On Nov. 12, 1993, Art Davie and Rorion Gracie introduced American audiences the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a strange contraption called the Octagon, and a sport that would go on to become known as mixed martial arts. The rest is history. “Big” John McCarthy didn’t referee any of the fights that night – that would wouldn’t happen until four months later, at UFC 2 – but he did play a key role in that groundbreaking event: he was the training partner for Royce Gracie, the first UFC champ. In part two of this FIGHT! Life series, “Big” John takes us behind the scenes of the night that changed sports history.
Produced and directed by Matthew Ross. Camera: Rick Lee. Assistant Camera: Diego Helguero and Anthony Williams. Edit: Ashley Cahill and Ryan Jackson-Healy. Music: Jacques Brautbar.