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John McCarthy leaves The Fight Network and hints at possible return to officiating

Long-time mixed martial arts referee John McCarthy announced Tuesday that he is leaving Canada-based combat sports cable channel The Fight Network.

While McCarthy did not specify his exact reasons for leaving, he left indications that he was not satisfied with some of the actions of the channel’s upper management.

“To all of the higher ups that have taken over the Fight Network over the last year I only have this to say………….. Shame on you………………,” McCarthy wrote in a farewell blog on the company’s website.

McCarthy had worked with TFN on a part-time basis the past several years but elected to stop officiating fights last December in order to accept a full-time position with the company as both an ambassador and on-air commentator. At the time, McCarthy had expressed that he wanted to continue in both roles but that the Nevada State Athletic Commission informed him it was a conflict of interest.

An official since UFC 2 in 1994, McCarthy officiated his final match at last December’s live season finale for the sixth season of The Ultimate Fighter. Despite being employed by the commission, McCarthy only officiated bouts under the UFC banner.

In his final blog, McCarthy, a retired police officer and current fight gym owner, hinted that his next move could be a return to refereeing.

“A few people have said that I have attacked the UFC,” wrote McCarthy. “That is simply not true. I have never said anything bad about the UFC. I spent 14 years of my life trying to build up the UFC and make people understand how incredible the fighters of MMA were. I considered myself very lucky in the fact that I was able to be around the UFC for as long as I was and you never know maybe I will go back to refereeing and someday work another UFC.”

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