Pete Spratt Is Looking For Respect

When it comes to the sport of mixed martial arts, Pete Spratt has seen and done it all.

He has fought on the biggest stage, the UFC, for several years and picked up wins over the likes of current Elite XC Middleweight champ, Robbie Lawler, along the way. Spratt was even a cast member on The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback and while he would have liked to have advanced further within the competition it did give Spratt the opportunity to re-enter the UFC after a two-year hiatus.

Today, Spratt is one of the top free agents in MMA and can be seen fighting for HDNet Fights. He avenged a loss to TJ Waldburger on HDNet’s inaugural show and will now face Tristan Yunker (12-6) on December 15 at HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon.

I spoke to Spratt earlier today about his experiences with HDNet Fights, his upcoming bout against Yunker and if he is looking to get back in the UFC anytime soon. He certainly had some interesting things to say about how much fighters are earning nowadays.

Pete Spratt – 11/23/07

FINALLY, Jarry Park Has Come To The Fight Network

What a thrill it was to be a guest on Fight Network Radio earlier today. Host Mauro Ranallo and I discussed a laundry list of topics from the combat sports world and even a little Montreal Expos history! Nos Amours, my friends, will never be forgotten.

Anyhow, in case you were too busy watching NFL Football or, I don’t know, spending time with family and friends over a nice Thanksgiving meal and missed it you can listen to the interview below.

A final thank you to John Pollock and Mauro Ranallo for giving (and myself) the rub. I hope to meet up with them again soon and, most importantly, return the favor some day.

(By the way, be sure to check out all things Fight Network on their official site and to listen to Fight Network Radio on Sirius 186 or via the Hardcore Sports Radio website.)

Ariel Helwani on FNR – 11/22/07

Happy Thanksgiving…Brother

The following video below is the best way I could wish you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

Remember when the SS was on Thanksgiving night? Ah, the memories…

Sure, growing up in Canada my family never celebrated Thanksgiving but that didn’t mean I didn’t love the WWF’s “Thanksgiving Tradition.”

So, without further ado, the opening of the 1989 Survivor Series. You won’t regret checking it out – it’s a great trip down memory lane.

Show Him The Money

l_20377bec710c699ba118714f3d6c1e0b.jpgWhat do Mark Kerr, Renato Sobral, Phil Baroni, David Loiseau, Jake O’Brien and Karo Parisyan have in common? They are all represented by MMA super agent, Ken Pavia (center).

Along with Monte Cox, Pavia is generally regarded as the top MMA agent around. His list of clients is pushing 50 and he has only been working with MMA fighters for approximately three years (he represented MLB and NHL stars for 12 years prior to focusing most of his efforts on MMA).

I had the chance to speak with “The Pav,” as he known on his highly-entertaining MySpace page, about his career, the business side of MMA and what’s in store for some of his top fighters. Pavia also spoke very candidly about Monte Cox’s new role with M-1 Global. A great listen

Ken Pavia – 11/22/07

(Can’t listen to the interview right now? Download this one and all of our great interviews by clicking on the iTunes or Odeo link at the top right of the page.)

The Jarry Park Boxing Awards

A few weeks ago, we presented our first-ever MMA awards show. And, boy, was it a hit. The MMA world is still buzzing over our decisions. Seriously, they are.

So, the next logical step was to come out with…The 2007 Jarry Park Boxing Awards.

And who better than the Sweet Scientist himself, Larz from No Mas Online, to hand out those awards. We actually invited some of the biggest boxing writers out there to challenge Larz but, alas, no takers. I can’t say I’m surprised, really. The guy is ruthless.

For the record, here are our categories:
*Fight of the Year
*Round of the year
*Fighter of the Year
*Knockout of the year
*Most Improved Fighter
*Most Disappointing fighter
*Upset of the Year
*Comeback of the year
*Weight class of the year
*Trainer of the year
*Fight you are most looking forward to in ‘08

Now, I know what you’re thinking: How can you close the book on ’07 when there is still one mega-fight left in Mayweather vs. Hatton? Well, Larz has assured me that it won’t live up to the hype and will be fairly one-sided in Mayweather’s favor so we decided to beat everyone to the punch (pardon the pun) and present our awards.

Let the debating begin…

The Jarry Park Boxing Awards

Yo, Yo, Yo And Away We Will Go

A friendly reminder that I will be a guest on The Fight Network radio show on Sirius channel 186 tomorrow (Thursday) at 3:10 p.m. EST. If you don’t have Sirius, you can listen to the interview and the entire show online via the Hardcore Sports Radio website.

At the risk of sounding like the biggest mark ever, I will just say that I am sincerely honored and excited to join Mauro Ranallo and John Pollock on their show. For my money, they are the best in the business.

Who knows…maybe this will even become a Thanskgiving tradition? Perhaps every year before stuffing your face with food you can huddle around the radio with your loved ones to listen to us discuss the best combat sports stories around. Deal? Deal.

Jarry Park Exclusive: 12/29 IFL GP Finals To Air Live On HDNet

In a exclusive, HDNet Fights President/Commissioner, Guy Mezger, announced that the 12/29 IFL World Grand Prix Finals would air live on HDNet. Mezger is still unsure as to whether or not they will also air on MyNetwork TV but he believes his network will be the sole carrier of the event. This is part of a new agreement where HDNet will begin airing IFL events come 2008.

Speaking of Mezger, he has been quite the busy man lately.

First, he only had five weeks to put together his promotion’s first card on October 13. Now, with a little more time on his hands to book HDNet Fights’ next event on December 15, Mezger is certainly flexing his matchmaking muscles. The two big fights on the card were originally Jason “Mayhem” Miller vs. Sean Salmon and Frank Trigg vs. Edwin Dewees.

However, Mezger confirmed a report that Salmon has now been forced to withdraw from the fight due to the injury he suffered at last week’s Strikeforce event and will be replaced by Tim Kennedy (8-1-0).

Last seen fighting for the Red Bears of the International Fight League, Kennedy is undefeated in his previous eight fights with one of those victories coming over his opponent on 12/15 – Jason “Mayhem” Miller. According to Mezger, Miller specifically asked for this rematch. Like Kennedy, some more IFL fighters may also soon appear on future HDNet Fights cards but no firm agreement has been completed.

Click below to listen to my interview with Guy Mezger or download it to your mp3 player or IPod by clicking on the link to the right.

Guy Mezger – 11/21/07

(Update: While the IFL has yet to officially announce the airing of the GP finals on HDNET, the Fight Network is reporting that an IFL source has confirmed it.)

A True Throwback

Ask any professional wrestling fan about Larry Sweeney and their eyes instantly light up. That’s because 26-year-old Sweeney is regarded as one of the true rising stars of the business.

While his work in the ring is solid its his delivery on the microphone and “managerial skills,” for lack of a better word, that has reminded many wrestling fans of some of the greatest performers ever. Some have even labeled him as the second coming of Bobby “the Brain” Heenan. For a wrestler with only three and a half years of experience under his belt those are some pretty big shoes to fill but Sweeney appears ready for the challenge.

He can be found wrestling on many Indy wrestling cards across the country – most notably for Chikara Pro and ICW. However, its his work in Ring of Honor as the leader of “Sweet ‘n’ Sour Inc.” – a stable of wrestlers reminiscent of the classic Heenan Family – that has made him one of the most talked about performers of 2007.

If you have yet to see Sweeney’s work in ROH don’t fret. The promotion offers up their latest pay-per-view offering, Man Up, beginning 11/30. Sweeney’s role on the card will be managing one of his top clients, Chris Hero, in a Four-Corner Survival Match against Nigel McGuinness, Claudio Castagnoli and Naomichi Marufuji. An impressive quartet to say the least.

I had the chance to speak with Sweeney about his young career, the lost art of the promo, his future in Ring of Honor and his one-time appearance on Monday Night Raw. Not surprisingly, he was a great interview.

Larry Sweeney – 11/21/07

Boxing 101 With Professor Roger Mayweather

After one episode, HBO’s Mayweather-Hatton 24/7 is, by far, my favorite show on television. I love everything about it: the characters, the access, the production, the writing and, most importantly, the theme song (I feel like going 3-4 rounds everytime I hear it).

Undoubtedly, two of the biggest stars of the show are Pretty Boy’s trainer and uncle, Roger Mayweather, and Ricky Hatton’s long-time trainer, Billy Graham.

In many ways, both are polar opposites but a closer look finds them to actually be quite similar. Tough and foul-mouthed they are two of the best trainers in the business.

So, needless to say, I was very much looking forward to their press conference today. While Hatton’s camp was a little subdued things certainly got interesting once Roger Mayweather appeared to teach us all a little bit about boxing. Prof. Mayweather must have questioned the boxing knowledge of at least ten journalists on the call, cussed more than Dana White and provided enough sound bytes to fill up a notebook.

Seriously, sit back, relax and listen to the audio because its absolutely brilliant.

(Note: The audio starts mid-conference as there were tons of technical difficulties at the start. Don’t worry, though. Nothing of importance happened and you won’t miss any of Mayweather’s quotes. Also, you can download this audio or any of our other interviews to your IPod or mp3 player by clicking on the link at the top right of the page.)

Mayweather-Hatton Trainers’ Press Conference – 11/20/07

Allow Him To Reintroduce His Self…

What a tremendous return for Chris Jericho last night on WWE Raw. That was one of the best wrestling re-appearances in a long time. Everything worked. The crowd was simply dying to see Y2J return, his promo was short and sweet and Randy Orton played the perfect heel.

While watching the new and improved Jericho jabber with Orton I was instantly reminded of Jericho’s first-ever appearance on Raw.

The date was August 9, 1999 and The Rock was firmly cementing his status as one of the best in the business. The last few weeks had seen a “countdown to the Millenium” clock on WWE programming leading up to the 8/9 show. Major hysteria had been sweeping the nation that the world would blow up on 1/1/00 so the clock was very timely and mysterious.

While my computer didn’t explode on January 1st, former WCW star Chris Jericho did explode onto the WWE scene when he interrupted The Brahma Bull to introduce himself to the WWE (then known as the WWF) fans. An amazing debut then and an amazing one now.

So, to celebrate Jericho’s return to Raw I thought it would be interesting to look back at his first-ever appearance on the flagship brand of World Wrestling Entertainment. Enjoy.