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John McCarthy says Lorenzo Fertitta was ‘the greatest thing UFC had’

John McCarthy has seen almost all there is to see in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA).

The long-time referee has been part of the combat universe for what seems to be an eternity. He was present for the early days of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and now holds a commentator role with Bellator MMA. If you don’t know who “Big” John McCarthy is then you probably aren’t reading this article.

Needless to say, McCarthy’s opinion is respected around these parts. So when the former referee recently spoke about the current state of UFC and how the absence of former CEO Lorenzo Fertitta is dramatically affecting the promotion fight fans took immediate notice.

Remember, Fertitta and company sold UFC for $4.2 billion to WME-IMG back in July 2016

“The greatest thing that the UFC had was Lorenzo Fertitta,” McCarthy said during an appearance on the JRE MMA Show podcast (shown above). “I’m just being honest. Dana White was fantastic for the UFC as far as his work effort and the amount of work he put into it and non-stop just going after deals, trying to make things happen.”

“He was the workhorse for it, but Lorenzo is the brains behind it. And the loss of him is great. You’ve already seen things.”

Was Fertitta the glue that held it all together?

While White plays a major role in making sure everything operates smoothly, McCarthy believes that UFC has suffered since Fertitta exited from behind the wheel. The Bellator commentator points to bad pay-per-view (PPV) numbers as a significant measuring stick when discussing the impact of Fertitta’s departure.

“(Having too many events) is part of the problem,” McCarthy said. “For a while there, they were almost competing against themselves with pay-per-views. You had two pay-per-views in a month, and you went and said ‘I’ll buy that one, I’m not gonna buy that one.’”

“You can’t be in business against yourself.”

Even though White revealed back in November that 2017 was UFC’s biggest year of all time, we can all agree that the promotion is struggling to crush the PPV market. That’s due in part to the absence of former cash cows like Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, Jon Jones, and Brock Lesnar, but maybe the troubles run a little deeper.

Maybe Fertitta represented the most important mechanism in the machine.

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