‘Big’ John McCarthy Joins Bellator Commentary Team

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Photo credit: Zuffa LLC

Now that Jimmy Smith has departed from Bellator MMA, the promotion has officially announced who will be serving as the color commentator for their first event of the new year.

The promotion announced on Tuesday morning via a press release that they have come to an agreement with longtime referee John McCarthy to serve as the color commentator. His first time on the team will be at Bellator 192. 

According to the release, he will also “provide a unique level of first-hand insight to the plethora of original content” produced by their digital team.

It was also announced that former UFC title contender and current Bellator star Chael Sonnen had signed an extension with the promotion to remain a part of select broadcasts. Sonnen and McCarthy will split events. 

Bellator 192 is set to take place on Saturday, January 20, 2018, at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

The preliminary card will air online at 6:00 pm EST while the main card will air on Paramount Network at 8:00 PM EST.

Douglas Lima defends the welterweight title against Rory MacDonald in the main event while Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Sonnen in a Heavyweight Grand Prix Quarter Final bout will serve as the co-main event.

Rounding out the main card is Michael Chandler vs. Goiti Yamauchi in a lightweight bout, Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Henry Corrales in a featherweight bout and Aaron Pico vs. Shane Kruchten in a featherweight bout.

“With the addition of ‘Big’ John to our broadcast team, we have put together the premier group of MMA commentators ahead of our Jan. 20 debut on the Paramount Network,” Bellator President Scott Coker said.

“With John and Chael providing analysis, you’re getting two people who have spent more time in the cage than they have spent with a headset on, and that will translate to a positive viewing experience for Bellator fans.”

“I first want to say how grateful I am for the opportunity I have been given to work with the incredible team Bellator has assembled. It is always so hard to leave something you love, but I have always wanted to step away based on my terms rather than someone else’s. My goals are to work as hard as I can to meet the expectations everyone will have for me and to hopefully someday exceed them.” McCarthy said.

“I cannot think of anyone I would rather be working with than Scott Coker. Scott has always been a person I admire because of his honesty, loyalty and love for the martial arts. I want to thank everyone from Bellator and Viacom for the trust you are bestowing upon me to keep the commentating of Bellator MMA at the highest levels of the sport.”