LOS ANGELES (AP) — Veteran mixed martial arts referee John McCarthy is moving into broadcasting as a color commentator for the Bellator promotion.

Bellator announced the hiring Tuesday for its fights on the Paramount Network, formerly Spike.

McCarthy is among the best-known referees in MMA, officiating countless big fights for the UFC, Bellator and other promotions. He also is likely the most experienced referee in the young sport after some 20 years in the cage.

He most recently officiated Khabib Nurmagomedov’s victory over Edson Barboza at UFC 219 last month.

McCarthy indicated he is unlikely to continue refereeing with his new job.

McCarthy joins a Bellator broadcast team including longtime UFC announcer Mike Goldberg, active Bellator fighter Chael Sonnen and play-by-play commentator Mauro Ranallo.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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