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Synopsis

An intimate profile of the legendary mixed martial arts (MMA) referee, this first full-length autobiography of pop culture icon “Big” John McCarthy details every aspect of his life-from his strong-handed Los Angeles upbringing to his involvement in the naming of the sport, his role in its regulation, and MMA’s rise in stature. The narrative follows “Big” John through his 22-year career as a Los Angeles police officer, where he taught recruits arrest and control procedures as well as survival tactics, then his 15-year career as MMA’s premier official in the chain-linked cage. A fixture of the sport, “Big” John started refereeing at UFC 2 in 1994 when MMA was in its infancy and went on to officiate at every major UFC event but two until 2007. Following a one-year hiatus as a color commentator and on-camera analyst for MMA and boxing events, he returned to MMA refereeing in 2008. In his own words, "Big" John relates his insider’s perspective from the midst of many of the sport’s greatest moments-from Tito Ortiz–Ken Shamrock I at UFC 40 in 2002 to Randy Couture–Tim Sylvia at UFC 68 in March of 2007-along with his account of the birth of the sport in America, its evolution, and MMA’s ongoing struggles for acceptance.

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