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‘Big’ John McCarthy rips Brandon Fitzgerald for failed UFC history lesson: ‘What a bunch of horses—t’


“Big” John McCarthy wasn’t amused by Brendan Fitzgerald’s recent slip-up at UFC Atlantic City this past weekend (March 30, 2024).

UFC went away from the comfort of its APEX Facility for the luxury of New Jersey’s Boardwalk Hall and featured a women’s Flyweight main event between top contenders, Erin Blanchfield and Manon Fiorot. However, before that, there was a factual error noticed by the godfather of mixed martial arts (MMA) officiating.

UFC play-by-play commentator, Fitzgerald, stated at the event’s start that New Jersey was the first state to regulate MMA. This didn’t sit well with McCarthy, who clarified the history.

“Really? What a bunch of horses—t that line is,” McCarthy said in a video clip on Twitter. “How many times do you see people talking about commentary, and, ‘Hey, do your homework,’ and stuff like that? If you’re gonna put that out, you better make sure it’s right.

“No,” he continued. “There was quite a few states that regulated MMA, okay? The first state that regulated MMA, if you’re really gonna look at it, was Mississippi. Billy Lyons was the commissioner of Mississippi. He’s the first one that ever issued me a license as someone that worked for the state athletic commission, okay? How about Iowa, was another. New Jersey was done before the Fertittas were ever owners of the UFC.”

McCarthy, 61, retired from his in-cage referee work years ago, but has remained a fixture in the community as a representative and commentator for Bellator before it was acquired by Professional Fighters League (PFL) last year.

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