JarryPark Returns To Fight Network Radio Tomorrow

I interrupt your day to let you know that I will be a guest during the “Insider” segment on Fight Network Radio tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon.

While my appearance will come at 3:15 p.m. EST, The show airs on Sirius channel 186 or via the Hardcore Sports Radio site from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST. I suggest listening to the whole show. It’s that damn good.

This will actually be my second cameo on the program (thank, guys!). To listen to my first click below. (Warning: the contents discussed in the interview are a little out-of-date.)

Me on Fight Network Radio – 11/22/07

Part One Of Press Conference Monday: HDNet Fights Post-Fight PC

As promised a couple of days ago in my HDNet Fights live-blog, below is the audio from the post-fight press conference.

Some of the highlights include:

* Mayhem being Mayhem. He definitely has some great lines but do you ever get the sense that he sometimes tries a little too hard? Nonetheless, his performance here was great. Definitely worth listening to.

* Sam Hoger, of all people, asking a ton of hard-hitting questions.

* Robert Villegas trying to save his career by claiming a broken leg suffered in the middle of his bout made him flop several times en route to getting DQ’d. By the way, I watched the fight last on TV and the man wasn’t limping at ALL during or after the bout.

* Randy Couture talking about his future.

* The Andrew Simon coming out party.

The audio begins with Tim Kennedy’s assessment of the fight.

HDNet Fights Post-Fight Press Conference

Part two of Press Conference Monday comes at you later this afternoon as the IFL presents the “who is the latest opponent scheduled to face Chris Horodecki at the GP Finals.” Stay tuned.

The End Is Here

I’m stuck in an airport right now and have nothing better to do than dream I was getting ready to watch WWE Armageddon. Actually, there are probably ten different events I would rather watch than this year’s version of the December classic but that’s not the point.

The point is I’ve always liked Armageddon. Maybe it’s because it’s the last PPV of the year or maybe because it actually has produced some great matches and moments.

That said, I thought I would take a trip down memory lane and relive the greatest moments in Armageddon history.

3. 1999 – A Sign Of Things To Come: Mr. McMahon vs. HHH: I loved this match and call me naive but I was actually genuinely surprised by the swerve at the end. All three participants (HHH, Vince and Stephanie) did a tremendous job here.

2. 2000 – Six-Pack!: Hey, anytime you have Angle, Austin, Rock, HHH, ‘Taker aaaaand Rikishi you have yourself an awesome main event. Seriously, how out of place does Rikishi seem in this one? To his credit, he did take one sick bump off the cage.

1. 2001 – Undisputed Champ: I know what you are thinking: Jericho’s victories over The Rock and Austin in one night to become the undisputed champ happened at Vengeance not Armageddon. But if you recall, that year WWE decided to drop the Armageddon name due to its proximity to 9/11. So, while it didn’t happen at Armageddon it did happen in December and that, my friends, is good enough for me. By the way, why can’t they have one-night tournaments like this one again?

Park Pilgrimage I: Live-Blogging HDNet Fights

Check back here later tonight for a special live-blog of HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon. I call it “special” because this won’t be your typical “nice armbar attempt” kind of live-blog. Au contraire, I will attempt to paint a complete picture of all the proceedings inside as well outside the cage at the American Airlines Center. If you’re one of many who doesn’t get HDNet well then the Park is definitely the place for you.

We’re just a few hours away. Can you feel it?!?!?

5:40 CST – I’m here. So, they kind of promised me cageside seating but its more like 3 rows from the cage. Oh well, one day I can dream of working for Sherdog. Anyways, here is proof of the Park’s arrival onsite.

As you can see, it’s pretty empty up in here…and I still couldn’t get a better seat! Anyways, I’m still impressed they gave me a media pass after the whole IFL GP Finals on HDNet debacle so I’m not complaining.

Right now, Yves Edwards is warming up in the cage. I never realized how small he was. He needs a win tonight. Badly.

Guy Mezger is walking around. He appears to have transitioned nicely from the cage to the front office. The American Airlines Center is pretty nice. That’s all I got right now. Be back in a minute.

5:50 pm – I really wish they gave me better seats. This annoys me. More importantly I just found out that Frank Trigg’s first name is actually Dewey. Dewey vs. Dewees tonight on HDNet!

5:53 pm – Remember in our Pete Spratt interview when he said he would be pissed if they made him walk out at the same time as his opponent? Well, he is going to be pissed again tonight. I actually agree with him. This is a dumb idea. I know they want to be different but sometimes it’s just better not to be. Speaking of entrances, I wonder if Mark Cuban will be walking out with anyone like he did with Pretty Boy last weekend. Something tells me he won’t.

6:00 – Here is a photo of the entrance ramp. If you look to the right you can see Ron Kruck pacing back and forth. Very exciting stuff.

They are playing a Kennedy-Mayhem preview video. I like that they are trying to build this up as a huge grudge match but anyone else find it weird that Kennedy is going from a main eventer tonight to curtain jerker at the IFL GP Finlas on 12/29? Somewhere, Sean Salmon weeps.

6:03 – Breaking News…I may be moving seats. Someone from the Fight Network just came to sit next to me and they moved him. Don’t they know The Fight Network and The Park are practically family? Speaking of the The Fight Network, I will be a guest on Fight Network Radio this Monday. Can’t wait for that.

Sorry for the blurry photos, by the way. These are from my phone so they will have to do.

6:08 – Not much going on right now so I thought I would mention the tragic death of Ryan Gracie. Very sad stuff.

6:14 – Bad news. I’m not moving. Let us never speak of this again. Elsewhere, it’s freezing in Dallas. So, I went to see “I am Legend” today. Weird film but it was OK. I would give it a C.

6:26 – Wow, a lot has just happened. First, in a drastic change of events I’m sitting cageside. No, really I am. Eat your heart out…no one. Even better, I’m sitting right next to reps of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. This should be fun. And even better, Mark Cuban is in the house! What a cool guy. Just walking around mingling with the folks. At the risk of looking completely unprofessional, I snuck in a photo of him (he’s the guy with the white collar).

6:32 – I’m also sitting next to a writer from the Dallas Morning News, Damon L. Sayles. Great guy. He loves my Pete Spratt interview. Clearly I am important. Across the cage sits the Sherdogs and MMAJunkies of the world. Ha.

6:33 – Wow, Michael Buffer is in the house. Bruce better watch out. Buffer is looking good but kind of old. I hate to say it but it’s true. He needs a cane to walk around. I hope he just had surgery or something because we need the Buff for many more years.

6:40 – Andrei Arolovski is sitting behind me. I wonder if I should tell him I interviewed his lovely girlfriend last week? First fight is about to start…Lee King vs. Marcus Lanier. Tell all your friends!

6:42 – Good news, Pete, the fighters aren’t walking out together.

Lee King vs. Marcus Lanier

Holy crap. I’m sitting right next to and I mean right next to the bell keeper (the guy who rings the bell). Geez, that’s some loud ringing. That said, no place I’d rather be than right here. Glad your with us.

Round 1: Not much going on in the first few minutes. They are just hugging each other up against the cage. Kenny Rice even appears to be bored. Nothing much for Round 1.

Continue reading “Park Pilgrimage I: Live-Blogging HDNet Fights”

Park Pilgrimage I: HDNet Fights Preview

os-poster.JPGSo, I finally made it to Dallas. It took a little longer than expected but at least I’m here.

The breaking news coming out of today’s weigh-ins wasn’t that I couldn’t make it. No, the big news coming out of it is that friend of The Park, Tristan Yunker, was 4.25 pounds over the 170-pound limit. Tristan, my man, after our long inspirational talk just a couple of days ago you go out and do something like this? So sad.

Nevertheless, Spratt and Yunker will still get it on at a catch weight of 173 but this is certainly not what a 22-year-old rising star needs on his resume.

Anyhow, since I feel as though JarryPark.com has covered this event quite thoroughly I thought I would put up links to our interviews pertaining to it in this neat little post. They are presented to you in chronological order:

HDNets Fights Press conference #1

Guy Mezger interview

Pete Spratt interview

Yves Edwards interview

Press conference #2 featuring Simon, Mezger, Kennedy and Miller

Mayhem Miller interview

Tristan Yunker interview

Remember, we’ll be sitting cageside tomorrow night and will provide a complete (and I mean complete) play-by-play of all the action so make your way back to the Park in a few.

From The Rink To The Cage

TKO 31: Young Guns goes down tonight from the Bell Centre in Montreal, QC, and I’m intrigued by this card for one main reason: Steve Bossé. I know fighters with 2-0 records shouldn’t be headlining shows but Bossé is an exception. You see, when he’s not fighting in a TKO cage, Bossé plays hockey for the St. Jean Chiefs of the North American Hockey League. He isn’t exactly the second coming of Sidney Crosby (Bossé has scored three time in six seasons) but, still, the man can punch, has a gimmick and that’s good enough for me.

Bossé made his MMA debut this past June and tonight will face former TKO Heavyweight champion, Icho Larenas. Below is my interview with the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu native just hours before his bout. As you know, I usually post the audio to all my interviews but let’s just say his English was, rather, poor. Plus, I wouldn’t want to subject anyone to my broken French (I asked Steve the questions in French but he insisted on responding in English).

Ariel Helwani: Who is responsible for introducing you to MMA?

Steve Bossé: (TKO president and CEO) Stephane Patry (ed. note: Patry is now
Bossé’s agent).

AH: How did you guys meet?

SB: We have a mutual friend and he told Stephane “hey, come see one of Steve’s hockey games. He is a great fighter.” So, he came to see me and I did my best to knock someone out. So, afterwards he told me if you train Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling I will give you one tryout MMA fight. After I won that one fight, he signed me to a contract.

AH: Which team do you train with now?

SB: Team Bergeron in Drummondville. Also, with Fabio Holanda of Brazilian Top Team and my wrestling coach is Jason Chan.

AH: This is only the third fight of your MMA career, are you surprised to be fighting in the main event this soon?

SB: I’m happy to fight in the main event and if I win I hope to fight for the belt.

AH: Did you always want to become an MMA fighter?

SB: I’ve always been a fighter and have boxed. I love my life…my training life and I want to be the champion and I train everyday to be that.

AH: What do you covet more: a contract with the UFC or with the NHL?

SB: All my energy is being put into MMA career. I want to be a champion and maybe one day go fight in the UFC. Hockey is not my top sport anymore.

AH: Have you officially retired from sport of Hockey?

SB: No, I will play 36 games (this year) but I stop playing a month before a fight because I don’t want to get hurt.

AH: For those that are just hearing about you – exactly how popular are you in Quebec?

SB: People in Quebec love me because I’m a striker and a big hitter. In hockey, I’ve been knocking out everyone. I have gone after the top fighters in the North American Hockey League have knocked them all out.

AH: Which MMA fighter do you you try to pattern your career after?

SB: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. That’s my boy.

AH: Why?

SB: Because he strikes well, punches well and is a great wrestler. I want to be the same as him.

AH: Recently, you traveled to Phuket, Thailand, to learn Muay Thai – what was that experience like?

SB: It was a great experience. I trained there for one month very hard. Every day, I would train Muay Thai for four hours and Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling for two hours. When I came back in August, I wasn’t the same guy.

AH: What are your thoughts on your opponent tonight – Icho Larenas?

SB: I am happy to fight the ex-champion because it’s an opportunity for me to prove to the fans that I can train really hard. I just want to be the champion.

AH: How many fights are on your TKO contract?

SB: It’s a five-fight contract.

AH: What are you looking to do when your contract is up?

SB: I am one of the most popular fighters in TKO. I want to stay there and win their belt. I want to protect the belt and then in one or two years maybe go to the UFC.

AH: How do you expect tonight’s fight to go down?

SB: Oh, I am knocking him out, for sure (laughs).

Ready For The Big Stage

MMA Fighter Tristan Yunker is tired of talking trash. Makes sense considering the fact that in the weeks leading up to his last fight (against Rob Kimmons) he appeared to have spent more time smack-talking than focusing on his game plan.

Unfortunately, the 22-year-old lost his bout to Kimmons in the first round via rear naked choke. Did the trash talking have anything to do with his defeat? Who knows but Yunker (11-6) is certainly taking another approach to his upcoming fight against Pete Spratt at HDNet Fights Reckless Abandon this Saturday night. A more respectful approach.

When we spoke to Spratt (16-10) last month he seemed convinced that Yunker was calling him out but, as you will hear in our interview, Yunker denies everything. And you know what? I believe him. Actually, he was rather complimentary of the former UFC star.

Needless to say, both men must focus on the task at hand because they need a win in the worst way. Yunker will look to erase the memory of his loss to Kimmons and Spratt, who appears to have his heart still set on returning to the UFC, will have to build on his last HDNet Fights win against TJ Waldburger to get noticed all over again.

Take a listen as Yunker breaks down his fight against Spratt, the loss to Kimmons and his failure to land a spot on The Ultimate Fighter twice.

Tristan Yunker – 12/13/07

Park Pilgrimage I: HDNet Fights Reckless Abandon

A few months after re-opening JarryPark.com, we’ve decided to take this show on the road. First stop: Dallas, TX. Yeehaw.

We’re jumping on a plane tomorrow to cover the sights and sounds of HDNet Fights from the Lonestar State. Things to looks out for are: a weigh-in report, stories involving people we bump into around the hotel and a live-blogging extravaganza directly from cage-side to your home come Saturday night. Spread the word and tell all your pals that we will have all the up-to-date info on the action inside the American Airlines Center from the first bout up to Kennedy vs. Miller.

If anyone out there is also going to be in attendance, drop me a line at ariel@jarrypark.com or in the comments section below. I would love to meet you.

Park Pilgrimage I (as we like to call it) doesn’t mean that we won’t be posting our general slew of interviews. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of those yet to come.

***12/13 update: My flight was cancelled today due to bad weather. This means I will miss tomorrow’s weigh-ins. Sorry to the one guy in Des Moines who was anxiously awaiting a report on it. 

Mayhem Miller Delivers For You

On the surface, here is what you need to know about Jason “Mayhem” Miller:

* He holds a professional record of 19-5.
* He is a member of Team Quest.
* Since losing to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 52 in April 2005, he has won seven of his last eight fights.
* After leaving the WEC he signed a three-fight non-exclusive deal with HDNet Fights.
* He hopes to avenge a loss to Tim Kennedy this Saturday night at HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon.

However, perhaps more so than any other MMA fighter, there is so much more to Mayhem than meets the eye. Love him or hate him you can’t deny that he is one of the most charismatic and entertaining fighters around. One of the few mixed martial artists who understands the pure art of selling himself and selling a fight.

Miller is known for posting funny videos of himself on the Internet. Most of those can be found here. But before you check those out listen to another classic example of why Mayhem is, well…Mayhem. We discuss his upcoming fight, his infamous videos and what it’s like to work under Mark Cuban.

Jason “Mayhem” Miller – 12/12/07

HDNet Fights: Take Two

Mark Cuban’s HDNet is quickly establishing itself as a leader in MMA programming. Witness the fact that they’ll be showing four solid events in the month of December alone. Things start off with HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon this Saturday night followed by Sportfight XXI on 12/22, the IFL World GP on 12/29 and the Yarennoka! new year’s eve show on 12/31. They also air Inside MMA the best weekly MMA news program on North American television (and the only one to my knowledge) as well as are sporting a new website.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, JarryPark will be travelling to Dallas to cover HDNet Fights in person this Saturday night in what is shaping up to be a pretty solid card. We’ll have more on that later in the week.

The main bouts for Reckless Abandon are:
Tim Kennedy vs. Jason Miller
Frank Trigg vs. Edwin Dewees
Yves Edwards vs. Alonzo Martinez
Pete Spratt vs. Tristan Yunker
Freddie Espiricueta vs. Nissan Osterneck
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Robert Villegas
Chris Bowles vs. Cory Mahon
Patrick Castillo vs. Jay White
Jason House vs. Liam McCarty
Lee King vs. Marcus Lanier

The promotion held a press conference earlier today to preview the card. Among the notables on hand were HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon, President Guy Mezger, Tim Kennedy and Jason “Mayhem” Miller. Take a listen below.

HDNet Fights Press Conference