MM-Eh! News and Notes from Canada

News and Notes

By Andy Cotterill Apr 23, 2008
Perhaps the biggest surprise to emerge from last weekend's UFC in Montreal was the thorough dismantling of highly touted middleweight Alan Belcher (Pictures) by newcomer Jason Day (Pictures).

A 29-year-old homebuilder from Lethbridge, Alberta, Day, whose record stands at 17-5, is also co-owner of the Rumble In The Cage organization with Lee Mein (Pictures). spoke with Day, a sizeable underdog heading into UFC 83, about his impressive win.

Andy Cotterill: Congratulations on your win Jason. How long did it take for the elation of winning in the UFC to go away, or has it?
Jason Day (Pictures): It hasn't. Everything fell into place. There nerves were there like any other fight, but as soon as I got to the venue and walked to the Octagon it just felt right. I was at home. My nerves went away and I was less nervous for this fight than any of my last three or four fights.

Cotterill: That's kind of backwards, isn't it? Shouldn't you have been more nervous?
Day: That's what I thought, and it was the total opposite, and I'm still flying high from it.

Cotterill: What was the worst part about your weekend?
Day: The five minutes I had to spend in the sauna.

Cotterill: When was that?
Day: That was Friday morning before weigh-ins. It was the easiest cut I've ever done, and I've got to give my nutrition coach thanks. He got me through the whole week.

Cotterill: What was the best part about your weekend?
Day: Getting my hand raised was probably one of the best moments of my life so far.

Cotterill: What were you thinking once the fight started?
Day: I just wanted to feel him out for the first little while to see what he was thinking. I didn't really see anything on his feet that really scared me. He went for underhooks right away, didn't even go for the Muay Thai clinch, I think.

Cotterill: Were you worried when he got the takedown?
Day: When he got the underhooks the only thing he could really do was take me down so I wasn't really worried or concerned about it. I was kind of like let's get down and try it. He got the takedown and I was pretty relaxed on the ground. I didn't feel in danger at all so I worked my arms in and went right to rubber guard.

Cotterill: Your rubber-guard impressed many people.
Day: People are going insane for that! I mean everybody is losing their minds on the Internet. Eddie Bravo (developer of the rubber guard techniques) posted on the Internet about it.

Cotterill: How long have you been training the rubber-guard -- do you know the whole system?
Day: You know what's funny? I learned that about a month ago. I was training in Calgary and a buddy asked if I'd ever seen the rubber-guard. I'm like, I never heard of it and don't know much about it. He showed it to me once and I just started using it.

Cotterill: It looked you may have been going for an attempt at a triangle choke.
Day: I didn't really want to force the triangle, so I just sort of hung out, and one time I was trying to go for a double armbar triangle but I couldn't get my legs high enough.

Cotterill: Was he hurt from your elbows on the ground?
Day: I don't know if they had any affect at all.

Cotterill: Was it the three right elbows on the feet that hurt him then?
Day: It's actually Justin Tavernini that watched [Belcher's] fight with Starnes who said, "When he clinches he doesn't pull your head down." So we've been working that, and as soon as I felt his hands on my head it was just automatic. Grabbed him and threw the elbows, and the second one caught him flush on the temple I think. The third one he was backing away and I didn't stop after that.

Cotterill: You had the killer instinct.
Day: Yeah, it was like I smelled blood. He backed up and he kind of dropped his hands for a second thinking I wouldn't come after him, and he kept backing up and back-pedalling and you know you see that look in a guy's eyes? I didn't want to stop. Every time I hit him I heard the crowd get louder and louder. The rest is history. I wanted 10 more seconds. All I needed was 10 more seconds and maybe I would have got knockout of the night.

Cotterill: When you were advancing on him, were you ever concerned that maybe he was faking it, and that you might have been expending too much energy?
Day: You know what man? Like I've said, I'm in the best shape of my life and I had no worries. I was unloading, and even after the last few punches I had lots of energy. It didn't even cross my mind.

Cotterill: Were you hurt at all in the fight?
Day: No. I don't even think I got hit in the face once, and I think I could fight tomorrow if I wanted.

Cotterill: You were the X-factor going into this fight. No one knew who you were, and nobody gave you a chance.
Day: That's exactly what I've been hearing. The buzz on the Internet is that I got a huge amount of respect and a ton of new fans. You know what? I've been the underdog for so long that I don't know where to go from here.

Cotterill: The day before the weigh-ins you were hanging out at the hotel, and were in the middle of a dozen fans who were hoping to meet the UFC fighters, and nobody knew who you were. Did that change after the fight?
Day: A little bit. The fans in Montreal were awesome, but now that I'm back here nothing's really changed yet. If my fight had have been on the pay per view maybe.

Cotterill: Did the UFC comment about your performance?
Day: From what I hear when Joe Silva came in the cage and he said, "Nice debut." That was awesome. Greg, one of the guys from the UFC, was wide eyed and said, "That was amazing -- I can't believe you went through a tough guy like that." Maybe I put on a good enough show that they'll put me on the live PPV next time.

Cotterill: How many fights on your contract?
Day: It's a four-fight contract, with three to go.

Cotterill: Has there been any discussion as to when you'll be in there next?
Day: Nothing man, I have no idea who's up next.

Cotterill: Who would you like to fight?
Day: I don't know. There's nobody I have bad blood against, that's for sure. I think I'd like to fight Bisping; he's a wicked fighter and high energy. I definitely want to go after the tougher guys. I want to get the same guy that everybody else wants in the middleweight division wants to fight, but I guess I'll have to go through a few guys before I get to him.

Cotterill: What would you do if they came to you tomorrow and offered Anderson Silva?
Day: When and where? No hesitation. That's what we're working for, right? Without a question.

Cotterill: Who are some other guys in your club who you'd like to see in the UFC?
Day: Jesse Bongfeldt. He deserves to be there I think 100 percent. I think he'd make waves in the welterweight division. (Bongfeldt is the current TKO welterweight champion.)

Cotterill: What have you been doing back in Lethbridge?
Day: Back at work. I took a whole week off the gym, had a beer or two. I cut out booze once I start training, so it's nice for a Canadian boy to have a couple beers now and then.

Cotterill: Are back to work building homes?
Day: Yup. I've got to get these houses going. I still have to pay bills.

Cotterill: Does that keep you humble?
Day: Absolutely, I'm by no means living the "rock star" lifestyle. Hopefully one of these days I can get enough sponsors, or I get a good enough contract that I don't have to work anymore and I can train all the time. Right now I'm still a homebuilder first and a fighter second.
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