Big John McCarthy is not one to shy away from offering up his opinion regarding fighter conduct inside the cage. This time was no different, as he expressed that Jason High was punished "very harshly" for a crime that was "pretty minimal."
"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." McCarthy told Submission Radio.
McCarthy, who was not the referee in the octagon that night, explained that the punishment that the welterweight fighter received far outweighed the crime he committed. He also added that, had Jon Jones been in this situation, it would have been handled very differently by the UFC brass.
"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 and I'm not saying, you know, Dana is, he's slamming his foot down, going don't do that, you're embarrassing me, you're embarrassing my promotion, you're embarrassing the sport, I can't have that. 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 I understand why, I'm not saying that he should, but Jason got punished in a harsh fashion. 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"
While High did shove referee Kevin Mulhall in a frustrated reaction after his loss, McCarthy believes he should not have his career ruined over one emotional mistake. Big John would have opted for a modest fine and a five-month suspension for High, instead of the release from the promotion and a 1-year suspension from the New Mexico State Athletic Commission.
"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."