By Dave Madden @DMaddenMMA
Students of the fight game replay past bouts for further inspection, but I’d suggest a similar weightiness be placed on pre-fight interviews. Often, and unintentionally, the fighters who aren’t slated on the grandest of stages fade into a whitewashed noise. After Jason “The Kid” Knight (16-1) ended Musa Khamanaev’s evening in spectacular fashion at Titan Fighting Championships (Titan FC), Titan FC 35: Healy vs. Hawn, I recalled his recent appearance on Jon and Mike’s MMA Corner. I remembered a discussion of clerical error in professional mixed martial arts, always gripping, and Knight, like the many other fighters, postulated why the audience should remember who he is. Mesmerized by Knight’s gamesmanship in Titan FC’s steel trap, I maneuvered my cursor to Episode 72 of Jon and Mike’s MMA Corner, cued the program to the 1 hour 34 minute mark, and my perspective shifted from a pre-fight warm-up to a post-fight bonus.
When I first heard Knight open his interview about the distorted nature of his professional MMA record, I was intrigued at how such a thing can happen in professional sports; an action that frustratingly smothers MMA’s tones of professionalism. Two rounds worth of listening emulated Knight’s two rounds worth of work he logged in his featherweight debut for Titan FC: round 1, Knight accented southern charm and hospitality; round 2, he clearly isn’t playing around-he’s here to fight,
“They got my record fucked up. My record is supposed to be 15-1. On Sherdog, they’ve got the wrong record; they got me losing to a guy I beat twice. I’ve tried talking to the promoters; I’ve tried talking to whoever I can talk to to try and get it fixed, but there isn’t a whole lot I can do about it.”
When Knight was seated on the stool in Jon and Mike’s MMA Corner, I looked in on myself coaching Knight to fight such a plight. At twenty-three years of age and a collection of submissions, Knight merely wants his MMA contracts to reflect a well-designed curriculum vitae,
“I’m trying to work on it right now and get the correct records, so I can actually get noticed, you know?”
Bearing witness to Knight’s resolve and character as a fighter on September 19, 2015 while logged into UFC Fight Pass, I noticed his focus on his record became muddled in the background. While seated for a second time on the stool, I imagined leaning down to his level, explaining to “The Kid” that actions speak louder than words, and his actions spoke volumes when he snapped his opponent’s seven-fight win streak. Threatening with an oddly angled armbar that engaged the Titan FC commentators to call for a tapout, Knight exploded his positioning from the bottom and transitioned to a triangle choke, executed smoother than releasing cold steel from its sheath.
Those who tuned in to the interview with Knight before the opening bell were relieved to hear a prospect not look a gift horse in the mouth; his eagerness drew anticipation,
“I can’t stress how excited I am about this. It’s just such a big opportunity. I can’t believe that I finally got noticed. It just seems like I’ve worked all this time, and I’ve pushed myself to win all these fights; it’s like I’m spinning my wheels. All of the sudden, I get this call, ‘Why don’t you come fight for Titan?’ That was like a dream come true, pretty much. I mean, of course, the bigger picture is: I want to go to the UFC one day, but Titan is the next step.”
Knight pleaded his case that he was worthy of a step up in competition. The Dethrone Royalty Performance Replay
— Titan FC (@TitanFighting) September 20, 2015
and rendering of the fight’s final data points from Joe Martinez lent credence to his mentality as a fighter, altering the view from someone determined to one who fulfills their will,
“I’ve got more heart than anyone else I’ve ever seen, and that’s not something you can teach a fighter. You can’t teach someone how to have heart. You put them in a bad position, and they’ll try to give up because they don’t have any heart. I’ll tell you right now, I don’t care what position I’m in; I’m going to fight my ass off to make it better for myself. I’m going to make it where I come out on top.”
Knight’s 8 minutes 6 seconds of online stream time, archived for eternity in UFC Fight Pass’ library, and twenty-minute interview with a podcast, similarly tattooed in cyberspace (enjoyed in that order), stimulated a yearn for his return to Titan FC.
Keep up with Jason Knight at:
Jake Collier Re-Signs with the UFC
UFC light heavyweight, Jake Collier (11-4, 3-3 UFC) , took to twitter yesterday, announcing a four fight contract renewal with the promotion.
The Missouri-born, Collier, amassed a 7-1 professional record fighting exclusively in his home state. Following his next fight, a 1st round submission victory over Gabriel Checco in the RFA promotion, Collier signed with the UFC.
Originally, Collier signed as a middleweight. His promotional debut took place in December of 2014 at, UFC Fight Night 58. A bout which he lost to Vitor Miranda via TKO (Head kick and punches) with only one second remaining in the opening round.
— Jake Collier (@Jakecollier88) December 7, 2017
In 2017, “The Prototype”, moved to the light heavyweight division. The move came after a three-year stint at middleweight that saw him go 2-2. Losing to the likes of Dongi Yang, while defeating Ricardo Abreu. His final fight at the lower weight earned him a performance of the night bonus in his, UFC Fight Night 88, TKO win over Alberto Uda.
Upon moving to light heavyweight, Collier has the same .500 win percentage with a record of 1-1. His debut at the weight originally scheduled him against John Stansbury. Unfortunately, Collier withdrew from the card due to injury. Devin Clark replaced him on, The Ultimate Fighter Finale: 24, and defeated John Stansbury by unanimous decision. Clark then fought Collier next, defeating him by unanimous decision. “The Prototype”s most recent bout, a victory over Marcel Fortuna in November at, UFC Fight Night 120.
According to, UFC.com, Collier is booked to fight UFC-newcomer, Marcin Prachnio at, UFC on Fox 28, in Orlando, Florida. The only bout booked to the February 24th card, of next year.
Prachnio, holds a record of 13-2, with 10 knockouts. He most recently fought for the Asian-based promotion, One Championship. The Karate practitioner comes to the UFC on an eight fight win streak, the previous four in One Championship. At twenty-nine, Prachnio is another, in his prime, European light heavyweight signed to the UFC this year (Volkan Oezdemir being the other).
FURY FC 17 Preview: UFC Veteran Roger Narvaez Set to Fight For Gold
Deep in the Hill Country of Texas, there is a storm of MMA action brewing on the horizon in the historic city of San Antonio.
In 1836 the most iconic siege ever to take place in the American West was waged between Santa Anna’s Mexican forces and a small band of Texans fighting for their independence at the Battle of the Alamo. On June 10th that tradition of never backing down continues as Fury Fighting Championships 17 takes place at the Shrine Auditorium with a card that was originally slated to have 20 bouts of MMA action. At the top of the bill, there will be a familiar face as former UFC fighter, Roger “The Silverback” Narvaez, looks to capture his first championship in the sport when he faces Antonio “Doomsday” Jones for the vacant middleweight title. The event will also feature a hot prospect, a kickboxing champion, and a grudge match.
Fury FC 17 will be broadcast live on FloCombat.com.
While the 33-year-old Narvaez (8-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has already realized his ultimate goal of getting to the highest level of MMA, fighting for a title has always eluded him. The 6’3″ fighter nicknamed “The Silverback” due to his abnormal 79.5″ wingspan, or monkey arms as he calls them was twice scheduled to fight for the Legacy Fighting Championship Middleweight Title against then champion Bubba Bush who now fights in the UFC. An injury caused the first fight to be canceled. Then a call up to the UFC to fight an unknown opponent on short notice put an end to plans for the another scheduled title fight.
To Roger, the secret to grabbing the attention of the world’s biggest MMA promotion is fighting for several different promotions. He fought for six different organizations winning all of his fights before getting a call from the UFC’s former matchmaker Joe Silva to ask if he was ready to make the move. Narvaez feels that fighting for multiple shows tells the UFC that a fighter is ready to fight whoever and whenever. His first fight for the promotion was a loss to Patrick Cummins at UFC Fight Night 42 in Albuquerque where he fought at an altitude of over 5300 feet sea level, something he says will not do again unless he is training at altitude. To put it bluntly, he plainly states “the altitude in Albuquerque sucks.” After a win against Luke Barnett, he faced Elias Theodorou. In that fight, he broke his arm before ultimately losing, and was then cut by the UFC.
At this point in Narvaez’s career, his goals now are different:
“The next goal for me, to be realistic, is to make as much money as I can. I love fighting, but at the same time, I have a family that I am trying to support. That is always first and foremost now…[and] Fury is doing a pretty good job of taking care of me…This is a really big deal for me. I am probably training harder for this fight than I have ever trained before. Part of that is with age comes knowledge and experience and I am doing everything I need to do the right way to get ready to come home with that strap, but that strap means ever thing…I didn’t quit fighting with a broken arm, it is going to take something pretty drastic to get me stop. I don’t think the guy I am fighting is going to be able to break my will or test my heart to where I am not going to be able to pull through…coming home with that title is a big deal.”
That home is one of a fighting family. Narvaez’s wife Brandi is also a fighter who recently made her professional debut at Legacy Fighting Alliance 7. His stepson is a gray belt who competes in Jui-Jitsu year round, his daughter also trains in the sport. They understand the hard work that their dad puts in more so than the average fighter’s family. As he puts “it’s not normal, but it is normal to us.”
The prospect to keep an eye on is Two-time Alabama state wrestling champion turned lightweight MMA fighter, Alec Williams (5-1 MMA) from Birmingham. Williams will be looking to rebound from his first professional loss as he takes on Travonne “Prince Scorpion” Hobbs. In his last fight, Alec relied on his wrestling and got it in his head that he did not want to stand and trade with his opponent. That mentality ultimately not only cost him his undefeated record but also to sustain four broken bones in the right side of his face.
“I didn’t get knocked out, I still got the takedown after I broke those four bones. I know it is going to be pretty difficult to knock me out…Honestly, the loss kind of took any pressure off. Before I was undefeated, that loss was going to be a big change and now a loss is just another loss.”
For this fight, Williams says he has been working with MMA legend and former UFC fighter Pete Spratt on his stand up and will not make the same mistake twice.
Also featured on the card is the first Brazilan World Cup Kickboxing Champion, welterweight Washington “Washingthai” Luiz. Originally slated to fight Nickolay Veretennikov, “Washingthai” Luiz will now take on lesser known Danny Ageday. With a new opponent on just four days notice, the man who has aspirations to become a champion in GLORY Kickboxing is not fazed.
“I did my whole camp studying my first opponent who is a striker like me, but I do not feel harmed by the change. I’m ready for this war…The main reason for my change to the USA is the opportunity to be in the biggest events in the world I have already fought the biggest events in Brazil in kickboxing and MMA. I have fought in big events in Europe and now my challenge is the biggest event of kickboxing, GLORY. But I also love MMA and when a fight appears for me, I do not refuse.”
The grudge match at Fury FC 17 comes to us from the flyweights division’s Mark “The Sparrow” Plata and David “Gallito” Miramontes. These two men were scheduled to fight previously but Plata had to pull out due to his wife giving birth to twins. According to Plata, that is where the beef began.
“The day my twins were born he was messaging me talking about how this was not a good reason not fight and that I just did not want to fight him. My kids were in ICU at the time and he just keeps messaging me over and over…it upset me at the time because they were dying, they were trying to survive, but it just added more fuel to the fire. Then he kept asking promoters to fight me. He asked two or three different promoters to set it up. I got tired of him asking for me. So then I was like, alright cool if you want it that bad, let’s do it…His fighting style matches his personality. He tries to be a bully, and that’s cool, I don’t mind shutting bullies down.”
Titles, champions, prospects, legitimate bad blood…what more you could ask for in a local card?
This is an event not to miss and thanks to Fury FC having a deal with FloSports, you do not have to.
Tune in for all the action live at 6:00 PM CST on FloCombat.com this Saturday.
*VIDEO* Francis Ngannou has his eyes on the UFC Heavyweight Title
UFC Heavyweight Francis “The Predator” Ngannou has taken the heavyweight division by storm.
Currently 5-0 in the UFC and riding a 9 fight win streak, the native of Cameroon possesses vicious power and has shown improvements each time he steps inside the cage.
Hear Ngannou talk about his journey and plans for the future:
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