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Big John’s reason for retiring

I’m not sure if this has been addressed before … I know Big John has mentioned in passing why he retired from refereeing but I haven’t seen it explained in this much detail outside of a TV interview that I was way too lazy to transcribe. But here it is: the reason why.

Z: Why did you walk away?

JM: I walked away because I was frustrated. I was frustrated with the way some things were being handled. I didn’t believe that there were people being put into positions that had the ability to judge fights or referee fights, that knew what they were doing. That bothered me. It bothered me because I’m looking at a judge that is gonna judge a fighter’s fight and he doesn’t understand what those fighters are doing. And this person has the ability to affect the fighter’s livelyhood. And it’s wrong. And I felt like a hypocrite because I worked for the commission and they were allowing this kind of person to be in a position of power and to have that say over who’s going to win the fight. I just didn’t want to be part of that.

Z: Wow.

JM: It just upset me to the point where I didn’t want to do this anymore. I love the refereeing. I love doing that. It’s just people that are out there, they just don’t know what is going on in a fight. Fighters are doing things on the ground, they have no concept of what is taking place. They really don’t understand who is in control of the fight. They don’t understand the techniques that are being applied. And if you don’t understand that, how are you able to make an educated judgment on who wins that fight? You can take a look at the last Ultimate Fight Night. Evan Tanner against Kendall Grove. There was a judge there who gave that fight to Evan Tanner. How do you do that? I don’t know. Taking nothing away from Evan, he’s a great fighter, but he did not win that fight. And to say he did, it’s a crime.

Z: How are these incompetent judges getting their jobs?

JM: You know what, you tell me.

I think we all know how stupid judges and refs can be … as a whole, many commissions seem to be running ‘good ol boys’ clubs where it’s not what you know but who you know. But I’m surprised that it’s so bad that Big John would be willing to retire in order to not be associated with it any more.

  • Mike says:

    C’mon … Big John retired because Fight Network handed him a huge pile of money to take a job with little heavy lifting on a network no one watches. If McCarthy really cared about things like judging he had enough of a name to voice his opinion and work for change from within.

  • garth says:

    maybe he didn’t have the clout to work from within. if it is indeed a “good ol boys” situation, he’d be on the outs if he tried talking, and be forced out/blackballed

    who knows tho

  • Jolan says:

    Yeah I miss Big John a lot. I wish he would have stayed in it and led by example :(

  • godzillasdestoy says:

    What? John said it before: He couldn’t referee and be an analyst at the same time so he quit.

    Now that he has free time he goes online and reads the Dana haters and follows them like a lemming so people won’t think he punked out.

  • crs says:

    Dana has nothing to do with the judging/commissions. He’s even talked about how much he dislikes the 10 point must system carried over from boxing, and has said the majority of the judges are boxing judges who don’t know much about MMA. It would be nice to dig up 3 ex-fighters to judge shows.

  • Big John looks like JT Money’s dad

  • steve24 says:

    He’s probably talking about Cecil Peoples.

  • Fatal Error aka Cecil Peoples says:

    Damn steve24, why you gotta hate on a brotha?

  • Alex says:

    That fight was closer to 29-28 tanner than it was 30-26 grove. Although I had it 29-27 grove

  • Big John takes it up the ass says:

    total B.S. even if there are shitty many times lately have we seen fights stopped maybe a few seconds to soon or not soon enough.if Big John gave a piss about the fans or mma he would still be doing his part.instead he wants to toss some guys salad.suck it bug john u mongoloid!

  • garth says:

    ^ space bars work!

    also, pipe, i thought the same thing. he’s like a mini-big-john

  • Roxy says:

    I had no idea he quit. But what he says is sad but true. I’ve been told, “Roxy, you should try to make it exciting on the feet because the judges are boxing judges and might not score you high if it’s all on the ground.”

    Why the hell should I have to worry about that? I kind of said, “okay” but now that MMA is so widespread, why can’t we find MMA judges??

  • ruggertenthousand says:

    Most of you guys have only followed the sport since TUF; so most of these comments demonstrate ignorance. Who gives a f$ck why big John left. He was making 30K a year being a ref by the athletic commissions. The guy deserved to be paid; he paid his dues – 14 years getting paid crap. The sport misses him big time. In addition to the judges, most of the refs don’t have a clue. When Big John was in the Cage, you knew you weren’t gonna get robbed ; like that creep ref for that NJ card….etc.There is all these no name guys reffing causing all these controversial stoppages; either way too early, or in one case that FL pointed out – way too late. Good luck to JM.

  • ^I agree with everything you’ve said except what does having followed MMA only since TUF have anything to do with anything?

  • Mike says:

    Wow, someone is still using “everyone who disagrees with me is a TUF noob” here in 2008. I’ve been watching since BJM’s first appearance in the octagon and my comment stands.

  • ruggertenthousand says:

    Mike – I don’t think BJM solo could change the face of refereeing in every jurisdiction where MMA competes. Maybe Kizer might have listened to him… but I doubt it. There is a lot of politics involved, favors, etc.
    You sound like BJM should stick to making less than a postal worker while he reffed the biggest matches in MMA. I hope the guy finds a way to make 10MM a year if he can in MMA.
    Sorry, I should have left the ‘TUF’ comment out and wrote simply ‘naivety ‘.

  • Well, nepitism does make the world go round, especially in the bureaucratic professions.

    And state run organizations do seem to have a strong pension for frowning on anyone who doesn’t tow the usual line of neglectful and minimal practices. If Big John made waves while still reffing he probably would’ve been blacklisted, or outright ousted like Larry Hazzard.

    The fact that truly educated and talented officials like McCarthy, Marc Ratner, and Larry Hazzard are all gone from the regulatory duties, yet Cecil Peoples gets the call to judge the UFC regularly, and Armando Garcia has the unilateral and unquestionable ability to ban anyone who crosses their eyes wrong, just speaks volumes as to the current quality of state commissions.

  • Mike_N says:

    Roxy: Since MMA is blowing up in so many states, a lot of state athletic commissions are making a very sincere effort to find or train judges with a solid MMA background. You know, the kind who also understand grappling, jiu-jitsu, and other ground fighting…unfortunately, most of these judges and officials are still cutting their teeth at the amateur level and on smaller professional cards and haven’t quite reached your level yet. Have faith, though: hopefully, it won’t be too much longer before people who actually know what they’re doing are sitting at ringside.

  • mike says:

    I think hes talking about cecil peoples

  • Fitdaws says:

    All I know is every time I watch a UFC ppv I end up saying “Dam, where is Big John”??! Yes, he is sorely missed

  • Hammer says:

    The same crappy commissions and endless competing organizations that ruined boxing will soon plague MMA. It is already going in a million different directions with new fight leagues and organizations popping up almost daily. As long as there is an existing commission, MMA will get the same retarded judges and bad calls.

  • crs says:

    That’s really depressing what Roxy said. How hard is it to find people who know about grappling? Just walk into any BJJ, Judo, Wrestling academy and say “Hey, anybody wanna judge a MMA show tonight?” I’ve seen the judging rule book and certification test, it can be done in a week or less.

    Refs take longer to train though, since they have to prove they can safely referee a fight and not let it go on too long a few times before they get to the big stage. They more than likely will still have somewhat of a boxing background, since due to the small number of regulated amateur MMA shows they’re going to have to start at Golden Gloves fights still. I really can’t wait for the day when all judges and refs are pure MMA and fuck ups are kept to behind the scenes pay offs like boxing instead of just lack of understanding of the sport.

  • Josh says:

    Cecil Peoples is the worst ref of the planet(Besides that guy that scored Tanner The winner) He gave Penn the win over St. Pierre. What! I love Penn, but come on.

  • Hammer says:

    I love boxing, and yes MMA too. But thank god MMA is max 5 rounds, coz if it were 12, you would see even more retarded decisions…And there is really no accountablity.. I think it would benefit all to make referees strictly MMA and have them similar to NFL or NBA ‘full time’ refs… There are enough shows to keep them busy throughout the year. And certainly enough gate money at the least to support it..