Jon Jones is heading into the cage with Daniel Cormier this Saturday, but there will be a third wheel in referee John McCarthy, and Jones isn't too happy.
"I would prefer any other referee but him," Jones said at a UFC press luncheon last week.
McCarthy is widely known as one of the best referees in the sport, having been in the game since the early days. He's also been the referee in two of Jones' previous bouts, but that doesn't make Jones feel better.
"I don't feel like we have the best energy," he said. "It's an accumulation of some of the things that happened during some fights and just personal interactions. I just don't feel you don't need anything stacking up against you when you're fighting a great fighter like DC."
He continued on to say that he thinks McCarthy should withdraw out of respect.
"This is everything to me, and if I don't agree with his energy that he brings to the fight, if I was him, I wouldn't want to be a part of it," he said. "You know what I mean? If you're not welcome, why would you even want to be part of someone's big night who doesn't want you there. I would say, ‘you know, I'll back out of this one, I don't need to be a part of this one.'"
That ain't happening, Jones. Sorry.
It's highly unlikely the commission would remove a referee at a fighters request, and seeing as McCarthy is probably the best at what he does it seems like the right choice to me.
Jones faces Cormier at UFC 200 this Saturday.
(Image via MMAWeekly.com)