John McCarthy will be entering an Octagon for the first time since late 2007 this Sunday at “UFC on Versus: Jones vs. Matyushenko.” “Big John” briefly retired from refereeing, but returned to work Affliction and Strikeforce shows after an 11-month hiatus.

Even though McCarthy has been back in the game for nearly two years, none of the athletic commissions have requested his services for any Zuffa,LLC, events until the California finally gave him the nod.

During his retirement, McCarthy had voiced some strong opinions about the sport, which drew the ire of UFC president Dana White. The brash promoter admitted they were no longer chummy and has since gone out of his way to dub Herb Dean as “the best referee in the sport’s history.”

Although Big John is in Dana’s doghouse, White claims he’s had nothing to do with McCarthy’s exile from the Octagon. The UFC is not allowed to protest refereeing assignments and the CSAC will have the final call on which bouts he’s going to officiate inside the San Diego Sports Arena.