John McCarthy’s transition from MMA referee to Bellator broadcaster has been largely a smooth one, though he admitted to some challenges.
One of the biggest? It’s the cussing.
“Big John” established himself as one of MMA’s top officials during his 20-plus-year run as a referee, and though he hasn’t closed the door on his career as a referee, his focus is now on the Bellator broadcast booth, where he serves as a color commentator.
“I absolutely love it,” McCarthy recently told MMAjunkie Radio while an in-studio guest host. “Bellator treats me so well. The people are so great to work with. I’m learning a lot, and I’m having a lot of fun doing it. It’s a lot of work for me right now, but it’s something new, so I’m having a blast with it.”
McCarthy said he views his role as one of a teacher. If he can help educate TV viewers on what’s happening on their screens, he’s doing his job. After all, officiating hundreds of MMA’s most iconic fights has given him a unique perspective on the sport. And as much he enjoys his new role and a change of pace, it does have some challenges.
“Man, I cuss,” he said. “It’s just part of who I’ve been. Growing up, I’ll say certain adjectives that are colorful – just because it’s part of my normal language.”
That includes F-bombs and other terms that aren’t allowed on Bellator’s Paramount broadcasters. It’s been an adjustment. In fact, on his cageside monitor, he said he has a reminder note that reads “DON’T CUSS.”
“It’s a problem,” he said. ” … I just talk normally, and normally, some things will come out.
” … The other part is that as a referee, you don’t make a reaction to anything. So, I get excited in fights (as a broadcaster). Someone will do something, and it’s like, ‘Whoa! Jesus!’ And I’ll (want to cuss). It’s normally who I am. That’s naturally who I am. … In this job, at least I get to get excited about the fights sometimes too, and that’s fun.”
For more on Bellator’s upcoming schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.
MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
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