Report: MMA Referee 'Big' John McCarthy set to retire

Big John McCarthy MMA
Perhaps the most recognized and respected referee in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), "Big" John McCarthy, will announce his retirement today, according to Yahoo!Sports.com.

Earlier this week The Fight Network distributed an advisory that "big" news would be announced tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. ET regarding the future of "Big" John and his partnership with North America's only all-combat sports channel.

It appears that his role as an analyst for The Fight Network is set to increase and his days as an official will come to and end after The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 6 Finale this weekend on December 8.

McCarthy has been inside the Octagon for some of the most high-profile events in the history of the UFC. In fact, he's officiated more than 500 MMA bouts and has worked every UFC card since UFC 2 in 1994 sans UFC 78: "Validation" last month in Newark, N.J.

McCarthy -- who has been a police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department since 1985 -- is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt who also operates his own gym in Valencia, Calif., called Big John McCarthy's Ultimate Training Academy.

We'll update this post tomorrow with more details after the conference call. For more background on McCarthy check out his official Web site right here.

(Thanks to MMAmania.com reader "Lucas" for the assist.)

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