Former MMA referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy has weighed in on Kamaru Usman’s stunning KO defeat in his rematch against Leon Edwards. Addressing the same, McCarthy segued into explaining the reason behind the downfall of several dominant champions.
In an edition of the Weighing In podcast, McCarthy and former UFC lightweight Josh Thomson broke down the Usman-Edwards rematch. McCarthy alluded to Usman’s dominant reign as the UFC welterweight champion and claimed that most people can’t understand the intensity of the things thrown at champions who’ve dominated their foes for a long time.
John McCarthy indicated that most of these champions happen to be young and relatively inexperienced but have to face the challenges of being an incredibly successful person.
He opined that some people can’t handle the responsibilities that come with success, whereas others keep making mistakes but still continue to win. Additionally, he insinuated that only a select few dominant champions learn how to deal with success. McCarthy stated:
“People – and I don’t wanna say normal people – but normal people, like me, you have no f**king concept of what is thrown towards that fighter. And at the age of 30, 28, 29, 30, 31, how you deal with that. I tell people I don’t think I would’ve dealt with it well either.”
McCarthy further stated:
“I wasn’t mature enough at that time to deal with that kind of influence, that kind of things that are coming my way, that freedom, that, ‘Ooh, you can do anything you want.’ It’s hard for someone to deal with that in the proper fashion. That, sometimes, is the start of the downfall of a lot of guys.”
Watch McCarthy discuss the topic at 33:55 in the video below:
When John McCarthy warned Kamaru Usman against the one gameplan that could backfire against Leon Edwards
Kamaru Usman defeated Leon Edwards via unanimous decision in 2015. Their rematch witnessed Edwards beat Usman via a head kick KO in round five to win the UFC welterweight title on Saturday night.
Leading up to the rematch, John McCarthy had specifically outlined the only gameplan that Usman could implement at UFC 278 that might spectacularly backfire.
On a past edition of the Weighing In podcast, McCarthy highlighted that Edwards is incredibly skilled and a better striker. He advised Usman to out-wrestle and beat Edwards the way he did in their first fight, discouraging him from engaging in a striking war with the Brit. McCarthy said:
“That’s a mistake he does not need to lead himself down to, he needs to be the complete mixed martial artist. Use your wrestling, you know how, you’ve beat him before, go back to that blueprint because it worked the first time.”
Watch McCarthy’s assessment below:
However, Usman fell in love with his hands and that slip cost him the world title and his undefeated UFC record.