting on the permanent involvement of McCarthy, Garrow said: "John
brings tremendous profile to The Fight Network. Talented, dedicated and
respected by fighters, promoters, state officials and, of course, fans
everywhere, John is a consummate professional whose experience, knowledge and
passion for MMA make him an invaluable addition to our team."
Fans can see McCarthy on Before The Bell and After The Bell, two original
Fight Network shows that air after major MMA events from around the world and
on additional news and informational shows that will be created to showcase
McCarthy's vast knowledge and insight into the growing sport of MMA.
Editor's Note: a jpeg and bio of John McCarthy is available upon request.
ABOUT THE FIGHT NETWORK
The Fight Network is a multi-platform sports and entertainment company,
providing its content to fight fans on digital television, pay-per-view, VOD,
radio, mobile and online. The Fight Network is the global leader in presenting
and covering all combatant sports, including Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Boxing,
Wrestling and Kickboxing and theme-related entertainment, through its 24/7
dedication to the sports. The Fight Network Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary
of TFN Global Inc., whose corporate headquarters are located in Toronto,
Canada. Visit www.thefightnetwork.com.
For further information:
For further information: Beth Merrick, ZAZOU Communications, (416)