Once the face of mixed martial arts (MMA) referees and often the third man inside the Octagon for high-profile Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fights, "Big" John McCarthy hasn't stepped foot inside a Las Vegas cage for quite some time.
Why, you ask?
According to McCarthy himself, it's because Keith Kizer, Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), can't seem to let go of certain comments "Big John" made three years ago during a radio interview about the judges Kizer and Co. were appointing for fights.
His words on "The MMA Hour:"
"Keith got mad at me when I left and I did an interview and I said, basically, at the time, I thought he was putting some people in positions to judge fights that didn't understand actually what the fighters were doing, and that's wrong. I said that and I stood by it. He got mad, and from that he has never licensed me again. And that's okay. That's his choice. I'm not going sit there and cry about it and worry about it. I work where people want me to work, I work all over the world. And if I don't work in Nevada, then that is their choice and that's okay, they have that ability. But, I have nothing to do with it. I have people that say, ‘Well, he hasn't even applied.' Well, I went, I put in the application and received a letter back from them that says they have a full complement of referees and that my application will stay on file. That has been three years."
According to McCarthy, he has already called Mr. Kizer and apologized in attempts to make things right between the two, but he has yet to receive a call to work fights in Nevada.
Nevertheless, the long-time MMA official has called plenty of fights for the UFC and other MMA promotions, too. But, for those of you hoping to hear those famous words, "Let's get it on," during big title bouts in fights held in the fight capitol of the world, don't hold your breath.
And you thought Dana White was good at holding grudges.