Confirming speculation running throughout the past week, UFC mainstay "Big" John McCarthy announced during a media conference Friday that he will be stepping down from officiating to focus on a new broadcast career with the Fight Network. McCarthy, a former Los Angeles Police Officer, was enlisted by Rorion Gracie to referee the second Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1994. Since then, he has overseen more than 500 mixed martial arts matches. His last appearance as a contracted employee of a state athletic commission will be Saturday's "Ultimate Fighter 6" finale. Speaking to journalists following the announcement, McCarthy said that his desire to play a more active role in the growth of MMA is what prompted his decision. "The biggest problem is, I can't do both," he said. "I can't referee and take a new step in the broadcast field … [it could be looked upon] as a conflict of interests, so I had to make a choice."