Ep. #63 – James Lynch

James Lynch is a journalist who covers the sport of mixed martial arts who has worked for The Score, TSN and Line Movement. He is also the color commentator for Canadian based MMA promotion Rise Fighting Championship.


James Lynch: Been for you uh on the uh on the west coast, you know things are good here. We’Re really lucky in bc like we’re on, like we’ve been on phase three for like a month or something like that. So it’s been, it’s been nice been getting to go back to the gym and everything so we’re. We got a pretty good here, bonnie henry kudos to her she’s, doing a great job for the province, uh, keeping everyone in line and making sure they’re wearing their masks and keeping the six feet. So it’s been good, canada or uh on the east coast. It’S weird, like we’ve, got the atlantic bubble, so we can like travel between new brunswick and pei, but if we leave there we have to like quarantine for 14 days. So it’s just been, it’s been really weird. Um gyms are open, but, like mma gyms aren’t like it’s just regular gyms, it’s awful man. I just can’t wait to get back in there at best yeah. That’S part of the reason why i started this whole quarantine cast was. I was bored out of my mind. My girlfriend was living at her family’s place. We weren’t allowed to see each other. My brother was living with his girlfriend, so i had the place to myself for a month and i was like what do i do uh. Obviously mma is something i’m super passionate about reached out and just got it started. Yeah it’s been cool. I was telling you not fair by the way. Just before i answer your first question, like i like what you’re doing, i think it’s been good to see some different content out there. I always tell people, there’s always room for someone in this industry. You know so i think it’s cool that you’ve been getting a variety of different guests on so i’ve been i’ve been watching it. It’S been, it’s been cool to watch yeah. I appreciate it. I try my best i have like uh journalists come on uh. I had derek clark who owns fla, so i try not to just have the fighters on there and try to get a variety. Uh also had a guy from brazil and had his coach translating which was kind of cool. What got you into the sport uh? That’S, like you know, yeah. You know everyone asked me it’s kind of um, so so i’ll kind of give you the you know it’s kind of it’s a very canadian answer, but i’ll sort of stick it with this. So i initial, i always wanted to be a hockey broadcaster. That was always the goal um i used to you know growing up in vancouver big canucks fan used to watch. I mean i still watch hockey as much as i watch mma. So it’s uh. That was the goal, and then i, when i was going to university in ottawa and uh – i remember just like i remember this so vividly. This is exactly how i got an mma. I was just flipping through the channels – and i remember seeing this guy. Like reality, tv was like, and it’s like peak – you know like it’s still, obviously a big part of television but uh. I remember i saw this guy like break down this door and all this stuff was happening. The ultimate fighter was season, one right, where’s chris, knocking down the knocking down the door and everybody’s like what is this show. This is incredible, so i started watching and i really like took to the cast. I thought it was really cool. They did a good job that season of like really having people that people could be relatable to or like people that you like were interested. Like i remember with chris levin, it was like okay, this guy’s, like an alcoholic, he’s, had a tough upbringing like i found that interesting and then i started watching the fights – and i was like this – is really cool and go back even further than that. Like growing up like during, like maybe my like teen years, like not long, maybe like two three years, there’s a big pro wrestling fan like huge fan during the attitude era, and so that sort of came back to me because i did like that. Competition of it and it and like i said they did such a good job in that season of like building up characters that it kind of reminded me of, like pro wrestling so from there i got hooked um. I ended up uh, you know watching pride and watching all the other. You know great promotions that were out there and it was just like i remember back then when mma was like like during that time. This was like 2004 2005. uh. Mma was kind of like a secret like it was like this cool secret that, like everyone, knew about it. I remember i’d get my friends to watch and i have some like that would tune in for some cards, but i was watching like every single one and then fast forward to like me finishing up like school um. I ended up getting an internship um in toronto. For like, like working at a television network and then ended up leaving that and going to at fight network, which happened to be in toronto, because i ended up moving there and that’s when i was like fully immersed in mma and it was perfect. I was like started off as like a video editor and when i was there like mauro ronaldo worked there. John pollock worked there like all these like ogs and like it was just so cool to be a part of that at the time, and so i worked there for about like three four years to the point of where, like by the end before i left um, I was doing like you know like voicing highlights. I was doing a bit of reporting like i really had moved my way up with the company, so it sort of went hand in hand like me watching the ultimate fighter like back, then you were called a tough noob. Remember that that was what i was back in the day and then uh yeah. I just i’ve been interested in ever since, and i sort of pivoted i kind of forgot to mention that part, like i pivoted from doing hockey to doing mma, because i was like this is something i’m really passionate about. I think i can do a decent job of it and, like there aren’t that many people covering it like back then this was before like ariel helwani was big. This was like when josh gross and tj desantis did their. You know show the beat down on the shirt dog that was my like number one source i used to check out useless in their podcast all the time. So that’s where, like i felt like i could, i could carve my way in there and yeah. So that’s where it started uh, so to speak, yeah very similar. To me i mean the second. You said breaking down a door. I was like rampage: that’s what got me into it when rampage tore down the door, but it’s funny how we both got hooked on it. On the exact same moment, just different fighters doing the same thing: different seasons, i’m only 25, so it like the second that happened. I’Ve watched, i haven’t, missed a card. It doesn’t matter. If i’m on vacation i’ll find a way to stream it uh. I got hooked on it and uh. I started with with hockey as well leafs fan here, but uh. That’S fine grew up. A leaps fan actually like. I was a big wendell clark fan back in the day, so i’m obviously older than you are but uh but yeah. It’S like leaf and canucks, i’m a rare breed because, like canucks fans, hate leafs fans and vice versa. So i’m kind of like a weird hybrid but canucks are number one. Leafs are like like two, you know so for me, it’s for me it’s leafs and then any other team that aren’t the bruins and the habs. We can agree on the bruins. I hate the bruins, so there you go, we can yeah we’re already off. We could start here, uh yeah. I can’t stand them. Obviously you can’t since that uh, that final 2011 man sticks out like a sore thumb. What’S his name’s dad who was in the doing the commissioner uh? What’S his name campbell, colin campbell right because his son played on the bruins, it was such a but and then rome did that hit like that totally ruined the series like that changed that literally woke up the bear pun intended uh when, when rome hit uh horton And then they did the same thing to mason raymond and it just was never the same like it was just yeah. They they own the series after that, so i’m still bitter about it all these years later yeah i mean i would be too um it’s. This season is going to be interesting. The way that they’re doing it, the new format you guys have which i do and that’s a tough matchup like i know people are like. Oh, it’s the wild, but, like you know, they had a lot of momentum because when they switched coaches they really were on a roll um but yeah. If the canucks like mark’s, room’s healthy, i think we’ll we’ll get through it, but it’s tough man. You never know. I see uh today they just announced that michael furlin’s not going to play, which, like leave that guy out of the lineup completely like he’s, got concussion issues. Let him take the year off, no need to put him in there now like. This is a plan like it’s not a big deal like whoever wins the cup, no matter what people are going to say. Well, it was a shortened season. It’S not the same thing right, so why even like go for it this year, just like do it. Do the best you can don’t risk future assets and just just go with that. That’S my philosophy. As a leafs fan, it’s it’s nice because we’re not playing the bruins. So it’s like. We finally have a chance. So it’s like yes. Finally, a new face uh. I don’t think we’re gon na get it done, but uh. You know i’ve lost hope. A long time ago, uh i haven’t seen, leave success since i was like eight so so well back in the night, like people forget this, i wan na give the leaf some credit here because, like i feel like people are very like, oh, they haven’t won a Cup since 67, there was a period during the 90s, where, like they were the best canadian team by far they would make the playoffs every year and they they would always have like an outstanding goalie. Like i remember first, it was like curtis joseph. He was like the guy, they got from edmonton and it was like this huge thing and he would always like they always have like terrible defense and like good forwards and like good goaltending, and they relied on that. And then after curtis joseph left, it was ed. Belfor and then they managed to do that and then the lockout happened, and then they got like you know, loose parts for a couple of years and john ferguson junior as their gm and yeah it was. It was a couple rough years there. I remember that. I remember i remember jason allison played for them. Remember that so yeah we had some. We had some rough times there. We had gustafson and nets and andrew raycroft it. It was not trade ever worst like that trade man, justin pogie, is going to be your future. Over took a rasp, what are you thinking like? It’S crazy, it’s crazy to look back at that. Now it’s pretty and that’s the tosca. Remember him yep, that’s the sasquatch yeah! I mean it’s! It’S weird looking back at those trades because you’re like man, if we didn’t do it, another trade that stands out in mma, though, is that ben aspen trade. Yes, you know it’s the only time it’s ever happened, it’s crazy to think that ben askren uh, you know, ended up. You know, failing essentially in the ufc and then arguably, the greatest of all time has gone to one. What i like about mma right now is that all these other organizations are really growing and it’s given the ufc some competition and as someone that’s watched, ufc for a long time, i’m sure it’s really nice to see that develop uh the way it is and have Some competition yeah. I agree i i’m always going to advocate for more promotions, better pay. All that stuff like pfl like i was skeptical at the beginning, but look if they’re they’re, able to you know pay the million dollars to the winners, all the power to him. I think it’s great for a guy, like rory mcdonald who’s gave his life to this. Sport gave us one of the best fights of all time against robbie lahr, and he wants to get a million bucks, absolutely go, get it buddy go, get it you’re in the welterweight division. Go take advantage of that. So i think um. All this stuff is good. Bellator i mean i know stuff. Now is a little bit weird. We don’t really know what’s gon na happen with with some of these promotions, like pfl basically just said: hey we’re gon na look at next year and now, like bellator and one and all these other promotions are starting to do shows. But i’m with you like, i never get the fan who’s like well he’s in bellatory sucks. It’S like what does like. Don’T you want to see these guys get paid more so they can perform better. I’Ve never understood that, and i know part of it’s like they wish they could fight, and so there’s that sort of insecure like jealousy but like i always hated that it was annoying. It is frustrating especially like you think, of guys, like it’s people say the same thing about strikeforce, then eddie alvarez came in, you know and won the title. You look at jose aldo he’s from wec he’s, arguably one of the greatest of all time um. So there’s a lot of guys coming from other organizations that have been extremely successful, so it’s not to say that the best are just in the ufc um. So i hate that as well like guys from pfl. They could be amazing yeah. They may not be you never know until they compete against look at justin gates. He was the world series of fighting guy before i don’t think he ever fought under the pfl banner marla moris like there’s a lot of good fighters out there. It’S just a matter of you know the right circumstances and getting the right opportunity and we’ve seen that you know time and time again, where guys have risen to the occasion that maybe you didn’t think, look at even someone like robbie lawler, like he was in the Ufc still one of my favorite fights of all time by the way him and nick diaz. That’S like a fight that does not get talked about enough, because if you watch that fight the commentary was so biased towards robbie lawler, because he was considered like the future. This is back like years ago, like people would be amazed if they watched this fight, and this was always when they would name drop the military camp. Always if you watch those like cards like in, like the 2000s and whatever like there’s, always like. Oh they’re at the militage camp they’re going to be good in this fight, so the whole narrative of that fight was that nick diaz is choosing to stand what a mistake. This is rogan’s, like. I can’t believe he’s doing this he’s a jiu jitsu guy and what happens he knocks out. Robbie lawler like it was a crazy win and, of course, lawler ended up losing leaving the ufc a lot of people thought he was done. I remember when he fought at middleweight and all these things and then what does he do? He comes back. He wins the ufc title like that’s. Why mma is awesome, because that that type of stuff can happen. That’S what i was getting at by the way was lawler coming back you’re talking about other fighters from other organizations, he came back, ended up winning a title there’s another good example: yeah and a great example of a guy who’s really fought through a lot of adversity. People have counted out his entire career robbie lawler is a great example of that. I think a lot of people would never expect robbie lawler to win a title, let alone be one of the greatest welterweights of all time, uh. In my opinion, another fighter who really overcame a lot of adversity and jorge mosby doll, who would have guessed two years ago, he’d be fighting for a title and he’d be holding the bmf belt and all this other stuff going with him. He’D be one of the biggest draws in the ufc crazy fight this weekend, six days notice. What’S your thoughts on jorge mosby doll doing that one of the most incredible turnarounds i’ve ever seen in ufc history like, like you know, we just talked about lawler like lawler, won the title and that that will go down. As you know, one of the greatest runs in history as far as the comeback goes, but i don’t know if we’ll ever in our lifetime see someone that was on a losing streak like most of all, was and get to that superstar level like we like, like Last year, the rock donald trump all these people are coming to watch him fight at ufc 244. They made up a belt for him just to fight nate diaz. Like that’s unheard of, i don’t think we’ll ever see that again in our lifetime of someone who’s, you know a veteran fighter to turn it around like that and really just it was. It was just every piece fit that whole run last year with him beating till in a fight where you know, tillage knocked him down in that fight right. He ended up finishing him and then fighting aspirin, where you think okay, this is the fight where the wrestling’s gon na get exposed, and then he gets one of the best knockouts in ufc. History, like that and the mcgregor aldo knock would have to be like the top two of all time in mma i mean that was incredible and then he fights diaz, which is just smart. You know um matchmaking from from his end, because you’re fighting a guy that you know is not going to take you down, he’s not going to try and submit he’s going to stand and trade, and you you’re a lot fresher than he is. You had two other fights this year. Diaz only had one fight like it’s. It’S so important like to have that momentum, so um yeah to get back to the fight, though, like i just think it was um. It was just it made the pay-per-view that much more interesting like the fight itself, i think, was more of a mismatch than it was with burns and usman. Where i mean that’s, not a mismatch, that’s a very close fight, but it just it just added that little bit of extra intrigue to the card that i think it needed and we saw the numbers come out today. I think was 1.2 million. Buys i mean, doesn’t surprise me: the mosfet. All effect is a real thing. Go look at his youtube post fight press conference, 2 million views that doesn’t happen every fighter on the roster. Yeah, he’s really just become like this overnight sensation and it’s crazy because i think his stock rose losing and are getting dominated, essentially by usman like he got dominated yet his stock rose in my opinion, like it’s unheard of uh, i think he’s unbelievable. What he’s done for the sport – and i think his him advocating for fighter pay, i think, is – is huge. Another issue we’re finding uh, not just with pay. Is man the the judging again. It really is absolute [ __ ] it dominate it destroyed two fights. I thought elizabeth zaleski won that fight clearly and it really derails his shot at top 15 and then obviously max holloway uh. How disappointing i disagree with you? Okay, so i you said two fights, so i thought you were gon na be on my side here for a second, because i actually because i’ll get into this in a second, i don’t mean to interrupt you, i’m being a bad guest here i apologize but um. No, the the the the salakov and zaleski fight yes, and then there was the flyweight fight, two between paiva and the other guy, the yeah um. That was a bad call too. The hallway fight see i’m torn on this one. Okay, because i okay, i did score for volcano scale, just i’ll mention that right off the bat, but i don’t think it was terrible because it was just like a lot of people use the r word and a lot of people are big max hallway fans, and I get that but to me it’s the third round that decided that fight and i i would have no issue if you said 4847 max hallway no issue with that. Just like i don’t have any issues saying 4847 vulkanovsky, because what it came down to is this. I think, if we’re everyone watching this, let’s i’m curious, get your comments max one one and two, no doubt no argument there. I think i i had saw some people say that they thought max won. The fourth. Don’T really agree with that. I think volkanovsky clearly won. Four and five, especially fifth, i mean that was a really good round for volkonovsky. The third round is where we got to look at look at things, and that was the closest round of the fight, and the thing is, if you would have given that to either guy that decides to fight. I think that’s pretty like so when people say robbery, i’m not saying you said that by the way, i’m just saying, because you were talking about the judging i to me, a robbery is like diego sanchez ross pearson. Where, like diego sanchez, i don’t think won a single round of that fight and ross pearson did not get his hand raised. That’S a robbery, but in a fight like this, where i think even the biggest max hallway fan knows that vulcanopsy at least won a round. Give him that, if we’re going to bare minimum, give him one round that fifth round there’s no way you could score that for halloway. If, if you have a fight, that’s that close, it’s a close fight, it’s not a robbery! The third round, like i said, decided things i thought volkanovski did enough to do it because he had the combination and then he had the counter left. I think in that one and he also blocked a couple kicks. He also tried for a takedown holloway did do some stuff in that round as well. But i think if you look at ufc stats, i think volkanovsky actually had more significant stats and strikes in that round. So i don’t think that’s a robbery but you’re, but getting back to the original thing, which i totally went off in a tangent on the judging was bad. I mean those two fights in the undercard. Absolute robberies, no issue saying that whatsoever, but the volkanovsky holloway fight was a close fight. There’S a difference. Yeah yeah, i agree it’s. It was very, very close, um, i’m a volkanovsky fan, also a hallway fan, i’m torn, and i wanted holloway to win because i’d like to see the third fight and i just think it really puts holloway in a rough spot. Now, like you lost twice to a champion first, you know the second one was very controversial. I think a lot of people had it for holloway, a lot of people or some people had it for vulkanovsky. So, like you said not a robbery but very close, and the shitty part is: where does that? Leave holloway um? You know, and i it just sucks because i think he’s the only guy that really could potentially take that title from him. So i think that it really depends on what the ufc wants to do. Here i mean they, they did the rematch, so it seems like they kind of want to see holloway get back in that thing, so i i’m not totally ruling out a trilogy fight because the first fight clearly bolkanovsky won like i don’t think anyone debated that other Than max who felt he won, i think most people watching that i happened. I was lucky enough. I was actually live there for that one i mean volkanovski won. He had he had every answer for max hawley maxwell was a different fighter on saturday than he was in that fight too um, but uh, but yeah like. If you would have told me that volkanovsky was going to win again this weekend, then i said yeah max. Go to go to lightweight, that’s, that’s the move! There’S bigger fights up there! You’Ve done enough at 45, you’re not going to fight for a title again soon, but because this fight was close, i’m kind of open to them like like if they want to give hallway another contender like a yarya rodriguez or maybe as a beat or um. You know korean zombie, like i don’t know, who’s gon na fight next, maybe you give him one of those and then do the trilogy fight. I wouldn’t be that upset by that. But part of me, too is like you know: how much longer is he gon na make 45, because that is a tough cut for him right, so um, it’s really going to depend on what the ufc wants to do if they feel fine with the decision and They’Re, like whatever then yeah, it’s probably time for holloway to go to 155, but if they feel like max deserves that rematch or the trilogy fight, i should say then i’m fine with that. That’S where i stand on him yeah i mean i’d like to see it. The third time, because it was so controversial, i think it’s a hard sell uh when a guy loses twice the same guys like dc jones. At this point, it’s like or or how about frankie, edgar and benson henderson. There’S a good example right, like i think. The second fight edgar should have won that and then they gave it to bendo and then he ended up uh. What i think was that when edgar went to 45, i think or maybe he dropped, that he dropped down and fought, although and lost there yeah and then all those twice and lost again exactly yeah um. Those posters behind you are those all the events you went to, or is that so yeah? A lot of people asked me about this, so i i collect i when i, when i was in college and stuff i used to grab posters like i’d, go to a bar and watch the fights and then at the end of the night they just like throw Out the posters like hold on a second here, i want to take one of these. So there’s a few. You can’t see here that are to my to my side here, but uh these newer ones actually purchased. You can buy them online. Uh there’s different ways of buying them. Like there’s a different like, i know, amazon sells some there’s ufc store sells some, so it’s just a variety of different ones, but i wanted to get some recent ones because when i first made this, i had like the ufc 83 poster and i had like um You know a few of the other ones that that you don’t see here, um that i’ve moved over to my other side of my office, but uh but yeah. So some of them are bought just to keep them a little bit recent and then some are just like, like i sort of based it on um, like cool looking posters like, i always think this aldo and mcgregor poster looks so cool like the way they did. That that was like a cooler looking poster um and then some of them, like i love this one when they did the cartoons um, like the comic book, characters for for pettis and uh and melendez and stuff. So that’s i it’s kind of a mix of everything. Just ones that i thought looked good and then good events too, like the toronto one had to include that biggest. You know once i think, second biggest event ever uh in terms of attendance, so yeah i had to do that. One yeah i mean these are mine. Yeah, i don’t uh, i really need a mma set up. I just that’s like i. Just this test coach seemed to work and i just threw it together here, but i really need a poster. I still need to start making something happen. I i like it. It’S a great setup, i figured it was just the events you went to, but it looks amazing. Well, thank you yeah! No, i love it and i’m going to try and switch them up. You know soon, a little bit too, don’t keep everyone. You know that same boring background, trying to switch things up a little bit so we’ll see um us both being canadians. I have to ask your thoughts on george, st pierre being inducted in the ufc hall of fame. I was surprised he wasn’t already in there yeah one of the best ever they’ll, never be another gsp like here’s, the here’s, the here’s where gsp and like mcgregor separate themselves from so many other people, is that they represent like an area of the world right like It’S not like john, like you, don’t have that same connection to like jon jones, because he’s from the states right but george, not only represent canada, but french canadians as well. Like i don’t know, if we’ll ever see a fighter that can get to that level – and it’s just such perfect timing too, because at the time he was rising up, they were doing events in canada, like canada was like a hotbed for them, they would come all The time and it was a big deal and that ufc 129 card i mentioned – i mean they filled up the sky, dome or rogerson or whatever you want to call it like that that that’s just like unheard of right. They couldn’t do that now in in canada unless they had like a mcgregor fight, but they would never do it there. It’S just not a big market for them at this point, but um, yeah, they’re, just so well deserved, and just such a good ambassador for the sport and gsp had his place and it’s funny because, like i see a lot of people this weekend being like well, How come gsp wasn’t criticized like usman was well it’s it’s a lot different. Like i said gsp represented more than just himself as a fighter. He represented a nation. He was a really polite guy. He was a little bit more outgoing. The newsman – and you know people want to talk about his fight style. How many wrestlers gsp has to have to fight tons like usman? Didn’T really have that. I mean he fought a guy in mosul as a striker, so they’re, it’s kind of different situations in terms of like how people are criticized, but i definitely remember people calling gsp boring, so i mean it’s, they both have their fair share of criticism. Yeah. I thought i mean i thought of like because because at that time it was jon jones, anderson, silva gsp and i thought of the three he was the most boring, but i like he said i mean he represented an entire nation at that time. The only other real big canadian start was carlos newton and he was long long gone, you know and he he really paved the way for the royal mcdonald’s. The tj grants all these guys and i think, you’re really starting to see a development of canadian mma tj laramie just got a shot on the contender series. Um. You have uh anthony romero. Welcome gordon fighting coming up here, malcolm the tko flyweight champ uh. Who else did they say? Jesse ronson’s back i mean bronson was already in the ufc, but still that that’s great to see like uh yeah, i always keep tabs on the canadian talent. Obviously, because, like you know, i think it’s so important. It’S criminally undercovered for the most part like mma empire, showed it to that guy. I forget his name up top my head. I can’t remember: i’ve met him a couple times at events uh just at local events, but uh. He does an awesome job with covering canadian mma and that’s so needed in this country, because there’s so many good fighters that just don’t get the opportunity and like uh yeah, you mentioned tj laramie, there’s a guy who should have been in the ufc ages ago holds A win over charles jordan. I was at that fight in montreal tko. Whatever can’t remember his champions, they had all the champion fights on there. Ronson fought on that card too um you had marc, andre barrio on that card as well. That was one of the best regional shows i’ve ever been to. That was at the bell center, uh, 2017 or 2018. I can’t remember that was uh that was such a good card, so yeah yeah, there’s a there’s a lot of high level, canadian talent that hasn’t really been uh discovered. I spoke to jasmine jude. I don’t even know yes, i haven’t talked to her yet she’s on my list. She’S awesome too, and jeffrey yeah, absolutely amazing, uh. I spoke to her yesterday and uh. I really think uh by the sounds of it. She’S gon na get a call here soon for something big um. I would rewatch some of her fights and she is vicious she’s, dangerous and uh yeah. I mean there’s a lot of she’s flyweight right, correct, might correct my memory she’s flying away writers, so she basically she fights it at uh 125, but i think she’s transitioning to strawweight. So i think she’s gon na say the fight i wan na see they got ta do at some point. I mean if it’s in the ufc even better, but they got ta, do jamie lynn, horth and her together, because jamie lynn horth lives up in squamish trains with cole smith. I mean that’s. Those are two of the best women in this country. Like that’s, i’m so, like i know, what’s going to happen, i know eventually they’ll get to the ufc, but it’s just like that’s. I love seeing fights like that. It’S just kind of like, like back in the day a lot of people forget this uh tj laramie was supposed to fight brad cotona years ago, at hard knocks and tj laramie missed wait. So the fight never happened, but you always wonder what would have happened in that fight because you know obviously katona fought someone else and then he ended up. I think winning another fight going on the ultimate fighter. Now he’s not the ufc. Now, laramie’s probably going to get the ufc if he wins this contender series fight against daniel swain, but uh yeah. It’S so interesting to follow all that stuff. It’S i love keeping track of it. Yeah i had a christian savoir on two he’s a he wasn’t all through unbelievable um and he’s only ever fought in new brunswick and i’m like man. He had another big fight that was supposed to uh, take place that didn’t end up happening you’re supposed to fight julian leblanc. Remember that, and that was going to be a fight that was going to get each guy up so yeah, there’s just so many uh good fighters in this country that just you need to get more exposure, and you know i hope tko is okay. They haven’t done a show in a while i’m hearing some rumblings that you know they might not be continuing, but they need as much as they can like good. You mentioned uh. You know the promotion of where you are that’s a good one. Um, you know unified in edmonton they do a great job, uh a little bias to rise fighting championships. We sent tristan connolly to the ufc, so that was really cool like by the way. How cool is that like so like? I’M not i’m not a great commentator like i’m super lucky to even have that that um, you know position with ryze just happen to have some good connections there um and i’m obviously trying to get better. But i called tristan’s fight uh in july last year when he fought dwan owens, and that was an unbelievable fight. It was a fight that tristan really had to work for because he was in trouble as that fight went on and uh and he managed to get the finish late in the fight, so he fights in july. In september i like so i was commentating that fight. Then, in september he’s fighting michelle pereira gets the biggest one like one of the biggest upsets of the year and i’m cage-side for that. So it’s just so cool that, like i got to commentate his fight in july and then i’m literally sitting the same amount of distance from him in september to see him win that big fight that was so cool yeah it was, it was crazy. I mean. Obviously i was rooting for him. I love michelle pereira, just because i mean the guy does backflips and stuff, but obviously going to root for the canadian, but i had i counted him out. I was like he’s not winning this. He won’t even escape the first and then he you know he did that, and that story is very similar to uh justin james. So i interviewed justin james on monday. He got the call of the ufc on wednesday and he won on saturday like it’s just crazy. How the sport’s so awesome, like anything, can happen. You know, like that’s, you loved, like comma worthy a few weeks ago when he finished pena, like no one expected that he was the guy that even when his debut when he fought davonte smith, no one was giving him a chance. Canadian connection there i’ll mention this. I don’t know if you remember this fight comma worthy fought, kyle nelson in uh for btc. I was at that fight uh in toronto, downtown toronto. It was btc’s, i think. First event: como was fighting at 145. kyle nelson knocked him out in like 30 seconds, and i remember after that. Fight thinking like that might be it for comma worthy that might be a career for him. Went up to lightweight went on a win streak got the call to fight devonte smith, his former teammate, knocks him out and now knocks out comma worthy or knocks out louise pena or submitted him or whatever. I can’t remember the finish, but uh either way. Here’S a guy now, that’s actually like a ufc mainstay and you know just a couple years ago he was you know people were saying retire. So it’s just that’s why i love this sport. So awesome yeah you’re, really like it’s not like hockey, where, if you don’t get into it at a certain age, you don’t have a chance. It’S like you know, within six months, uh jasmine, just juice, just suit a vicious there you go. I got it her first fight was in august yeah like last year and like a year later, she’s 4-0 and on the verge of the ufc like it really is. Just you know, you’re right there like it’s, it doesn’t take much to get noticed. One big fight and you could be in the ufc – it’s crazy um. I had to ask you about this. I grew up a huge sports fan every morning. I’D: wake up at five o’clock: i’d watch an hour of sportsnet an hour of tsn and an hour of the score. How was working with the score, and and and what’s next for you so um yeah, it was actually so i’ve um, uh yeah. It was great working for the score, so i should point out that the score that i worked for was like the app. So what happened? A lot of people get confused by this, so what happened was when sportsnet bought the score the television network, they just absorbed that that became sportsnet 360.. They took their app and made that a separate company with the website and the app and they just sort of ran with it. So that was that’s who i worked for, and it was great man like it was a dream job. It really was like i i you know i for those who don’t know like i’ve. You know i’ve been covering mma for a while, like i mentioned the fight network thing, but after i left fight network, i worked at tsn and then i worked at discovery channel and i worked a couple other places as my day. Job just doing editing and i was still freelancing on the side. I was that’s when i started doing my fighter interviews. This was around like 2013 2014 and then, when i became a dad in 2017 um, i knew i couldn’t do both. So i had to pick pick and choose. I couldn’t do the day job and do this on the side. So i like added up my finances. I was like if i could just get on with a couple more outlets. I could probably do this full time. So that’s what i did up until may of last year, so i didn’t know if i was ever going to get full-time like doing like, like you know, just one outlet, full-time travel and all that included. I didn’t know if that was going to happen and it did and they pitched me on it and it worked out great, and you know it sucks like i’m, not with them now um, but it was a dream job. Like i said, i got to go cover almost every pay-per-view. Last year, like from may onwards, i got to go to you, know shifshanko and i i got to go to um. You know international fight week. I got to be there for mosquito. You know knocking out ascor and i got to go to the the bmf fight. You know there’s so many awesome things that i got to do and i’m really happy with the work i did with you know, building up the channel to being you know: 24. 000. Subscribers, after just a year over 10 million views like that was, i was so happy with what i got to do so it was. It was great from the vantage point of that i was like i’m glad. I got to experience that i’m sure i mean i’m. You know i don’t want to sound like conceited or anything, but, like i’m sure, i’m going to get an opportunity like that again, i just you know i feel like i have something to offer this industry so yeah right now, i’m just freelancing. I’M trying to do this full-time, like i was doing before just working for a number of different outlets, the landscape’s a little bit different now so more of what i’m doing now is i’m working for like more outlets, smaller commitments, so i’m still trying to make up That full-time salary, as best as i can like i might have to get something else on the side to just make it work like whether it’s an editing, job or whatever, but uh but yeah. For now, i’m i’m just freelancing. I’M still you know, i didn’t want to lose any momentum like the second they, because what they did was they eliminated my position. So they shut down the youtube channel. They said we’re not going to produce video content, so nick baldwin’s still there he’s still doing a great job doing his news and opinion articles and stuff, but they just did not want to do any more video. They didn’t want to compete with the mma, fightings and junkies out there, so they just eliminated my position. I wasn’t fired. They just said we’re not doing the position anymore, so uh so yeah. So what i’m doing now is i’m just freelancing. I basically i have outlets that say: hey you do a certain amount of interviews for us a month. At this rate, you know brand it whatever they’re exclusive to us and that’s good enough for me. So that’s how i’m making my living right now, it’s tough, but you know what i love it. It’S all on me now. You know like i. If a company doesn’t you know if their bottom line doesn’t work out or whatever it’s? I don’t have to worry about that. It’S all on me at the end, so i’m in control of everything which is great and i got got all my freedom back. So that’s that’s the bonus of it too. I’Ve been i’ve been a huge fan of your work. I i like, i love your interviews. I watched the one you did with line movement. I think that was today with colby covington yeah. That was awesome thanks. What’S it like speaking with a guy like colby, so it’s so cool for me with colby, because, like obviously everyone looks at colby as, like. You know this this character, this figure that he’s out like there but, like i can tell you like i was at his fight against jonathan monye who’s, the canadian guy that he fought in ottawa. Remember that card the ufc auto card was rory and wonderboy. So colby wasn’t doing a schtick back then he was just regular colby and i remember interviewing him then and being like man. This is a good fighter and then we just sort of always kept in touch, and i did interviews with him like like after that, and so now it’s to the point of where, like like here’s something a lot of people don’t know about colby is that, like He’S just like he’s a really good guy, like like outside of all the stick and say what you want about his politics or whatever, but like i’ll, tell you as far as like interviewing fighters, he’s one of the easiest guys to get a hold of and part Of that, too, is because i’ve interviewed him for so long and just like you know like like he’s just like i’ve interviewed him in vegas. I remember there was one time uh when he crashed the kamar usman woodley fight the open workouts. I got in touch with him while i was in vegas and he was at the palms – and he met me at like 10 o’clock at night to do an interview. Like not every fighter does that and like, i think, that’s a side. I wish you know, and it’s to his own fault too, because he’s got this public persona, but he’s a really like nice guy and he like he’s easy to work with and that’s as a reporter as a journalist. That’S what you want! You want things to be fairly smooth if you can and there’s a lot of politics involved, but he’s one of the easiest guys interviewing like i literally texted him yesterday and he got back to me right away like there’s, i i could show you some of the Stories, i think, when i’m done my career, i’ve got some fun stories to tell about. Like i remember one person, one fighter, i emailed them back and forth 17 times until we finally got the interview to go like there’s a lot of stuff like that. That happens. So yeah it’s to answer your question. It’S awesome like it’s so cool and we we sort of have a relationship anyway. So it’s like when we do the interview it’s very comfortable for both of us to do it. It’S not like that with every fighter yeah, it’s it’s cool to build friendships like i’ve. The third interview i ever had with it was with mike rodriguez. Fourth was was with andre ewell and we stayed in touch and like we, we text back and forth. We ask each other how we’re doing it’s it’s, unlike any other sport, where fighters are really really willing to go out there and interact with the fans yeah. It’S it’s it’s nice to see and – and i started this three months ago, just because i was bored and i was expecting – maybe maybe i’d speak to two or three ufc fighters. I didn’t think my fourth and fifth interview were gon na, be you know guys in the ufc long stays in the in the ufc. I didn’t think i’d be interviewing houston, alexander pat milotic, like dean thomas, like i never thought that would happen, and it’s it’s incredible and uh yeah it’s it’s amazing how far it can really go just by shooting your shot and sending someone a message and being consistent. I think a lot of people can learn from your channel uh in the sense that i see you put out content all the time. That’S a key thing like i know guys that’ll. I i can tell you a handful of guys that have covered the sport. That would do like a ton of content at once and then just take off for three months and then like it’s like nothing ever happened, and it’s like you got ta if you, if you love this enough, if you want to it’s a tough industry, but if You want to succeed, you can i’m proof of this. There’S no there’s no blueprint on how to do this. The the one thing i can tell you is being consistent, creating good relationships like you know, you don’t. Obviously you got ta, you don’t wan na be biased towards anyone, but just you know treat people with respect. Don’T try and pull any punches like don’t try and be deceitful when you’re interviewing them or you know, write a clickbait title or something like that. Like just try and be like good about it and just being consistent and, like i said, like people can learn a lot from what you’re doing, because you’re doing a good variety like. I know guys that won’t interview any prospects. I was like what you’re in no position to do that like mike rodriguez. Here’S a good story. I interviewed him back in 2015.. I think it was 2015.. He was fighting for ces, he was fighting at middleweight and he fought this guy pat mccrone and i remember we did our interview and it was just like it was a hilarious interview like mike’s, a character right and uh and um yeah and like so. We always just sort of kept in touch and like a lot of these guys that interviewed on the regional center in the ufc now like it’s so cool, to see like just their progression and like even in my career. Seeing that i’m doing this full time like there was a point when this was just a side job for me and now it’s like my full-time job. So that’s that’s another fun. Part of this is watching these fighters growing their careers and then you kind of go on that journey with them. It’S it’s. It’S really cool. I love it’s probably the best part of the job. Yeah i mean i. I do it simply because i love it and like one of the things i said from the start, was i don’t care if i don’t make it like, i’m an accountant, nine to five uh. Most people don’t even like. Why is an accountant even involved in mma uh, but i love the sport, so i was just like i’m just gon na do this for fun and i never cared about the views i never cared about, whether or not it ended up being something big. I now that it’s like people are actually watching it. It’S nice to see it’s rewarding, but uh and, like you said i don’t, like click baits, i say: quarantine cast episode, 37, the fighter’s name and that’s it, and if you want to watch it watch it. If you don’t don’t i just i, i don’t like the colby covington calls out so, and so, if that’s not the whole story um, so that’s that’s kind of why i did it um that way, yep all right man, i uh. I really appreciate you taking the time i’m looking forward to to more of your stuff and, and i’ve watched you for a long time, so i really appreciate you taking the time to come on. I didn’t think you would. I was like i’m just gon na i’m gon na send a message: what are the odds and uh? You responded right away, so i appreciate it well. First off, let me tell you i love coming on here anytime. We can combine some hockey talk in there. That’S great, i always love supporting fellow canadians, so anytime. You want me on man. Just shoot me a message, i’m more than happy to come on and discuss and, like i’ll, tell your listeners like if they haven’t seen me before, like i’m very accessible like i purposely say this on my live streams that i do every week when i’m previewing cards Or i’m doing q and a’s that like, if you got a question, i’m on my phone all the time i’m trying to keep up with news, even if it’s just like hey who do you think’s going to win this fight i’ll gladly respond? Because i think i think if you don’t appreciate your audience further ahead in this industry and uh, i there’s a lot of times when i’ll take time out of my day to go talk to people, because i think it’s so important and like i wouldn’t be able To do this without my audience, so i i you know i have to thank them. The people that have supported me, the people that have been just so awesome since this whole score thing happened like yeah it sucks. I wish i wouldn’t have to worry about money right now, but unfortunately i do because i got to make sure you know i got food on the table. I got a uh soon to be three year old in uh in in september and uh. You know i. I have a house here in vancouver: it’s not cheap. As you know, uh, you know real estate vancouver’s a little pricey. Well, i’m outside of vancouver. I live actually in a place called tawas and it’s where uh brent seabrook plays for the blackhawks he’s from okay. It’S like a small small area, but uh, not too small, but just outside of vancouver, maybe like 30 40 minutes, is where i live, but um, but yeah, no just uh. Thanks for having me on man, like i love doing stuff like this, where i can just uh, you know talk, some fights talk a little bit about my career or whatever, and hopefully uh. You know. Maybe some people watching your show will will you know want to do the same thing as us and interview fighters, so i think it’s good for everyone yeah and i mean for anyone who is watching and who anyone who’s nervous to do it. It’S you know, fighters are really easy to talk to um. You know they’re, not it’s as bad as it sounds they’re not like hockey players or football players where they’ve been on a pedestal, their entire lives they’re really down to earth. They’Re nice uh. Most of them are ordinary, most are ordinary people and uh they’re really easy to talk to all right man thanks for the time. I appreciate it. Looking forward to some more of your interviews, i’m gon na go uh re-watch that colby one because uh, because i love watching colby talk. So thanks again man. I appreciate it appreciate you. Your listeners can uh uh check me out at lynch on sports. I work for a ton of different outlets, so it’s tough to plug every single one. It would be like one of those like oscar speeches that just they have to play the music to get the person off, but uh yeah at lunch on sports twitter instagram. My personal channel youtube.com lynch on sports, all the interviews i do for different outlets. I put them in playlists on my channel, so that way you won’t miss them and you’ll still be able to see them on there. So uh yeah thanks again man. This is a lot of fun. Yeah! No! Thank you man. I appreciate it all the best yep you too and uh stay safe, don’t uh, don’t catch! Anything nope got my mask on i’ll, be like mortal kombat.

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

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