Referee “Big” John McCarthy has seen just about everything there is to see in the sport of MMA, having been an official for over two decades now.
However, the controversial finish between former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman and Gegard Mousasi at UFC 210 is still a hot topic in MMA.
In an interview with MMA Junkie Radio, the veteran referee talks everybody through what happened in the middleweight division clash.
“When that happened, I’m sitting there, and I have a different angle,” McCarthy said. “If you go back and you look, and this is what happens and this is why people go, ‘The referee is the close one. He sees it.’ Everything is depending upon your placement and your positioning. He’s in a position where he’s starting to move and the fighters start to move, because if you look at it, Weidman had had Mousasi in a mount, and then Mousasi rolls out of it and comes up, and then Weidman gets down. Mousasi has his head down, and Weidman goes and puts his hand on the ground in a way that is not part of what we’re going to say is a grounded fighter, because we want fighters to get away from what they’re doing. In that situation, we want (to say), ‘Chris Weidman, put your knee to the ground. Use your hands to defend yourself. That’s what they’re there for.'”
The rule, which came into effect just this year, states that a fighter must now have the palms of both hands or a knee on the ground to be considered a downed opponent. The old rule stated that a fighter needed the palm of one hand or a knee on the ground to be considered a downed opponent.
Many have been critical of the rule change, but McCarthy feels that the new rule is working out just fine.
“The rule has been working beautifully everywhere. It’s hard for athletic commission people to understand, because how many fights do they do? But I do fights every week, multiple times a week, everywhere. And it’s been freaking awesome. We’ve gotten guys to get away from doing this stupid thing of putting one hand down and thinking they’re safe. It’s changed what they’re doing,” says McCarthy.
Weidman has filed an appeal for his UFC 210 loss, a ruling has yet to be issued at this time.