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Video: ‘Big’ John McCarthy Talks Relationship with the Gracies, the LA Riots and His UFC Reffing Debut

(Video courtesy YouTube/Fight!Mag)

I’ve always been amazed with the fact that "Big" John McCarthy is as, or more famous than a lot of MMA fighters. Think about it. How many football referees or baseball umpires can you name, let alone who you would want an autograph from?

I worked with BJM at The Fight Network a few years ago and no matter if he was at an event doing color commentary or just hanging out at the station, he would get requests non-stop for photos and autographs. It’s crazy to think that besides guys like Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture, Big John is more recognized than a lot of marquee fighters for his involvement in the sport and his regulation of landmark bouts over the years.

He has his own gym, MMA refereeing and judging certification course, his own Xtreme Couture signature shirt and will be releasing an autobiography, "Let’s Get it On!" which he has spent the last few years writing with MMA journalist Loretta Hunt, who also wrote Randy Couture’s "Becoming the Natural.".

The videos above and after the jump shot by Fight! Magazine give some insight into the stories that will be shared in the book and if they are any indication, the tome will be well worth picking up.

In the clips he talks a bit about his time with the LAPD, the origin of his fight-starting catchphrase and the fateful favor he did for his then-jiu-jitsu teacher, Rorian Gracie that would lead to his career as one of the most respected and recognizable officials to ever call a fight.

(Video courtesy YouTube/Fight!Mag)

(Video courtesy YouTube/Fight!Mag)

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Cagepotato Comments

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jimbonics- September 16, 2010 at 10:11 pm

please please please please photoshop it. I can't believe I never connected the dots before.
dranokills- September 16, 2010 at 5:58 pm
I am just glad Big John is back.
Dojima- September 16, 2010 at 5:44 pm
No matter what, Big John will never be more popular than Ed Hochuli's biceps. Fact.
Mike Russell- September 16, 2010 at 2:22 pm
 John "Big Jesse Taylor" McCarthy, IMO...
hooligun- September 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm
John "Big Ben Afflek" McCarthy ;)
dwmwtv- September 16, 2010 at 1:43 pm
suggestion for a new nickname: John "Ben Affleck" McCarthy.
2DaDeath- September 16, 2010 at 1:10 pm
Great stuff!
GILL-uh-TEEN- September 16, 2010 at 12:51 pm
Really cool videos. I'm a big fan of Big John. He and Herb should officiate every UFC fight.
RwilsonR- September 16, 2010 at 12:39 pm
In your opening about BJM, I totally agree. The first UFC fight I went to live was Randy vs. Chuck, and BJM had more fans following him around the Mandalay than most of the fighters.

Although I think one of the strange things about BJM is how he seemed to buy into his own hype, and start to take himself into irrelevance. He was as much the face of he UFC as Dana White for awhile, and now people could care less about him.