‘You were wrong’: Big John McCarthy says his son botched Pimblett vs. Gordon at UFC 282

Few decisions in MMA have sparked as much recent controversy as Paddy Pimblett’s victory over Jared Gordon at UFC 282 on Saturday, December 10. But while prominent rare card judge Doug Crosby has borne the brunt of the wrath of fans and pundits for his decision to award victory to Liverpool’s rising star, there were two other men who shared the responsibility for taking that decision.

One of those men was Ron McCarthy, son of famed official MMA referee, judge and instructor ‘Big’ John McCarthy. Like Crosby and fellow judge Chris Lee, Ron McCarthy turned in a 29-28 scorecard for Paddy Pimblett. On a recent episode of the ‘Weighing In’ podcast, Big John made no exceptions to family ties when he blew up his son’s card.

“No way, Paddy Pimblett won that fight,” John McCarthy said of the co-main event at UFC 282 (transcript via MMA Mania). “My son was one of the judges and he asked me and I said: ‘You were wrong. I thought Jared Gordon won 29-28.’”

The current member of the Bellator broadcast team went on to break down how he felt the fight should have been scored, according to current judging criteria, giving the first and third rounds to Gordon. McCarthy also pointed out that his son and the other judges may have been influenced by the sheer number of people that whenever Pimblett had a moment of success.

“In the first round, Jared Gordon hit Paddy Pimblett with a left hook like he was a magnet. He hit him over and over again and left him dazed. You could see it,” he continued. “Now, Paddy had his stuff, but this can happen when you’re a judge sitting there. You’re making the crowd respond every time Paddy does something. Because honestly, Paddy didn’t hit as many times as Jared Gordon. He didn’t connect as much as Jared Gordon and the shots he did land weren’t as good.

“But when you get the crowd reaction and that’s what you’re hearing, there are moments where you’re not seeing that angle but you’re hearing the crowd reaction and it’s an influence. And I think they were influenced by what the crowd liked.”

“Jared Gordon won that first round, he won the third round, I give Paddy Pimblett the second round,” McCarthy said. “But if you go back and see that fight, that first round, a lot of people said it was very close, not that close. I’m not like one guy ran over the other, but it’s pretty clear Jared Gordon should have won that round.”

For his part, ‘The Baddy’ has vigorously defended the judges’ decision in their fight, and seems to feel there should be little controversy regarding the scores handed out.

“Everybody has an opinion, kid,” Pimblett told the assembled media during his post-fight press conference. “Opinions are idiots, you know what I mean? Everyone has one. I know I won that fight. Simple as I deal with facts, boy. And I won by unanimous decision. It’s not even like it’s a split decision. Look at his face and look at mine?! Fights are now scored based on damage. I landed a lot more damage. End of.”

Meanwhile, the Mohegan Tribe Athletic Department has opened an investigation into Crosby’s role in another recent fight, where he delivered a dissenting 50-45 scorecard to Danny Sabatello in Sabatello’s recent split decision loss to Rafeon Stots. at Bellator 289. Nothing is known yet. whether the Nevada Athletic Commission plans to review any of the scores for UFC 282.

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