If referee Keith Peterson saw Jon Jones' broken toe at UFC 159 and stopped the bout, therefore awarding Chael Sonnen the 205-pound title and drawing a shove from a frustrated "Bones," would UFC President Dana White have kicked Jones out of the promotion and issued him a lifetime ban?
Not a chance, according to veteran referee "Big" John McCarthy.
In fact, the longtime man in back tells Submission Radio that Jason High -- who two-handed referee Kevin Mulhall after a controversial stoppage against Raphael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 42 -- was likely acting on emotion, as well as adrenaline, and the infraction shouldn't be treated as a premeditated attack.
"Absolutely there has to be varying degrees of punishment, but it has to be a punishment that is, you know, it evenly matches the crime, and the crime was pretty minimal. Jason put his hands on Kevin and kinda pushed him away. It was wrong. To be taken out of the UFC - I understand what Dana White is doing... Now the question is, if Jon Jones would have done the same thing, would he have kicked Jon Jones out of the UFC? He wouldn't have. Now on top of, you know Dana removing him from the UFC, the New Mexico State Athletic commission has, you know suspended him for 1 year. That's one year of time that he cannot make a living fighting. That's a lot. You know, you're having people take away your ability to make a living, based on one act. Sometimes we as human beings, we do things off of emotion that we normally wouldn't do. Do I think he should have been punished? Yes. He should have had his hand slapped, he should have gotten, you know a five month suspension, he should have been fined, we'll say twenty-five hundred, five thousand dollars. That's gonna hurt him, he's gonna feel it, but I think that overall Jason got treated very harshly for what happened."
High was suspended for one year by Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) and fined $1900 for his Albuquerque attack, and subsequently cut by UFC. Naturally, that drew the ire of "The Kansas City Bandit," who accused the promotion of pushing steroids, rather than referees.