UFC News: John McCarthy explains who is to blame for the Greg Hardy fiasco
Retired MMA referee John McCarthy recently spoke to MMAFighting regarding the recent UFC on Fox 6 fight between Greg Hardy and Ben Sosoli. The Heavyweight fight was overturned from a three-round Unanimous Decision win for Hardy into a no-contest after the former NFL player was seen using an inhaler between second and third rounds.
John McCarthy blamed the inspector that was stationed in the corner, who was supposed to prevent such things from happening.
“The person that has knowledge, the person that is responsible for that corner is the inspector. The Massachusetts State Athletic Commission assigned that person to that corner for that fight. He is the representative, he is the arm of the commission and Greg Hardy didn’t do anything other than ask, ‘Can I use my inhaler?’ [The inspector] asked the question of, ‘Is it approved?’ What is Hardy thinking, he’s thinking, ‘All my drugs have to go through USADA’ and so he goes, ‘Yeah, it’s USADA-approved.’ And [the inspector] gives permission—he should never have done that—to the fighter to use the inhaler, so the fighter uses it."
Big John clarified that Hardy didn't mean to cheat as he was seen asking his camp whether he was allowed to use the inhaler before he did.
“Did Greg Hardy try to cheat? No. He’s asking in front of everyone, ‘Can I use this?’ So everything that you’re looking at, no matter what, goes down to one person. It was that inspector who allowed him to do that. That inspector did not know the rules and that inspector created the entire situation. All he needed to say is, ‘I don’t know. Don’t do that. Let me find out.’”
McCarthy also revealed what Bryan Milner - the official tasked of overseeing the Hardy/Sosoli fight - could have done in this scenario. He also admitted that it's sometimes impossible to catch anything out of the ordinary between the short breaks between rounds.
“If I was officiating, as soon as that round ends, if I have someone that I’m concerned with, I’m watching them walk back to their corner and I’m going to look at them and see how they’re interacting with their trainer. I’m not going to say anything to them, but I’m just going to watch and listen and if I need to say something, I’ll say something real quick, and then I’ll bounce over to the other corner. There are all kinds of things that can happen in 15, 20, 30 seconds in one corner that you don’t know about.”
It has been confirmed that Greg Hardy's inhaler usage was not given a seal of approval by the MSAC, which is why the decision was taken to change the outcome of the fight.
Carolyn Assa, Massachusetts State Athletic Commission's (MSAC) spokesperson, clarified that the inhaler was not approved by the commission before the fight. However, Hardy argued that he and his camp had asked the commission about using the inhaler during the fight and they were given the green signal.
He claimed his innocence on the grounds of being new to the sport and added that he has used the inhaler for a long time due to exercise-induced Asthma.
All the controversy aside, Hardy has learned his lesson now. He needs to put this incident behind him and move on.