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As far as one upsmanship moves go the UFC and Bellator have been providing fun drama for fans. The latest salvo comes from “the junior circuit”BELLATOR. Late last month their network SPIKE TV; which was being re-branded as THE PARAMOUNT NETWORK announced they were not resigning long time color analyst JIMMY SMITH. Speculation was immediate on whether the UFC would add to their crazy list of announcers by signing him. He went on THE JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE then just this past Monday spoke with ARIEL HELWANI hinting by the end of the week it would be resolved.

Well before he’s had a chance to announce where he’s going; BELLATOR has momentarily grabbed the spotlight back. They’ve announced that starting on January 20th while the UFC is having 220 in Boston, and they’re in Los Angeles having 192/LA; legendary referee BIG JOHN MCCARTHY is joining their broadcast team. This announcement has shook the MMA world. His knowledge, abilities, and status are going to be missed tremendously. Now he hasn’t announced he’s retiring fully from being the 3rd man in the cage; but it would be hard to imagine him refereeing a UFC fight and broadcasting for BELLATOR. Companies don’t hire the refs. State athletic commissions place them; so it could be a possibility of happening. As a matter of fact the very next day he’s judging a boxing event in LA. He said being licensed in Nevada might be on his radar; as is working smaller events. After the announcement came down he appeared on THE LUKE THOMAS SHOW on SIRIUS/XM. He told Luke this was one of 4 options he had to severely cut down on his officiating. When asked why he needed to, he said he sustained a serious back injury to his spine that he’s still dealing with.

Bellator in 2017 didn’t just sign fighters, and now 2018 the path continues. He now joins former UFC play-by-play man MIKE GOLDBERG, and MAURO RANALLO; who does all combat sports cage side. He’ll be doing color commentary; splitting time with CHAEL SONNEN. The former police officer; McCarthy, said there’s no one classier than SCOTT COKER he’d rather work with. He briefly in 2007 dabbled in broadcasting but went back to being inside the cage. Being a broadcaster; whether its color or even more so play-by-play is some of the hardest things to do. Great announcers make it look easy as many have failed and failed miserably; (i.e. DENNIS MILLER). He will continue to run his refereeing school, teach seminars, possibly write another book. So without him in the cage who picks up the slack? HERB DEAN and DAN MIRAGLIOTTA are 2 and 3. It’s safe to assume they’d get the lions share with TODD ANDERSON, MIKE BELTRAN, KEITH PETERSON, and MARIO YAMASAKI getting more work. It also may open up some work for retired UFC fighter turned referee FRANK TRIGG to see some action in bigger companies.

So while DC and VOLKAN, STIPE and FRANCIS beat each other up in Boston; there’s now a reason to listen/watch the Bellator card in LA.



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