MSAC denies local ref at UFC 118

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

When the UFC comes to Boston for the first time on Saturday night, many of the area’s best fighters will be on display.

Yet, one individual who helped lead the mixed martial arts charge in the commonwealth, referee Kevin MacDonald, will have no part in UFC 118, and some are disappointed in that.

A Watertown resident, MacDonald has refereed in the Bay State for nearly a decade, presiding over more than 1,100 bouts in Massachusetts. This year, he was one of six MMA referees and their training programs recognized as being the best in North America.

Like any MMA ref, MacDonald’s goal is to make it to the big-time.

A father of two and a Watertown fireman, he thought his dream would be realized when he received an e-mail in late July congratulating him on being selected to ref in UFC 118.

However, two hours later, he received a phone call notifying him he wasn’t selected. Even more shocking, according to MacDonald, was the reasoning why.

“I talked to (Massachusetts State Athletic Commissioner) Todd Grossman the next day, and he told me I was not a team player,” MacDonald said. “I’m very concerned and very unhappy that personal grievances and personality issues are getting in the way of whoever is the most qualified for a job.

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