MM-Eh: Day at a Crossroads

By Andy Cotterill Aug 19, 2008
The UFC has finally made official the rumoured bout between Lethbridge, Alberta’s Jason Day (Pictures) (17-7) and Jason Lambert (Pictures) (23-8), set for UFC 88 “Breakthrough” at the Philips on Sept. 6 in Atlanta. Day is 1-1 in the Octagon after winning his first bout against Alan Belcher (Pictures) at UFC 83 in April, then losing his second go against Michael Bisping (Pictures) at June’s UFC 85 in London. North County Fight Club’s Lambert will be dropping down to middleweight for the first time after a career a light heavyweight.

Day told MM-Eh that the UFC offered him the fight about two weeks ago and it came as a bit of a surprise.

“I didn’t realize he [Lambert] was coming down [in weight] and I didn’t expect to fight again until November,” said Day. “But the more I think about it the more I like the fight and I can’t wait to get back in there.”

In particular, Day likes the fact that for the first time he’ll be facing an opponent who is shorter than he is.

“Usually I’m about the same height or the guy’s a bit taller than me,” said the 6-foot Day. “Most of my sparring partners are shorter than me so it’s something I’m used to for a change. He’s a solid guy. He has good ground-and-pound and I think it’s going to be a good matchup when it hits the ground.”

The fact that Lambert is fighting 20 pounds lighter probably won’t be a disadvantage for him either, said Day.

“When you’re at this level guys come in prepared,” said Day. “If it’s his first cut ever then, of course, it’s going to be something, but I have a suspicion that he’s tried it a couple of times and he feels good at 185 and that’s why he’s making the move.”

Unlike many of his peers in the UFC stable, Day still maintains a full-time job outside of fighting as a home builder in Lethbridge –- but not for long. After his recent loss to Michael Bisping (Pictures) he did some soul-searching and made a big realization.

“I may have gotten a little ahead of myself after the Belcher win and the Bisping fight definitely opened up some realities -- made me realize that to compete at this level I’m going to have to make fighting my full-time job,” said Day. “So that’s what I’ve been working towards this summer. I’ve wrapped up a few houses that I have here, and then making the moves and the adjustments in my life to start fighting full time and training full time.”

Such a big decision doesn’t come without a lot of reflection.

“Right now I’ve been kind of exploring my options and looking at a couple of different camps and a couple cities to set up in,” he said. “I’ve been in Lethbridge for a long time and I love my team here and I love my coaches, but I think it might be time for me to move on and see what the rest of the world looks like and hopefully train with some of the big guys out there and see how hard they can push me.”

MFC signs trio to multi-fight deals

With a TV deal that sees its shows broadcast live in the U.S. on Mark Cuban’s HDNet, Edmonton’s Maximum Fighting Championship is easily one of Canada’s hottest promotions right now. This past week they announced a trio of signings, including LaVerne Clark (Pictures) (25-16-1), Simon Marini (5-1), and as was reported previously in MM-Eh, Halifax’s Roger Hollett (Pictures) (7-1).

Clark’s first bout of a three-fight deal will be a tough one, as he’ll be meeting MFC favorite and Edmontonian Ryan Ford on Sep. 26 at MFC 18 “Famous.” Ford will be looking to bounce back from his first career defeat against Pat Healy (Pictures) last month, and you can be sure he’ll be coming out with something to prove.

Hamilton, Ontario’s Marini trains with Brazilian jiu-jitsu standout and UFC veteran Jeff Joslin (Pictures). Marini beat UFC participant Alberto Crane (Pictures) in June for his most recent win and has inked a four-fight deal.

Finally, Hollett has signed a five-fight deal with the MFC, with the first fight coming Nov. 28 at MFC 19, where it’s possible he might meet the other of the MFC’s recent light heavyweight acquisitions, UFC vet David Heath (Pictures). Before fighting in the MFC, Hollett has some other business to take care of though, as he’ll be facing Marcus Hicks (Pictures) (Pictures) (8-12) on Sep. 20 at ECC 8 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

ECC hosts Cave debut

Extreme Cage Combat held a press conference at the new Palooka’s Gym facility in Halifax, Nova Scotia last Wednesday to announce that their eighth card will be held at the Halifax Forum on Sept. 20 and will feature the return of Roger Hollett (Pictures).

MM-Eh revealed the news several weeks ago that Hollett will be facing Marcus “the Loudmouth Assassin” Hicks (8-12) in what will be his return bout since tearing his meniscus, ACL, and MCL in his first career loss to Lew Polley (Pictures) last October. Hollett said that his Feb. 1 surgery was successful and he is physically 100 percent and eager to step back into the cage.

Of note to boxing fans, 5-0 pro boxing prospect Tyson Cave will be making his foray into MMA. Known for a wit that is as fast as his hands, Cave told MM-Eh that he has joined Team Titans and that he is keen on proving that he’s a great athlete and fighter, and that he doesn’t hold any grudges toward MMA like so many boxing enthusiasts.

“I have nothing against MMA and it’s something that I’m going to try,” he said. “My favorite fighter is Roger Hollett (Pictures), so what better than to fight on the same card as him?”

Cave’s opponent Terry Kerr didn’t seem too upset with his challenger’s dismissive attitude toward him during the Q&A session, but joked that he wasn’t going to make a prediction.

“There’s nothing worse than eating humble pie or crow,” he said.

Extreme Caged Combat 8
Sept. 20
Halifax Forum

Roger Hollett (Pictures) vs. Marcus Hicks
Tannaya Hantelman (Pictures) vs. Jenna King
Jason Rorison (Pictures) vs. Craig Skinner (Pictures)
Tyson Cave vs. Terry Kerr
Denis Lagace vs. Maneka Weva
Kyle Sandford (Pictures) vs. TBA
Matt MacGrath (Pictures) vs. TBA
Tim Kelly (Pictures) vs. TBA
Jaret MacIntosh vs. TBA
Matt McLennan vs. TBA

Baseball gets in the game

In what is fairly unique in cross-sport marketing, the Calgary Vipers Professional Baseball Club is promoting an MMA event on Aug. 29, and it will be held outdoors in Foothills Stadium.

Fight veterans Giuseppe DeNatale and Duke Roufus are organizing the event, and although the full card hasn’t yet been announced, the main event will feature six-time UFC veteran Joe Doerksen (Pictures).

Other fighters on tap include Kevin Manderson (Pictures), Sean Quinn, Jeff Walsh, Todd Gouwenberg (Pictures), Andrew Buckland (Pictures), Brad Cardinal, John Meyers, and Jared Kilkenny (Pictures).

The Fight Club Announces “Retribution”

Edmonton’s TFC 4 “Retribution” will be held at the Shaw Conference Centre on Aug. 29, and in addition to MMA, will feature Free-Fight kickboxing and K-1 kickboxing.

Although fans of TFC staple Nick Penner won’t get a chance to see him in MMA action, he will be meeting Sandy Pembroke under K-1 rules kickboxing.

MMA Bouts

Kevin Dolan vs. Tim Smith (Pictures)
Dave Henry vs. Brandon Carlick
Brent Haley vs. Chris Conlan
Mike Froese vs. Dan Walders

Canadian Calendar

Aug 23: Elite #1 "Showdown at the Dome" - Dundee Sportsdome - Moncton, New Brunswick
Aug 29: The Fight Club 4 – Shaw Conference Centre – Edmonton, Alberta
Sep 5: UGC 21 "Back in Business" - Pierre-Charbonneau Centre - Montreal, Quebec
Sep 6: Fighters Nation 2 – Calgary Corral - Calgary, Alberta
Sep 13: XMMA 5- Compexe Sportif Claude-Robillard - Montreal, Quebec
Sep 18: KOTC – Northlands Agricom Hall D – Edmonton, Alberta
Sep 20: ECC 8 – Halifax Forum - Halifax, Nova Scotia
Sep 20: RITC 31 - Lethbridge, Alberta
Sep 26: MFC 18 "Famous" – River Cree Resort and Casino - Edmonton, Alberta
Sep 27: IMMAC 5 – I.L.A. Sports Arena – Hagersville, Ontario
Oct 3: TKO 35 – Bell Centre - Montreal, Quebec
Oct 4: X-Fights - Moncton, New Brunswick
Oct 11: XFC 6 - CN Centre, Prince George, BC
Oct 18: KOTC - Frank Crane Arena - Nanaimo, BC
Nov 22: Phoenix Fight Promotions 5 – Dartmouth Sportsplex - Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Nov 28: MFC 19 "Long Time Coming" – River Cree Resort and Casino - Edmonton, Alberta
Dec 5: TKO 36 – Bell Centre - Montreal, Quebec
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