Former mixed martial arts veteran referee Big John McCarthy wasn’t a fan of the Nate Diaz doctor stoppage at UFC 244 as he believes the fight could have gone on.
Diaz and Jorge Masvidal collided in their BMF title fight headliner last weekend in a fight that was largely dominated by the latter. Diaz suffered cuts, was dropped multiple times and was bloodied during the first three rounds.
And just before the start of the fourth round, the doctor called an end to the fight due to a cut near Diaz’s eye. That news didn’t go well with the crowd or fans watching at home, as the doctor has since received multiple threats online.
While in reality, it was the right call because safety is paramount, McCarthy believes in certain situations — especially big fights — some leeway should be given:
“I watched that fight. It drives me crazy because referees many times — and Dan Miragliotta did nothing wrong, absolutely zero — but people need to understand that ringside physicians, they’re doctors,” McCarthy said in a recent podcast (via BJ Penn). “And New York is crazy heavy in the ringside physician has a lot of power. And that’s because of what occurred with Magomed (Abdusalamov) in boxing and the injury he sustained and they were sued. The doctors, they’re very doctor-heavy, guys get checked before. The referee actually has to have the doctor there when they’re doing their rules meetings. It’s to the point of almost ridiculous in some ways.
“As a referee, I can’t tell you how many times I controlled the ringside physician. I would have a guy who’s cut and the doctor was like, ‘Eh, I think we need to stop this.’ I’d say, ‘Alright, hold on, I want you to think about this. It’s a big fight, both these guys are fighting hard. Yes, he’s cut, I see it, I know its a good cut. These fans came here for this fight. Let’s see if we can let him go another round, let’s see what happens. If it increases in any way, I’ll stop the fight and bring him over to you.’ You do that because the doctor wants to take care of the fighter. That’s what they do.”
McCarthy then pointed to some examples of big fights that went on despite one of the participants having serious cuts:
“You can go and look. Tyson Fury had his championship fight in Vegas,” McCarthy explained.”Look at his cuts on him. He had a cut on his eyelid, that’s always bad. Then he had a huge one above it and that fight went 12 rounds. Jon Jones when he fought Alexander Gustafsson (at UFC 165), I had the doctor telling me, ‘We need to stop the fight.’ That fight didn’t stop. There’s reasons why.
“Sometimes you gotta control that guy, tell him, ‘Hey, we’re here working together, I’ll bring him over to you.’ It’s unfortunate (Diaz vs. Masvidal) was stopped. It was totally within the doctor’s rights and Dan (Miragliotta) did nothing wrong. But I wish it would have been handled where someone was there and said, ‘Hey, let’s think about this and try to give him one more round if we can.’”
Do you agree with Big John?