Steve Cofield reports on the problematic refereeing at UFC 96 and Dana White's outraged response at the post-fight press conference:
The officiating inside the cage at UFC 96 was a big topic in the aftermath. Referee Rick Fike started the night off in dubious fashion and Yves Lavigne almost got Pete Sell killed. That prompted UFC president Dana White to go on a tirade. He's so unhappy with the state of officiating in mixed martial arts that he stated there's only three good referees. And even those guys, he had trouble recalling.
In his rant, Dana names Herb Dean as a quality referee (can't argue there), Mario Yamasaki, says Steve Mazzagatti is NOT but leaves one name noticably unmentioned -- the consensus best referree in the history of MMA: Big John McCarthy.
There simply are not enough top-notch experienced referees in the world for the UFC to continue blackballing McCarthy. I don't care what the man said while he was commenting for the Fight Network, there is too much at stake for Dana to keep the best referee in the biz out of the Octagon.
According to Big John its up to the Athletic Commissions and the UFC.
Do the right thing Dana, bring back Big John: