Long time MMA referee John McCarthy has been suffering thru some injuries and this is his main reason for heading to the broadcast booth. One of his injuries even left him paralyzed on one side of his body.
he said he “destroyed” the C5, C6 and C7 vertebra. The discs were broken apart and pinching down, crushing nerves. McCarthy went in for surgery in August, but the pain and burning continued.
“The nerves that were leading into my arms just were crushed,” McCarthy said. “My thumbs were completely numb, my fingers were numb. I had that burn coming down from my shoulders.
“It just was a serious problem.”
McCarthy had another surgery in September. The vertebra were fused, he said, and spacers were put in to protect the nerves. He said now he feels “great,” but he understands that he cannot do the same things he used to do, including a lot of rolling jiu-jitsu and technique as a referee in the cage.
“I’m not the same person,” McCarthy said. “I used to be able to do things, I could grab someone and pick them up. Those days are gone for me. … It taught me a lesson and it made me realize how fast I can absolutely lose what I love doing.”
“You gotta take chances in this world,” McCarthy said. “There was no place for me to go in the officiating world. I mean, I loved what I did. But I didn’t want to be the guy that hung on too long and I didn’t want to fall. I didn’t want to start going down and I didn’t want someone telling me, ‘Man, you need to get out, you’re not doing things right.’ It was a chance for me to get out on my own terms.”
Big john will start his new job at Bellator 192