John McCarthy, one of the most well-known referees in combat sports, will join the broadcast team for Bellator 192, the promotion announced. They also confirmed that Chael Sonnen will receive an extension to remain part of future Bellator broadcasts.
Bellator 192 takes place next Saturday night on the Paramount Network and features welterweight champion Douglas Lima defending his title vs. Rory MacDonald. Sonnen will also meet Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in a quarterfinal round bout in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix.
“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.”
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) January 9, 2018
McCarthy has spent the past 20 years working in MMA, officiating some of the biggest fights during that time. He is a former Los Angeles Police Officer and a self-defense instructor at the Los Angeles Police Academy.
“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.”
Sonnen will join up with Mike Goldberg and Mauro Ranallo for future events as an announcer.