Tennessee Commission Greenlights Referee Shadowing

By Brian Knapp Dec 11, 2009
The Tennessee Athletic Commission may have stumbled upon a valuable tool in harvesting the next generation of mixed martial arts officials.

TAC Executive Director Jeff Mullen, a former judge, confirmed on Thursday that his sanctioning body had given the green light for up-and-coming official Brian Beauchamp to shadow assigned referees Dan Miragliotta, Greg Franklin, Mario Yamasaki and Herb Dean at UFC 107 “Penn vs. Sanchez” this Saturday at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn.

Beauchamp, who studied under “Big” John McCarthy and graduated from his COMMAND referee course, has officiated matches under the Maximum Fighting Championship banner in Canada and has designs on moving into the pantheon of elite MMA referees. Mullen believes shadowing some of the more respected figures in his profession can only help his cause.

“He came up with the idea himself,” Mullen said. “He called me up, said he’d be in town and wanted to learn. He actually suggested the idea.”

Beauchamp will spend time on the wings of all four referees, though his focus will remain on Dean and Yamasaki, according to Mullen. It figures to provide invaluable experience.

“When you work with people like Herb Dean, who explains about positioning and why he’s doing things, you’re spending a lot of good time with one of the best referees in the business,” said Mullen, who indicated a willingness to offer the same opportunity to other semi-experienced officials looking to move to the next level. “This is great for referees to shadow our more experienced guys.”
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