LFA 24 Weigh In Live Coverage and Photos

Held at Brick and Barley in Tempe AZ     LFA 24 – Frincu vs. Millender Friday, October 13, 2017 Comerica Theatre Phoenix, Arizona undercard starts at 4:30 PM     Mackenzie Dern Returns to the Octagon Looking to Keep Her Undefeated Record! The main event of the evening pits #4 ranked Matthew “The Thunder From Down Under” Frincu (11-2) against Curtis “Curtious” Millender (12-3) in a Welterweight showdown. In the co-main event of the evening, the Bantamweights are up to bat as RFA Fighting veteran, Joey “The Beast” Miolla (9-2) returns to AXS TV to battle with another RFA veteran, Vinicius Zani (10-4). The feature fight of the night is the one we’ve all been waiting for! Mackenzie Dern (3-0) returns to fight against fitness model and bodybuilder, Mandy “MissDemeanor” Polk (3-3). The action starts at 9/8c on AXS TV with commentators Ron Kruck, UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich & Cat Zingano Main Card Match-ups and Weigh-in Results for LFA 24 are Below: Welterweight: Curtis Millender 12-3 (170.4) vs. Matthew Frincu 11-2 (170.8) Bantamweight: Vinicius Zani 10-4 (134.6) vs. Joey Miolla 9-3 (135.4) Flyweight: Mandy Polk 3-3 (123.8) vs. Mackenzie Dern 3-0 (124.8) Lightweight – Maycon Mendonca 6-2 (154.2) vs. LaRue Burley 7-3 (155.2) Featherweight – Toninho Marajo 7-3 (145.6) vs. Cory Sandhagen 5-1 (144.2) Bantamweight – Glen Baker 3-2 (135.8) vs. Kevin Natividad 4-0 (135.6) Lightweight – Nick Chasteen 0-0 (155.8) vs. Keoni Diggs 3-0 (155.4) Tweet along with the action using #LFA24 AXS TV, your home for MMA. ➡ Share with a Friend. ➡

MMA Fight Radio 10/5/17 program review

Host Jay “Big Jay Bowski” Pagliaro and Shawn “Dallas” Hall got the show underway talking about the Las Vegas tragedy with special co-host ringcard/fitness competitor girl Deseree Flores and in-studio guests LFA 24 competitor Larue Burley and LFA 25 competitor Jordan Larson. They also discussed cutting weight, and Mandy Polk’s chances against Machenzie Dern at LFA 24.   MMA FIGHTER LARUE BURLEY In-studio guest Larue Burley (7-3) – who apparently resembles rapper T.I. – discussed his upcoming fight with Maicon Mendonca (6-2) at LFA 24. When asked if he took fights to further his career, he said “I’ve had 1 fluke fight…everybody I’ve ever fought was supposed to be ‘the next big thing’…and I’m 7-3”. “All those dudes were undefeated…I haven’t fought anyone with an upside-down record other than 1 time” he continued. They also discussed his bout with James Nakashima and his questionable tactics (eye pokes and groin shots) that Burley states cost him the contest. “It would’ve been a lot better fight if hadn’t stabbed me in my eye…I literally could not see until the next Wednesday out of my left eye. When the doctor came up to me, it was the craziest thing because he was literally in front of me and all I could see was the tip of his nose.” he said. The eye poke occurred in the first minute of the fight. He continued to compete, believing “the show must go on” but looking back, he wished he had not because he had lost all depth perception and was missing the majority of his punches. Jordan Larson chimed in stating he was in the same position in his last fight after receiving an illegal knee strike. He said “Could I have continued to fight. Yes…but I’m not on point. It wasn’t my fault that it happened. How mad am I going to be later if I don’t make that decision? I was winning that fight…there’s not going to be an asterisk next to it. It’s going to be an ‘L’. That’s all anybody’s going to see…it’s tough to make that call.” After Deseree mentioned Nakashima felt it should’ve been an easier win, storming out of the cage, Larue continued “you put my nuts into my head and stabbed me in my and you still couldn’t finish me. I guarantee if you let me do that to you, I’m going to finish you”. When Dallas asked what he’d do differently if he fought him again, Larue said “knock his damn jaw off”.   CTE AND MMA After a break they discussed the connection between CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and MMA. Jay asked the fighters in the room what steps they take to protect themselves. “A lot of it’s your gym time” Jordan began. “You have to have coaches watching these sparring sessions, making sure that they’re not full-out fights…and you’re not in there bashing each other’s heads around… there’s a time and place for hard sparring but it also needs to be monitored” he continued, stating that those are the sessions where the hard strikes add up. Dallas mentioned that PRIDE FC and UFC veteran Gary Goodridge said he knew he got his CTE from sparring in the gym. “He was knocked out in the ring several times but he never felt after that like he did after sparring” stated Dallas. Jordan also felt that head gear made sparring sessions worse, giving you a false sense of security and allowing you to utilize poor head movement. Jay asked the question of where is the line between going to hard and not hard enough. Larue said you have to rely on a good partner who knows “when to hit and how hard to hit” and that if you don’t have fighters with fights coming up, you don’t need to do as much hard sparring and time is better spent on drilling and technique. Larue doesn’t like the headgear either as it catches when he turns his head and doesn’t allow him to see hook punches coming at him. Jordan also said “you need to put your ego aside. If you’re coming in there to ramp up your ego for the day, that’s the wrong answer. That’s where you’re going to end up damaging (yourself) or your training partner”. Deseree mentioned that, from her BJJ experience, she knows it is the new people that will hurt you and the more veteran fighters and students know not to turn it up without a good reason.   MMA FIGHTER JORDAN LARSON Jordan Larson (8-3) discussed his upcoming fight with Kassius “Killa Kayne” Holdorf (9-4) at LFA 25 on October 20th in Nebraska (Holdorf’s home turf). Larson says he likes fighting there as some of the pressure is off when fighting away from home. He intends to “out MMA” Holdorf and feels his striking will open up his takedowns.   MMA FIGHTER/PRO FITNESS FIGURE COMPETITOR/IFBB PRO MANDY POLK Mandy Polk (3-3) will be taking on Mackenzie Dern (3-0) at LFA 24 on October 13th. Jay mentioned that Mandy is in the “UFC of body-building” asked how she felt that background helped her when it comes to cutting weight in MMA. “100%. There’s nothing better than having the background I have. I’m like a doctor/scientist/trainer when it comes to cutting weight. I can start from 140lbs or 120lbs and be functional at whatever weight I come in at because of my background”. She also mentioned that many women in MMA struggle with weight as their bodies are always changing and she is able to use the science of her sport to put the best version of herself possible in the cage. Mandy still actively participates in IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) competitions and last competed in 2016. Deseree and Mandy discussed the similarities, differences, and even the mutual disdain of the sports of bodybuilding and MMA. “They are both very different and both extremely difficult”. She also mentioned that MMA prepares her body for fitness competition like nothing else. “I do have to be a one-woman Cirque du Soleil out there. I have to put on a show. I have to perform.” Mandy also said talked about how she can maintain a muscular physique and still have ample cardio. Earlier this year in Tennessee, Mandy also helped apprehend a bad guy. They were having a meal after leaving a fight and after seeing a physical struggle, she grabbed the guy around the waist until bystanders stepped in. Knowing the legal process, she was glad didn’t have to do any more than that. As for opponent Mackenzie Dern, Mandy is actually a fan of Dern’s and was inspired by her BJJ win over Gabi Garcia. Now she’s pumped to face her in MMA competition. She knows Dern’s game plan is going to be to take her down so – without unveiling too much of her own game plan – she’s be training a lot of wrestling and takedown defense. The conversation turned to the touchy subject of retaining water for women and the difficulties female athletes face that male competitor are oblivious to.   UPCOMING FIGHTS The guys mentioned that everyone made weight for the Bellator show on Friday. They also talked about upcoming fights between Carlos Condit/Neal Magny and Frankie Edgar/Max Holloway. The conversation turned to John Moraga’s need to change his walk out music (a Tupac track) in his bout with Magomed Bibulatov due to the recent Las Vegas shooting. As we now know, Moraga scored a 1st Rd KO in the biggest upset of the night.   MMA FIGHTER TRACY CORTEZ Fight Ready MMA athlete Tracy Cortez (0-1, 3-0 Amateur) takes on Roxanne Ceasear (0-2, 2-4 Amateur) at WFF on November 4th. The pair met previously in KOTC and Cortez won by TKO early in the 1st Rd. Even with the win, Tracy hopes to put on a better show. Touching on her loss in her pro debut at Invicta FC 25, Tracy said “it lets me know where I stand as a fighter…she was more experienced. I just need to learn how to control my nerves in the big spotlight like that”. The first fight took place in Texas and this time she gets to fight at home. Tracy also talked about her martial arts background, which includes wrestling and BJJ. She believes she’s good at everything. Not great but well-rounded. She also said that having her boyfriend Benny Madrid as her trainer has really helped her put everything together and helps her avoid some of the mistakes he made in his career. Putting the previous win aside, Tracy respects Roxanne’s abilities and believes she’s faced quality opponents despite her record. UFC 216 MAIN FIGHTS/CORNERMAN The guys opened with discussion of the Fabricio Werdum/Derrick Lewis fight and how Werdum almost started with Tony Ferguson. Dallas felt Lewis should stand and bang with the Brazilian. Jay felt Werdum should work to get the fight to the ground where he was most comfortable. The majority of the crew felt Werdum would win. However, as we now know Derrick Lewis did not compete and Werdum defeated Walt Harris by armbar early in the 1st Rd. Moving on to Demetrious Johnson/Ray Borg, Dallas felt it would go 3 rounds while Deseree felt it would go just 2. Jay felt that the most dangerous fighter is the one that has nothing to lose. All felt Johnson would make history. And as we now know, Johnson did go on to break the records for title defenses, submitting Borg in the 5th Rd. And concerning Tony Ferguson/Kevin Lee, Dallas and Deseree took Lee to win while Jay and Jordan took Ferguson. As we now know, Ferguson submitted Lee via triangle choke in the 3rd Rd to win the UFC Interim Lightweight Championship. Until next time. James Hirth  

MMA Fight Radio 9/28/17 program review

  Host Jay “Big Jay Bowski” Pagliaro and Shawn “Dallas” Hall are joined in-studio by ringcard girl and fitness competitor Deseree Flores.     UFC 216 PRESS CONFERENCE   The trio discussed how Tony Ferguson almost came to blows with Fabricio Werdum. Among other things, Ferguson asked Werdum how it felt to be on his (Tony’s) undercard and the former Brazilian fighter had a lot to say – all in Portuguese – to the UFC 216 headliner. There is talk swirling that rather than seeing McGregor/Diaz 3, the winner of the Ferguson/Kevin Lee headliner may get the next shot at Connor McGregor. Desire and Dallas felt McGregor will face Diaz again. However, Dallas felt a match against Diaz makes the interim belt that Ferguson and Lee are fighting for worthless if that happens. Everybody agrees the other two fights were great and the trilogy is where the money is.   The discussion also turned to the fact that of the trilogy happens, the rankings – as they are currently calculated and valued – are also worthless. This may already be in effect as we recently saw Dan Henderson (not a top-ranked opponent) face Michael Bisping for the middleweight title. Desire mentioned that the “business side” has taken over and eventually it may be like watching wrestling.   Dallas said “Right now there’s a path (to becoming a champion). If you lose that ranking system…how do even become a star? Just mumble what Conner says?”. Jay brought up how Bellator MMA fighter Benson Henderson said the talkers are getting places and “the casual fans are going to leave when McGregor does”.   Dallas feels McGregor’s camp “campaigns” for who they want to fight next and currently they are campaigning for Diaz. It also represents the easiest match-up for McGregor with fighters like Ferguson, Lee and Khabib Nurmagamedov waiting in line for a title shot.     LFA 24 COMPETITOR CURTIS MILLENDER Curtis “Curtious” Millender headlines LFA 24 on October 13th in Phoenix and called into the show. Jay described his opponent list as a “murderer’s row” that included Bellator MMA veteran Brennan Ward and was supposed to include Michael “Venom” Page. Now he’ll face local fighter Matthew Frincu (11-2). Curtis feels he can “shut down Matthew’s striking”. Desire brought up the fact that most of Millender’s wins have been by decision while Frincu finishes most of his opponents and Curtis said “I’m always looking for a finish and sometimes it just doesn’t come out that way…I’m fighting killers.” Dallas asked what does he need to do to get to the next level and he said “knock him out. I need to finish him. I need to win decisively. Once I get this win, there will be no more overlooking me”. He fought Ward in Connecticut – a place where Ward has a “cult following” – so he’s prepared to face Frincu in Phoenix. “I’ve been shocking people my whole life so I’m not worried about it at all” he said. He trains with former SHOOTO Champion Eric Paulson and Ben Jones at CSW and he isn’t afraid of Frincu’s striking given the strength of his team.   STOCK RISE AND FALL The crew talked about upcoming fights with Francis Ngannou (taking on Alistair Overeem), Dominic Cruz (taking on Jimmie Rivera, and possibly moving down to 125 lbs to face Demetrious Johnson with a win) and Stipe Miocic’s contract issues. They also talked about Chuck Liddell possibly facing Chael Sonnen in Bellator MMA as a lead into the stock rise and fall. Dallas felt Aaron Pico’s stock rose with a KO win over Justin Linn at Bellator MMA 183 ang Gokhan Saki with a KO win over Henrique da Silva. Desire felt Roy Nelson’s stock rose with his decision win over Javy Ayala and Patricky Pitbull with a win over Benson Henderson on the same Bellator fight card. Jay felt Jessica Andrade made the biggest splash over the weekend with her unanimous decision win over Claudia Gadelha at UFC Fight Night and Paul Daley with a KO win over Lorenz Larkin at Bellator 183. As far as dropping stock, Dallas felt Yushin Okami and Claudia Gadelha lost ground. Desire felt Justin Linn’s stock dropped while Jay felt former PRIDE FC champion Takanori Gomi took a huge step back. Gomi was once considered top 5 in the world and he has now lost 5 in a row with a 4-9 overall record in the UFC.   EFRAIN ESCUDERO AND BETHE CORREIA Brazilian fighter and former title contender Bethe Correia is in Texas bettering her wrestling skills and recovering from injuries. She isn’t planning on fighting again in 2017. The UFC wanted her to fight in November but she broke her jaw and it is her decision to wait until January of February to get back in the cage. Dallas asked how a rematch with Ronda Rousey now would go and she felt the fight would go much differently due to her experience with her (Bethe) capturing the title. She also believes she is learning a lot more now and in reality, despite her experience, she is still very young in the sport. She also doesn’t care who she fights now that her focus is on herself. SABINA MAZO   Sabina Mazo, known as “The Columbian Queen”, called into the show to discuss her head kick KO of Lindsey Williams at LFA 23 last weekend. It was virtually identical to the head kick KO of Jamie Thorton at LFA 9 and these impressive performances have here nominated for KO of the Year. Even with the back-to-back KO’s and a 4-0 record, she feels there’s still work to be done in the LFA before heading to the UFC. “Maybe after 2 more fights…I want to be an excellent fighter before I step in the UFC” she said. She feels she needs to train more and gain experience in preparation for that opportunity. “I have more things I want to show in my game” stated, when asked if the next fight would end in a head kick KO as well. She trains at Kings MMA with IVC veteran and former Chute Boxe fighter Master Rafael Cordeiro and UFC 216 competitor Fabricio Werdum in Huntington Beach, California. When questioned about her level of maturity at just 20-years-old, she said it was the discipline of MMA and that she “isn’t in it for the money”. “I do this from my heart. I put all my love into it.”   MARCO BELTRAN AND EFRAIN ESCUDERO TUF Mexico fighter Marco Beltran (8-5) called in to talk about his training with Efrain Escudero and Beltran’s fight at UFC 216 against Max Schnell (9-4). Both fighters are coming off a loss. This time Beltran will not only have a full camp and be fighting closer to home, he had to deal with the loss of his mother just 2 days before his last fight. Efrain talked about the opening of his new gym since leaving The Lab and how he expects to be able to develop a lot of new talent in McAllen, Texas. He also mentioned that his entire team – and ring card girl Desire Flores – will be making the trip to Las Vegas for UFC 216. He also said he’s taking Ferguson over Kevin Lee (who Escudero lost to by decision) and he will be fighting in Brazil in November. The gym opens next week after Beltran’s fight. Efrain’s working with the promoters of the Lux fight league in Mexico to build a minor league promotion to bring opportunity to young fighters. The show closed with some good back-and-forth banter between Dallas and Efrain. As a coach, he believes he can relate to all fighters, having lost close decisions and knowing the struggle of the common MMA athlete. He felt he was done fighting until his kids set him straight with a kick to the stomach and pep talk. As for Beltran’s fight, Escudero he believes he has evolved as a fighter and everyone can see how he’s progressed on the UFC Fight Pass.   Until next time,   James Hirth            

MMA Fight Radio 9/21/17 program review

    Host Jay “Big Jay Bowski” Pagliaro is reunited in-studio with Shawn “Dallas” Hall. They both thanked Ryan Bruggerman for his work over the last few months and said the door is always open for his return.   RANDY STEINKE AND DESIRE FLORES   LFA fighter Randy Steinke and LFA/AWFF/Combate Americas ring card girl Desire Flores – an ASU grad and bikini competitor – join the guys in studio.   Randy will be taking on WKA kickboxing champion and LFA/RFA vet Cory Sandhagen from Denver, Colorado at the LFA 24 show in Phoenix on October 13th.   He says his opponent is well-rounded and he’s trained with Sandhagen’s last opponent, Jamall Emmers, at The Lab. He’s excited to face him and feels he’s “not going to quit…the last guy I faced didn’t have what it took to be in there with me. I think this guy does”.   Jay mentioned that he’s fought some quality opponents, tried out for TUF twice and has tried to get on the UFC’s radar for some time. He asked Randy what a win over Sandhagen would do for his career and what he needs to do to get noticed by the UFC.   Randy said “You definitely need a finish these days… (otherwise) you’re not going to get signed. It’s an entertainment sport. You’re going to stay in the local realm if that’s how you keep winning fights (by decision)”. “I’m definitely going to be looking for a finish…I want to finish this guy” he continued.   Dallas asked that given it is an entertainment sport, how much focus is placed on that element in training. “I feel better when people are watching me” Randy said. He mentioned that it was all about tendencies and that “exciting fighters are exciting fighters because they are exciting fighters”.   Dallas then inquired whether it was possible to “train to be exciting” and Randy said “yeah, I mean you can teach me how to throw a tornado kick in the gym but if it’s not something that I’m super-great at, it’s probably not going to look that cool or I won’t be able to land it when I need to”. He continued “…at the end of the day, even if you can’t get the W, you know you went in there and worked your ass off… e H and you didn’t get throttled, everyone respects the fact that I went out there and (was willing to do) whatever it took to win”.   Dallas mentioned that fans are more interested in how you face adversity and that is why fighters like Connor McGregor are so popular.  Before the fans followed the winners and now it’s based on how you perform and treat the fans.   Jay mentioned “we’ve almost gone from a sport to an entertainment landscape” and asked Randy what he thought about it becoming an entertainment sport than a sport itself.   Randy said “it has a lot to do with how the UFC changed the sport”. They mentioned athletes like Jon Fitch, Ben Askren and Nick Lentz all of whom won the majority of their recent bouts by decision and were released because “no one remembers the fights”.     KEONI DIGGS   Jay introduced his next guest, Keoni Diggs, stating “I’ve seen this guy flash a few opponents in his day and leave them for the sniffin’ salts”. Keoni will be facing Muay Thai champion Nick Chasteen in Arizona. Dallas mentioned the possibility of “seeing a hype-train derailed” as Chasteen has not fought MMA before and felt is “putting himself behind the 8-ball” taking on an experienced fighter like Diggs.   Desire, a martial arts practitioner herself, mentions that Chasteen is also a blue belt in BJJ so he will have some ground game. Dallas acknowledged Chasteen was unquestionably a good fighter but again questioned if he could put it all together, stating “you see people who can strike. You see people who have ground game. You see people who have both. You don’t always see people who can use both simultaneously.” Steinke also felt the cage would be a big advantage as “there are a lot of tricks inside that cage”. Most of Keoni’s wins have come via submission so Jay asked how soon did he want to take this one to the ground. Keoni said he doesn’t really gameplan much. “I’m going to go in there and get into a fist fight. That’s all that matters. Everybody bleeds just like me”.   Jay asked what’s it like having that full camp to prepare and Keoni said he wasn’t sure it really mattered to him. He said “My training partners are giving me different looks but I’m still doing the same things. I’m not going to have some different tricks. It’s the same-old, same-old.”. Shoutout to my training partners. They give me the looks that I need.   Steinke said “I think the difference is how you take care of yourself outside if training camp. Taking a fight on 3-weeks-notice or 4-weeks-notice shouldn’t be a whole lot different than taking a fight on 8-weeks-notice…if you took some time off and are skipping workouts, 4-weeks to 8 -weeks can make a huge difference.”   Dallas commented that some guys say if they’re always in shape, they prefer it to be a shorter period between fights to which Steinke replied “is it fight camp or is it lifestyle” and he compared it to the restrictions of a regimented weight loss program.     RYAN TALKS WITH BENSON HENDERSON IN A PRERECORDED INTERVIEW   Ben Henderson headlines Bellator MMA 183: Henderson versus Pitbull which aired on SPIKE TV on Saturday, September 23rd. Henderson will be Patricky “Pitbull” Freire after defeating his younger brother Patricio in August of 2016.   Henderson said they had similar styles and tendencies due to the same training partners and camp but they were not the same fighter. “The older one has a little more power in his hands and he’s a little more flat-footed”.   Jay asked him about selecting opponents and Benson said he had the mindset of “whoever they offer, you say yes…if you want to fight on the main card, win your next fight and worry about that”. His wife is 8 months pregnant with their second child and Jay asked if that had affected his training. Benson said “no, as a man, as a husband, as a father, you need to place your priorities right. My priorities are my wife, my family, my kids first and from there you should worry about your job. I think some people have it backwards and they worry about their career first and family next.” Overall, he said it wasn’t taxing on his schedule and he just had to juggle some things.   Ryan asked him about The Lab and Coach John Crouch. “I think it’s all about the hard work…and getting better every single day” he said, acknowledging that Crouch has been his only MMA coach his entire career. Ryan also asked about the rumblings that he (Henderson) might return to the military in some capacity. “The plan was always to go into the (Air Force) reserves” in an effort to give back to his country.   As we now know, Henderson lost a split decision to Freire.   CANELO VS GGG   The guys talked about the big Canelo Alvarez versus Gennady Golovkin boxing fight on September 16th. Dallas felt the draw was warranted, feeling the rounds were divided equally but he couldn’t see how one judge gave Canelo 9 rounds or more. “It was a very close fight…GGG was in there taking shots and proving he had a chin”. Ryan basically agreed, scoring it 115/113 for GGG but again disagreeing with judge Adalaide Byrd. “This was the fight for boxing…and then to get a split-decision draw which is like going to the senior prom with your cousin”. Floyd Mayweather also came out on Instagram and showed he bet the draw. Dallas believes that Vasyl Lomachenko versus Guillermo Rigondeaux will be the fight to bring fans back to boxing. Keoni said that fighters like Terence Crawford and Earl Spence make him excited to watch boxing. Jay is looking forward to Anthony Joshua/Karam Abdullah and Deontay Wilder/Luis Ortiz heavyweight match-ups. Andre Ward’s recent retirement and Jake Lamotta’s death were also mentioned.   Desire admitted to not being a boxing fan and also that she recently handed another ring card girl the wrong card. “I noticed right away and I tried to call her back but she was doing her thing”. Dallas does a Barney Fife impression. They also discussed John Cena, The Iron Sheik and professional wrestling   JAY TALKS WITH ROY NELSON IN A PRERECORDED INTERVIEW   Roy “Big Country” Nelson makes his Bellator debut against Javier “Javy” Ayala at Bellator MMA 183 on Saturday, September 23rd   Ayala KO’d PRIDE FC veteran Sergei Kharitonov in just 16 seconds in his most recent Bellator appearance. Jay complimented Nelson on his superior chin and asked how many shots he felt he was going to take. “My coach always says please don’t get hit…but at the same time I don’t mind getting one to give one”. And as for taking Ayala down he said “one thing I like to do is entertain the fans…but at the same time I’m going out there to get the W”.   Jay mentioned that Roy has stated this was a “politics-free opportunity to compete for the belt” and “the handcuffs are off”. He said “the handcuffs are sponsorship. You can basically have just about any sponsor you want for the most part and it allows you to make your money again…and I’m also free to be me”. He continued “basically you’re allowed to just be a free spirit to go out there and go to work like you’re supposed to like any other independent contractor”. He was also happy to have a walk-out tee that fans would be excited about wearing.   With wins over the majority of the Bellator heavyweight division – Cheick Kongo, Matt Mitrione, Justin Wren – Jay asked him how close he is to earning a shot at the title. “Basically, the way I’ve been my whole career is just give me 1 fight. I’ve never lost a championship fight”. As for goals, Roy would like to bring new fans into MMA because he feels the sport has plateaued. He also professed that Bellator believes this is a “fighter driven sport” where the UFC does not. Jay said that Bellator treats the fighter like a valuable asset.   Roy called for a 2nd round finish but as we now know, Nelson won a unanimous decision over Ayala.     MORE WITH RANDY STEINKE, KEONI DIGGS AND DESIRE FLORES   Randy and Keoni talked more about their upcoming fights, preparations, careers and staying motivated.   They talked about Mike Perry (won $50,000 bonus, KO’d Alex Reyes), now with ATT and Nico Price (TKO’d Alan Jouban), training with Mike Brown. They talked about the potential end of Hector Lombard’s (TKO loss to Anthony Smith) run in the UFC. Dallas felt that body type would fade out of the UFC unless they were on “the special sauce”. Randy mentioned “Vitor (Belfort) before USADA” to which Dallas said “I think that guy had a pharmacist on call”. GSP’s name came up as one who could carry a lot of muscle and still grind out a fight. They also talked about fighters who train like athletes and fighters who are at the bar the week of the fight. BJ Penn, Matt Hughes, Sean Sherk, Thiago Alves and Thiago Silva’s names came up and talk of an era gone by. The return of Luke Rockhold was brought up and what the challenges of another fight with Michael Bisping would present.   Dallas said he wasn’t as interested in some of the Asian fight cards even with names like Yushin Okami and Takanori Gomi. Desire attributed it to an unfamiliarity of the fighters and basically too many fights too often. Everyone seemed to be looking forward to the MMA debut of Gokan Saki. They also agreed that the media drives who you should pay attention to and the casual fan only follows their lead. And talk of how there are too many titles but, at the same time, it’s difficult to promote a fight people will watch without a title on the line. Dallas mentioned that someone like Demetrious Johnson – who doesn’t make a lot or draw fans – still makes the UFC money because fights around the country provide a good live gate.   Until next time.   James Hirth  

MMA Fight Radio 9/7/17 Program Review

  This week’s host is MMA referee Ryan Brueggeman in his first solo effort. The rest of the staff was either on vacation or celebrating anniversaries so nice work Ryan! Continue Reading by Clicking the Photo Above please…… The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation World Championships of Amateur MMA   The first topic at hand was the IMMAF World Championships taking place in Bahrain. Ryan mentioned there are 74 federations with goal of unifying rules and pushing into Olympic Games. 70 countries could produce amateur MMA fight teams if given the opportunity. And, of course, the winner of tournament could leverage their position to earn a pro contract.   Many of these efforts are funded by the UFC in an effort to develop amateurs. The best way to open the door for MMA in the Olympics is for people to contact their senators and congressmen as well as the USOC and the Sport Accord. The Sport Accord is the umbrella organization for all international sports federations. Has Jon Jones removed himself from the GOAT conversation?

MMA Fight Radio 9/14/17 Program Review

  This week “Big Jay Bowski” aka Jay Pagliaro was back in the saddle as host with Ryan Brueggeman riding shotgun. Ryan talked about his new appreciation for the lead in a talk show and what it takes to pull that off.   Triple G versus Canelo Alvarez   Jay described the Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin/Saul “Canelo” Alvarez bout as “Two pit bulls fighting over the last piece of steak in the middle of the road”. Ryan felt that it should be “the best fight of the year, in terms of boxing. Maybe even the fight of the decade.” They agreed that it wasn’t getting the same hype as the Floyd Mayweather/Connor McGregor fight because in that bout you had fans from both sides: boxing and MMA and the GGG/Canelo fight was a mainly only of interest to boxing fans. Bruggeman stated “but when it comes to skill, their game is the best in the world”   They talked about how a lot of these fights don’t happen in their prime and though they are hyped, it often takes years to bring them to fruition and often one or both competitors have suffered a loss or two in the interim. Even Manny Pacquiao suffered a loss before finally meeting Floyd Mayweather. Ryan brought up the fact that “Canelo”, at just 27-years-old, is 49-1-1 could have another 20 pro fights left in him and that this is a trait of prideful Mexican fighters like Julio Cesar Chavez who had 115 pro fights to his name.   James Nakashima   James Nakashima, “the Pride of Nebraska” as Jay referred to him, stopped by the studio with his mother. He mentioned how “Canelo” and Justin Gaethje, a guest on that night’s program, were his two favorite fighters and athletes he compares himself to as he makes his journey to the top of the sport. Bowski mentioned that he will be the “Modern-Day Jim Thorpe” and how he actually ran to the studio from his training camp at The MMA Lab. Nakashima will be fighting Derrick Krantz for the LFA Welterweight Championship on Friday, September 22nd and can be seen on AXS TV.   The undefeated (7-0) Nakashima was highly complementary of the LFA where he’s fought his entire pro career and that Krantz is a high-profile opponent. He also said he’s ready for a call from the UFC with a win.     Charles Rosa The guys briefly discussed the future of the New England Patriots this season and how you wouldn’t want to be the Patriots opponent the following week. The Patriots went on to beat the Saints 36-20.   Then Charles Rosa (11-3) called in to talk about his fight against Mizuto Hirota (18-8-2) at UFC Fight Night 117 on September 23rd at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. Rosa said he was proud to represent his country and go fight a legend of MMA in Japan. The American Top Team fighter has 3 “Fight of the Night” bonuses in 5 UFC fights and likes a good scrap but he expects to show a new version of himself. He complimented his camp but unfortunately the interview was cut short due to technical difficulties.   Bruggeman felt Rosa was a bit too timid in his last bout and he’ll need to really bring it against Hirota. Nakashima, still joining the guys, was asked about how to find a balance of not taking too much risk and UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell’s name was invoked as “the king of all risk takers”. To the contrary, the value of the style of Ben Askrin – considered by many to be too safe and borderline boring – was discussed as a way to move forward in the sport while staying virtually injury-free.   Alex Moreno   Alex Moreno (13-4) will face Keita Nakamura (32-8-2) at the same UFC Fight Night 117 on September 23rd at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan as previous guest Charles Rosa. Moreno is also the last person to beat James Nakashima’s next opponent; Derrick Krantz. Bowski asked Moreno for his advice on facing Krantz and he said to prepare for Derrick to come out fast.   As for his opponent Nakamura, Moreno said he had great respect for the long-time MMA veteran. He mentioned that Keita was a little older and had fought in Japan over 30 times and even in the UFC many years ago. He also mentioned that he really wanted to get on this particular UFC fight card because Dutch kickboxing standout (K-1 and GLORY Champion) Gokhan Saki was also making his UFC debut.   He’s getting to Japan 1 week early to prepare and will do all of his hard sparring at 9am in the morning to acclimate himself to actual fight time. He also feels all of the pressure will be on the “hometown fighter” Nakamura and he looks forward to getting home and rebuilding his gym that was decimated by hurricane Harvey. They touched on the Niko Price fight and hopes for a rematch down the road but he’d like to face the winner of the Randy Brown/Mickey Gall “Looking for a Fight” contestants. He’d also love to welcome CM Punk back to the UFC, even in a handicap match.     Shawn “Dallas” Hall   The guys continued to try to get James Nakashima’s mom on the air but she wouldn’t bite. They touched on some embarrassing stories from their past and then it was time for “Dallas” to get on the air. He talked Canelo/GGG but he disagreed with their assessment that it was the top 2 fighters in the sport. In his opinion, Andre Ward tops the list followed by Roman Gonzalez, Vasyl Lomachenko and then GGG and Canelo. Other names like Sergey Kovalev, Keith Thurman, Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua were also mentioned. However, boxing’s fanbase and star power is limited because it’s only really promoted on HBO and Showtime.   Bowski went on to say that “Sugar” Ray Leonard was overrated and it led to a discussion of comparing fighters of different eras. Dallas complimented Nakashima on his thought process on trying to figure out the balance of getting the win and fighting like Gaethje, stating that a lot of fighters don’t look at themselves deep enough to see a flaw and chip away at it.     Amanda Nunes’ win and women’s MMA   They continue to try to get James Nakashima’s mom to sing but to no avail. The question came up if Amanda Nunes beat Valentina Shevchenko for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship. Dallas felt she didn’t do enough to win. He also felt that she really wasn’t a marketable champion because they set the bar so high with Ronda Rousey and everything else is going to fall short. He felt that getting behind Cris “Cyborg” would be the only way to go to sell a PPV.   Bowski mentioned that Nunes beat everyone convincingly other than Shevchenko and Dallas mentioned angles that could be worked to raise her star power but nothing was going to get her to where Rousey was. Bruggemen didn’t entirely agree. He said “Rousey was everything she was built up to be until somebody figured her out. Mike Tyson was the same way.” He stressed that Nunes’ downfall was backing out of the first fight with Shevchenko and the fact Dana White took her to task for it.   Dallas didn’t like to Ronda Rousey/Mike Tyson comparison. He felt Tyson “Jon Jones’d himself” and that, in fact, he was the original Jon Jones. To the contrary, he felt Rousey was a one-trick pony that finally got figured out. Again, Ryan disagreed, stating that Tyson was unbeatable until he met someone that wasn’t intimidated by him and Rousey had the same advantage.   Talk of Tyson’s downfall and the evaluation of his opponents continued. Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis and even Buster Douglas all went under the microscope.     Luke Rockhold/David Branch   The guys discussed the UFC Fight Night 116 main event featuring former UFC Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold against former WSOF Welterweight and Middleweight Champion David Branch. Bruggeman states “Branch‘s story is great…he’s a two-division title holder in World Series of Fighting and a Renzo Gracie black belt too”. Dallas mentioned that he was undefeated in MMA for 5 years and said “this fight is much more difficult for Luke Rockhold than most people believe”. Branch’s last loss was to recent UFC Light Heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson.   They also discussed how Rockhold would recover from his last fight, a loss to Michael Bisping for the middleweight title. Dallas described Rockhold as “one of the biggest sociopaths in the world” and questioned how he would deal with loss. Of course we know now that Rockhold appears to have fully recovered from the loss, stopping Branch with strikes in the second round.   Justin Gaethje   UFC veteran and coach of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Justin Gaethje called into the program. They asked him about the Rockhold/Branch match-up as well as the fights on TUF 26. Justin is happy to be coaching a group of grapplers rather than pure strikers.   Dallas brought up the upcoming fight with Eddie Alvarez and how a win could earn him a shot at the lightweight title. Gaethje credited Trevor Whitman for “turning me into a killer on the feet”. He gave respect to Alvarez, stating “he’s a smart dude… he’s been a round the game a long time” and said his coach Mark Henry is smart too. Justin said he expected the fight to turn into a grappling match by catching his (Justin’s) leg kicks. He noted that would open up the head kick though.   Bowski said this fight is “all grit and no quit” and how excited he was when it was first announced. They sidelined to talk about New England Patriots hangers but the best exchange really needs to be isolated:   Bruggeman: the next hangers I’m going to order are going to have Jay Bowski pictures on them.   Bowski: there you go! You have good taste young man!   Bruggeman: that way I can cover you up and put you in the closet.   Bowski: ok! (big roar of laughter) Well played kind sir! Well played! And no I’m not coming out of the closet any time soon!   Bowski apologizes to Nakashima’s mom. Then Justin Gaethje returns. They discuss the fights with Michael Johnson and Luiz Palomino. Nakashima asked him about Trevor Whitman what separates him from other coaches. Justin said “it’s his attention to detail…he’s going to teach you how to transfer your weight and be in position…and timing.” Ryan asked him if he felt this was the biggest step-up in competition he’s ever had and Justin agreed stating “he’s going to have that experience on me.” Ryan also asked if his style of fighting lends itself to longevity on the sport. Justin replied “Hell I don’t know…most MMA fighters have losses. Some of them have been TKO’d. I’ve never been TKO’d, I’ve never been knocked out…no one’s been able to stop me yet.” He feels he will eventually be KO’d but he can hold up”.   Ryan asked to him to never land on the ref, protecting his own interest. They also discussed how this was an ideal match-up, pitting champions from 2 other leagues against each other (Alvarez from Bellator and Gaethje from WSOF) to face off in the UFC. Justin also held up for other leagues and mentioned that not all of the world’s best fighters are currently in the UFC. The fight with Eddie Alvarez has officially been announced for UFC 218 in Detroit, Michigan.   They went back to TUF 26 and his coaching experience. Justin said it was great and that a new 125lb division champ will come out of this season. They also discussed the aforementioned Shevchenko waiting in the wings for the winner.     James Nakashima again     They tried to get James Nakamura to sing but he wouldn’t do it. He did mention that some of the members of The Lab do karaoke on the weekends (known as “The Rat Pack”). Bruggeman asked Nakashima again about the fight with Derrick Krantz and what he has to fear. James said “he is a complete fighter and I have to stay on my toes for 25 minutes”. They went on to his recent fight and the incidental illegal shots affecting the outcome. Nakashima said he needs to avoid any point deductions and be more in control of his weapons but some things are unavoidable. He also stressed he’s a tough match-up for anyone (the UFC’s Woodley and Thompson included) and that he’s a complete fighter. Plus, he believes the research and work ethic he puts in is unequaled in the sport.     Until next time.   James Hirth