'Big' John McCarthy Faces Big Obstacles in Nevada

Those hoping to see "Big" John McCarthy ref an MMA match in the state of Nevada soon will probably have to wait a while.

FanHouse recently spoke to Keith Kizer, the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, about McCarthy's status in the state, and it appeared as though the commission was in no rush of reinstating arguably one of the greatest referees in MMA history.

"We have him and about 40 other people pending. It's just a matter of when there's the next opening and then we look at the applications and go from there," Kizer said.

"There could be an opening in a month; there could be an opening in about three years."

McCarthy retired from refereeing in December 2007 to pursue a career in television. During his time away from the cage, he criticized some of the decisions made by the NSAC with regards to judging and officiating, and some believe that is why he has yet to be reinstated by the commission.

In March, McCarthy told Sherdog why he felt the need to criticize the commission during his time away from refereeing:

"I had a criticism toward people being put into place as far as officiating. I have a problem when you have an official who is put into place to have an impact on the sport I love when they don't understand the sport, when they don't understand what the fighters are doing. They understand someone getting hit in the face. They don't understand the manipulations of the ground game and who is winning the fight. I probably should've shut my mouth because I've got a big mouth, and it's got me in a lot of trouble, but it's the truth. I want everyone to understand what is really happening in the sport so they can make educated decisions and judgments."

When asked if McCarthy's past criticism of the NSAC will come into play when his application is being evaluated, Kizer simply stated: "I don't know."

McCarthy, who is currently licensed to work in California, Ohio, Utah, and jurisdictions in Canada, applied for reinstatement on Sept. 10. He is the most famous referee in the sport and still one of the most well-respected. In a time when officiating has become a hot topic in MMA, one would think the most powerful commission in America would jump at the chance to bring him back. Apparently not.

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