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John McCarthy’s net worth in 2021

John McCarthy net worth, John McCarthy's 2021 net worth, John McCarthy's net worth in 2021

Known as the godfather of UFC refereeing, John McCarthy is a legendary figure for MMA fans as he has been in the business since UFC 2. In this article, we will take a look at John McCarthy’s net worth in 2021.

Net Worth $1 million
Age 59
Salary Retired
Sponsors N/A
Profession MMA Referee

John McCarthy’s Net Worth in 2021 (estimate): $1 million

John McCarthy net worth, John McCarthy's 2021 net worth, John McCarthy's net worth in 2021

John McCarthy’s net worth in 2021 is just $1 million. The value is definitely surprising considering that he has been in the business since 1994 and he has refereed over 100 events a year. This is according to numerous reputable outlets, including Celebrity Net Worth.

He revealed in a 2015 podcast that he earns as little as $400 for a lower level fight. He also said that he was only paid $1,900 for his refereeing the championship fight between Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo. In comparison, the lowest-paid UFC fighters make at least $10,000 a fight.

Despite that, he has become one of the premier and pioneering referees in the MMA industry. Before that, the Los Angeles native served as a police officer in the Los Angeles Police Department from 1985 to 2007.

Standing at 6 ft 3 in and 260 lbs, John McCarthy was given the nickname “Big John” by UFC co-founder Art Davie. He has trained in multiple forms of self-defense which is why he served as a tactical self-defense instructor for the Los Angeles Police Academy.

Prior to joining the UFC, McCarthy was hired to be a bodyguard for Royce Gracie and he was watching from the sidelines when Gracie won UFC 1. He was then invited to become a referee for UFC 2, and the rest was history.

Back then, there weren’t many rules in the UFC and McCarthy and the other referees were basically tasked to supervise the fight and end it if a fighter taps out, gets knocked out, or their corner throws in the towel.

Because of this, the mainstream audiences thought that the sports seemed too brutal. John McCarthy then suggested rules, and those rules are still in the guidelines that they use up to this day. The Unified Rules that McCarthy was a big part of is now recognized by the ABC and Athletic Commissions across North America.

Big John McCarthy has been the senior referee in the UFC from UFC 2 until UFC 77 before he briefly retired. Upon his retirement, he became a TV commentator for the Fight Network and Affliction before returning to referee in the UFC again.

His return to the UFC lasted until 2018 when he officially retired from refereeing. After retiring, he joined Bellator MMA and is now a regular broadcaster with the promotion.

“I will never not miss being a referee,” he told ESPN. “Look, I’m getting older. I have a bad neck. I’m all messed up and it’s giving me problems. I didn’t want to do as many shows. I didn’t want to travel near as much as I was, so this let me slow things down.”

He cited that the only breaks he had were Thanksgiving and Christmas, and being away from his family was a big factor for him in deciding to retire.

When John McCarthy announced that he would transition to broadcasting, many people were shocked as most of the MMA analysts were former fighters.

“My knowledge is different in the fact that I know the rules inside and out — I wrote them,” he says. “I’m going to look at the fights maybe a little bit different than they will because they are going off of what they like to do. And I don’t care what I like to do. I care what the fighters are doing. I’m going to talk about why they are being successful and what the other guy needs to do to stop that success.”

Aside from being the pioneer referee in the UFC, John McCarthy is also well known for his catchphrase “Let’s Get It On!”, which he shouts right before the fight starts.

And despite being one of the first referees in the UFC, he wasn’t tied to the promotion as he also refereed for other promotions all over the globe such as K-1, Strikeforce, Affliction, Bellator, King of the Cage, among others.

For his work as a referee, John McCarthy was awarded the Referee of the Year award for three straight years (2015-2017) at the World MMA Awards.

Aside from his refereeing, he has also opened his MMA school in 2006 in Valencia, California. However, he sold the school in December 2015.

In 2008, he started a referee and judging course for MMA officials called COMMAND (Certification of Officials for Mixed Martial Arts National Development).

On September 1, 2011, John McCarthy published an autobiography titled “Let’s Get It On – The Making of MMA and its Ultimate Referee”.

John McCarthy has also appeared in cameos in TV and films such as the sitcom Friends and the movie Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown.

Despite not being related to the UFC anymore, John McCarthy still shares his insights every now and then. Most recently regarding referee Vyacheslav Kiselev and the mistakes that he made at UFC 267.