Veteran Referee John McCarthy Unhappy With UFC Fighters Getting Unfair Compensation

Published 08/17/2021, 11:31 AM EDT


Veteran referee John McCarthy has shown his disappointment with UFC for not providing enough compensation to its fighters. The former UFC official took to Twitter to show his apprehensions on the same. He is not the first person to raise the and definitely not the last to speak on this matter.

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Many UFC fighters have shown their apprehensions on the pay issues. An elite-level fighter like Jon Jones made himself unavailable for the octagon rumble as he couldn’t strike a proper deal with the UFC. Other guys like reigning heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou showed his concern when a boxer like Jake Paul made $20 million out of an exhibition.

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McCarthy reacted to a photo posted on Twitter that showed how much an athlete gets from its respective sports. He wrote, “And this is something that simply has to change.” Compared to some other sports, the UFC fighters are getting way less percentage of money from the total revenues.

As per the tweet stats, MLB and NBA pay a whopping 54% and 50% of their revenues to their players. The NFL, a renowned sport around the world, pays 48% of its generated income to the athletes. Even UFC’s rival promotion, Bellator pays an astonishing 44.7% of its income to its fighters and UFC gives a mere 16%.

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Not just Jones and Ngannou, fighters like Paulo Costa and Sean O’Malley, and more recently, Luke Rockhold showed their frustration on the social media platforms.

John McCarthy is not expecting a return to UFC ever again

McCarthy has officiated some of the iconic fights in the UFC. ‘Big John’ joined UFC’s rival promotion Bellator after his retirement from the promotion in 2018. In an interview given to Luke Thomas from Sirius XM, the veteran referee detailed what pushed him to take that decision.

“The truth is, I got hurt back in July 2017,” McCarthy said. “I got hurt bad. During training, I was grappling with some guys to the point I got held in a choke I was letting a guy do, but he wasn’t doing it right. I was fine after and the next day, I was a mess. It screwed me up. It ended up crushing a couple of my discs and breaking them off.”

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“I ended up having a couple of surgeries off of it and that’s why I was gone for a bit. I couldn’t even move my arm. If you’re asking me if I’ve officiated my last UFC fight, I don’t think the UFC wants a Bellator commentator officiating their fights. That’s totally understandable. Have I officiated my last UFC fight? As of right now, yeah,” he added.

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McCarthy certainly knows a thing or two about how an MMA promotion works. He is probably the first referee to speak openly about a fighter’s compensation.

What did you make of his comments? Let us know.

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

552 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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