John McCarthy isn’t taking a recent video released by UFC president Dana White lightly.
The video, which White released on social media Monday, targets media members and analysts for their belief the promotion should not have resumed events at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in America until proper protocols were in place.
McCarthy, alongside his podcast co-host, former UFC fighter and Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson, are featured briefly in the video – a clip McCarthy claims was taken out of context.
“Here’s a guy that says, ‘I don’t give a (expletive) about the media,’” McCarthy said on a recent episode of WEIGHING IN. “First off, I don’t even look at us as media, but that’s OK. ‘I don’t give a (expletive) about the media,’ but then he always complains about clickbait. ‘These media guys and that clickbait (expletive) they do.’ What the (expletive) did you and your little team do, man? You little clickbait (expletive). I just cracked up. I go, ‘You are so pathetic.’”
Before he addressed the contextual specifics of the clip featured in the video, McCarthy took particular exception to why he thinks the video was made. In McCarthy’s eyes, White needed to pat himself on the back.
“First off, you need to have your own little pat on the back, ‘OK, let me pat you on the back,’ because you took everything out of context and made it to where were you were the hero,” McCarthy said. “Congratulations, Hero Dana. Oh, let me bow down to you. Unbelievable. My god. When are you going to figure (it) out? You know what? Just don’t worry about it. Do you thing you did. You did great. The UFC had a fantastic year. Let’s be honest about everything that occurred and let’s be honest about your video because your video is clickbait and it’s (expletive) and it’s out of context. It’s ridiculous.”
McCarthy, the pioneering former MMA referee whose work dates back to UFC 2 and who now works in Bellator’s commentary booth, then got into specifics. McCarthy said he wasn’t anti-event at the time. He just wanted to wait until more information surfaced about COVID-19 and all it entailed.
Meanwhile, White was working to move UFC 249, which was originally scheduled for Brooklyn, New York, over at Tachi Palace Casino in Lemoore, Calif., on Native American land outside of California State Athletic Commission jurisdiction. Following a wave of criticism, the card was eventually shut down by Disney, owners of UFC promotional partner ESPN.
Eventually, the UFC sprung back to action in Jacksonville, Fla., under the auspices of Florida’s athletic commission, with proper COVID testing protocols in place. With that important distinction in place, McCarthy, along with nearly everyone else mentioned in the infamous video, came back on board.
“I was 100 percent supporting (events being held),” McCarthy said. “When he went to Jacksonville, Fla., I was one of his biggest supporters because he wasn’t doing what he was doing with the Tachi Palace and Lemoore fight that was illegal.”
McCarthy also keyed in on omissions from the selected media and analysts White targeted in the video. Longtime UFC commentator Joe Rogan voiced skepticism in attending the UFC’s initially planned events but was not featured in the video.
“It’s kind of funny that all of his little editors and everything with his video, they didn’t put Joe Rogan on there,” McCarthy said. “Do you know why? I wonder why. Let’s see. Oh, because it doesn’t look good. Because Joe Rogan said what? ‘I am not going to do any commentary. I’m not going to do any commentary but it ain’t going to be me.’ Because? He didn’t know what was going on and he was worried about stuff – and that’s OK to be worried about.”
The UFC and Bellator were facing the same issues at the time, McCarthy said. It wasn’t a matter of putting the UFC down. It was making sure things were done correctly.
“That’s the new norm,” McCarthy said. “You’re going to lose fights. They can’t keep everybody healthy. They can’t keep somebody from getting the coronavirus. But what they can do is try to keep everybody that doesn’t get it safe from the person that could possibly give it to them. That’s what really took place. They had a lot of cards get kind of smashed based on health issues. So did Bellator. All you can do is try to work through it.
“I just looked at the entire complexity of what he’s doing. It’s like, you sit there and you say, ‘I have plenty of money.’ You’re right. You do. OK, you do. And you should be comfortable enough with yourself that you don’t have to try to put something out there to pat yourself on the back. You’re kind of following people that you show that you like in that they always have to take credit.”
McCarthy praised the UFC boss for making the promotion what it is today but says he owes White nothing.
“Let me make you clear to you (expletive),” McCarthy said. “I was there a long (expletive) time before Dana White. You want to see a picture of Dana White when I first (expletive) met him. I’ll show you his little, dweeby ass. I was not brought in by Dana White. I had to work with Dana White. And I will tell you Dana White did a great job of making the UFC what it is. He worked his ass off. He deserves a ton of credit for it. But don’t think that I (expletive) owe him anything and he doesn’t owe me anything.”