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21st Feb 2016

Referee John McCarthy explains why he didn’t stop Kimbo Slice v Dada 5000 sooner

"Do something"

Ben Kiely

John McCarthy was just as bemused at Bellator 149’s co-main event as everyone else.

Anyone who tuned into Kimbo Slice v Dad 5000 know exactly how awful the fight turned out to be. While no one was really expecting an elite level MMA contest, the shockingly low standard did catch some people off guard, including the man who refereed the fight, who shared his pain to MMA Fighting.

“I honestly thought it would be over within the first round and you know, when we got to the end of the first round, I thought, ‘Oh my God, this thing’s going to go all three rounds.'”

The lack of action on the canvas meant that there were a lot of standups, which is not something fans are used to seeing in a fight in such a big promotion. McCarthy explained that there was nothing he could do but get the fight back standing at certain points.

“I always tell them, ‘I’m going to stand you up unless you do something. I’m telling Kimbo, ‘Kimbo, do something.’ And he’s just tired. He’s not trying to punch, he’s not trying to go for a submission, he’s just trying to catch breath and let time go by.”

The find ended on a sour note with the revelation that Dada 5000 went into critical condition in hospital after being knocked out by Slice. While McCarthy obviously doesn’t wish such a fate on the fighter, he argued it was his job to call what he was seeing in front of him. He felt it wasn’t his fault that Dada 5000 ended up in such a state after the bout.

“There was never anything that landed that was hard. They didn’t hit each other with any hard shots. … Look, there are people that paid money to see this fight. This is not just about you laying on somebody because you’re both tired. That’s your fault for coming into the fight in that condition.”