Monday, March 19, 2007

Interview: "The Fight Professor" [Pt 2]

By William Davis

William Davis: This has been a huge year for MMA already. Let’s start with Elite XC’s deal with Showtime and their consequent event that aired in February. What was your overall impression of the show?

Stephen Quadros: I think it’s a really big step (for MMA) that Showtime is getting into broadcasting Mixed Martial Arts, and having a Gracie versus Shamrock main event seemed like a good idea. Unfortunately, the match was anti-climatic due to Frank’s disqualification for the illegal knees to the back of Renzo’s head. It was an unfortunate thing to happen. The match didn’t live up to the expectations excitement-wise, but I really get the impression that they’ll have a rematch down the road. There’s always that rivalry between the Gracies and the Shamrocks.

I felt that Gina Carano really established herself as someone to watch with her personality, image, and fighting style. She fought a great opponent (Julie Kedzie) that brought out the best in her. Charles Bennett, Krazy Horse, scored what a lot of people thought was an unexpected KO over KJ Noons, and that was pretty exciting. Overall, I thought it was a pretty decent first step. I think they have a few things to workout presentation-wise, but overall I enjoyed it.

William Davis: Speaking of Gina Carano, Dana White recently said that he couldn’t see a time when Women’s MMA ever made its way to the UFC. Do you think that Women’s MMA has a chance to make it to the mainstream organizations (UFC and PRIDE FC)?

Stephen Quadros: I really don’t know. The UFC is doing so well right now. It’s not like they need to start showing women’s fights. It’s up to Mr. White, and I respect his decision because the formula he has for his company is extremely successful, and they're (UFC) having some of the greatest fights in the world already.

William Davis: Let’s move on to the most recent PRIDE event and start with the Nick Diaz’s win over Takanori Gomi. Were you surprised at the result of that match?

Stephen Quadros: No, I wasn’t surprised at all. The only thing that surprised me was that Gomi ran out of gas. Gomi’s only fought in the US one time before, in Hawaii against BJ Penn. BJ beat him up pretty good and got him in a rear naked choke. Gomi also lost to Marcus Aurelio, in one of the infamous PRIDE non-title fights, by submission. I said, in my preview, that Nick Diaz was going to be dangerous, especially once the fight went to the ground.

I really enjoy watching Nick Diaz fight. To me, Nick Diaz is one that brings everything he’s got. He’s so young, and so much of his potential still lies ahead of him. Even though he’s had three or four losses in his last five or six fights in the UFC, those have been against some of the greatest fighters in the UFC like Sean Sherk, Karo Parysian, and Diego Sanchez. So, going into the fight with Gomi was a dangerous move. Especially since Gomi, in his pre-fight declarations, said he wanted to fight the best of the UFC. He mentioned Georges St. Pierre, BJ Penn, and Matt Hughes. The problem is that Nick Diaz, right now, isn’t even ranked close to those guys.

I did not expect the gogoplata. I’ve only seen one other gogoplata (in MMA competition) and that was in the last PRIDE from Aoki when he put it on Joachim Hansen. It’s a move that was originated by a guy named Antonio “Nino” Schembri, a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, who has fought in PRIDE a number of times. I hadn’t really seen the move effective in MMA, but now we’ve seen it in two PRIDE events in a row.

The outcome was exhilarating because Nick Diaz is such a warrior. He came back after getting battered. It’s a huge victory for the fans.

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