"Big" John McCarthy has been informed by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) that his first assignment since his announcement to return to active duty will be at Strikeforce: "Destruction," which is set for the HP Pavillion in San Jose, Calif., on November 21.
McCarthy -- perhaps the most recognized and respected referee in the history of mixed martial arts -- left the sport less than one year ago to work in the announcer's booth for The Fight Network. He also did the color commentary for Affliction's inaugural event in July.
Here's what he had to say about leaving the booth for a return to refereeing via Sherdog.com:
"I missed doing it. Sometimes when you walk away from something and you think it’s time, once you’re away you realize what you’re missing –- it’s kind of like why guys come back to fighting. It’s what I like doing. It’s what I was meant to do."
"Big" John was a staple in the UFC from the early days all the way through until last December. He currently has 535 career matches under his belt.
His return to the Octagon, however, will be out of his control. The athletic commission will determine when and where he is assigned work. But, with his resume and reputation it shouldn't be long before he's back in the big show officiating main events.
As far as the Strikeforce: "Destruction" event he's been assigned to first, company lightweight champion Josh "The Punk" Thomson will defend his title in the main event against Yves Edwards. And Bobby Southworth and Babalu Sobral will duke it out for Southworth's 205-pound belt in the co-featured fight of the night.
Perhaps McCarthy will get the call in either one of those important bouts.