'Not While I Was Refereeing' – John McCarthy Calls Out Unnoticed Issues With Israel Adesanya At UFC 293
‘Big’ John McCarthy wouldn’t have let Israel Adesanya walk out to the Octagon without making a massive change.
Adesanya lost the UFC middleweight title to Sean Strickland in the UFC 293 main event last weekend. It was one of the biggest upsets in UFC history after the reigning champion Adesanya entered the fight as a significant betting favorite.
Trash talk and mind games ramped up ahead of Adesanya vs. Strickland. Adesanya usually gets his nails done ahead of his fights, which was continuously mocked in the buildup by Strickland.
Adesanya entered the Octagon with long fingernails, which McCarthy wouldn’t have let slide if he was officiating the fight.
Related: Coach Eric Nicksick Gets Emotional Discussing Journey With Sean Strickland, Gives Massive Props To His Girlfriend For Title Win
‘Big’ John McCarthy Questions Israel Adesanya’s Long Nails At UFC 293
After one follower asked him if Adesanya’s long fingernails at UFC 293 were legal, ‘Big’ John McCarthy answered.
Nope, not while I was refereeing. Those need to be cut short. https://t.co/skqObch7L5
— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) September 14, 2023
“Not while I was refereeing,” McCarthy answered. “Those need to be cut short.”
Referee Marc Goddard allowed Adesanya to keep his long fingernails in the Octagon, and luckily Strickland didn’t suffer a significant slash as a result. Strickland went on to win the fight by unanimous decision and arguably didn’t get outclassed in a single round.
McCarthy was one of the most respected officials during his career and has transitioned well as a top analyst for Bellator. During his officiating run, he oversaw some of the biggest fights in UFC history.
An immediate rematch between Adesanya and Strickland could be on the horizon, and whoever is slated to officiate the fight will likely make sure Adesanya’s nails are cut short.
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