(Photo courtesy of The Fight Network.)
Strikeforce‘s upcoming “Destruction” card will feature such well-known fighters as Josh Thomson, Yves Edwards, Renato Sobral, Joe Riggs, and Kim Couture, but the biggest star will surely be the third man in the cage. Sherdog reports that beloved MMA referee “Big” John McCarthy is returning to what he does best after a year-long hiatus that saw him retire from the UFC, take an analyst spot at The Fight Network, then leave it when things went FUBAR — and his first stop will be San Jose’s HP Pavilion on November 21st. The last match McCarthy reffed was the main event bout between Roger Huerta and Clay Guida at the TUF 6 finale last December; it was his 535th since his debut at UFC 2 in March 1994. As he told Sherdog:
“I missed doing it. Sometimes when you walk away from something and you think it’s time, once you’re away you realize what you’re missing — it’s kind of like why guys come back to fighting. It’s what I like doing. It’s what I was meant to do.”
Though he didn’t rule out an eventual return to the Octagon, it’s clear that his days as the UFC’s mascot are pretty much over. On where he might be reffing after “Destruction,” he said:
“I have no control over that. That’s up to athletic commissions and what you get assigned to. I may do one show a year. I may do 50. I don’t know, but if I get assigned to something, then I’ll be going if I can.”
Speaking of legends coming out of retirement, revered trainer and first-ever UFC lightweight champ Pat Miletich will be facing Thomas Denny at the second Adrenaline MMA event, which will go down December 11th at the I Wireless Center in Moline, IL. Miletich — founder of the Miletich Fighting Systems camp in Bettendorf, Iowa, which has produced such MMA stars as Matt Hughes, Tim Sylvia, Jens Pulver, and Ben Rothwell — sports a 28-7 career record, and hasn’t competed since his submission loss to Renzo Gracie at an IFL event in September 2006; his last fight before that was a TKO loss to Matt Lindland at UFC 36 in March 2002. Thomas “Wildman” Denny (26-17) last competed at EliteXC: Unfinished Business in July, where he lost to Nick Diaz by TKO.