August Updates: Mike Swick Feature, Fight Network Return, Dyn Stuff

Hey y’all! A few updates on a rainy Sunday night here in the 603:

Josh Nason - FIGHT! Magazine August 2011Mike Swick feature in August’s FIGHT! Magazine

One of the true joys in my writing career is my role as a contributing freelance writer for FIGHT! Magazine, the industry’s top magazine for mixed martial arts (aka the UFC for you noobs). It looks slick, it’s well-respected and they pay me. Win win all around!

One of the unique things about writing for print media is that you lose the timing aspect you get in today’s internet world. This month’s feature on UFC middleweight Mike Swick is a great example of that. I have to submit my articles roughly 5-8 weeks before they see the light of ink and page day.

A lot can happen in anyone’s life in a month’s time so part of the game is hoping that nothing too crazy changes between the time of submission to the time of print.

Mike was set to fight at this Saturday’s UFC event in Brazil, 18 months after he last competed due to multiple injuries and a bizarre confluence of stomach issues that essentially made his body work against him.

As bad luck would have it, Mike hurt his knee and is undergoing surgery that took him out of the fight.

Of course, the August issue of FIGHT! hit stands with an awesome three-page layout with part of the focus on this comeback fight. I’m still proud of the feature and believe in it fully, but it kinda stings that the focus of the article had to pull out. Welcome to the print journalism world, folks.

In any case, pick up the issue which also features a great cover story by Chuck Mindenhall on Gray Maynard. Seriously, it’s awesome.

Josh and John Pollock…reunited.

I’ll always feel kinship to my friends at the Fight Network in Toronto, Canada — the same group where I had some of my first major radio interviews back in the day. One of the people I used to chat with is John Pollock, who is a fixture on the network and hosts a series of podcasts about combat sports.

It’s been quite a while since I was on the show (March!) so I was glad to get a text from John Thursday night asking if I could come on the show and talk the UFC deal with Fox. We talked for nearly 30 minutes and I actually got a great column idea out of the interview. I love when that happens!

Here’s the interview. Skip ahead to 70 minutes in to hear myself and John unless you want to listen to a review of TNA Impact.

Other Stuff

– In my real world job, I’m really liking my role as “editor in chief” of Dyn.com. We recently relaunched our entire site and rewrote/restructured all of the content, which was quite an exercise. To some, relaunching a site isn’t a big deal but when you consider we were combining major traffic from a sister site into this one, it was a pretty big freakin’ deal. Our email program is next up for review and some Nason-izing.

– I continue to drop in every few weeks on BloodyElbow.com with a guest editorial or quick-hit news bit. I actually kinda like the guest writer role as I stay free of commitments but still have a presence on one of the most heavily-trafficked MMA sites on the interwebs. Here’s my latest for BE on my ideal UFC debut on Fox.

I wrote an homage to Maura Tierney amidst a lot of bitching about Rescue Me.

– I still need to do something up on Grantland. The fact I don’t go there as much as expected is telling.

– Finally, the WGAM MMA Show keeps plugging along. I feel like we’re putting out a great product but we need more people to listen. (Duh statement, right?) It’s a crowded market for MMA podcasts and shows, but we’re really close to a breakthrough. We have UFC fighters on nearly every week and have talked to some big names. Still, we’re at 12 likes on Facebook as of this writing which drives me slightly crazy. Damn social media.

Until later,
Nason

Maura Tierney On Fire As Final ‘Rescue Me’ Season Flames Out

Rescue Me - Maura Tierney Cancer SurvivorA decline in quality of a TV show isn’t rare, but when it happens to what was once among your favorites, it still stings a bit.

Following the nearly-four month writer’s strike (Nov. 2007 – Feb. 2008) when Hollywood came to a grinding halt, the FX show Rescue Me went against the grain of their traditional 13-episode seasons (a formula that most FX shows have worked to perfection) with a marathon 22-episode year in 2009.

Once upon a time, that wouldn’t have been a problem. But in today’s quicker, faster, less commitment culture, it was a mistake — intensified because the season just wasn’t that good.

Mercifully, it was announced that Denis Leary’s latest gift to the world would come to an end this summer with one final run, not coincidentally closing it out on the same week we recognize the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Through the season’s first four episodes, that decision has looked the like the right as the show has stayed in the same sad muck it’s been in since “the long season” with one standout performance we’ll get to in a few paragraphs.

So what happened? Continue reading

Josh Nason, MMA Addict: Plenty Of Writing And Talking

You wouldn’t think writing about writing would be difficult, but I have struggled like a Single-A pitcher in Fenway Park when it comes to keeping this site updated with links to my work for Wrestling Observer, Bloody Elbow, FIGHT! Magazine and others.

(Seriously, I do this for a living!)

But short of hiring a personal assistant, I came up with a temporary solution: living, breathing pages. What the heck does that mean? A single page per entity where I can log/link my latest stories for a specific news source. (Here’s an example I did for Bloody Elbow.) This will be easier for me to update on a weekly basis as opposed to whatever the hell I was trying to do before.

There’s plenty of non-MMA stuff I want to talk about as well, including a review and early thoughts on Bill Simmons’ Grantland project, some music stuff and talk about Match.com.

Until then, enjoy the updated pages. Three down, more to come:

– Josh on Bloody Elbow
– Josh on WGAM MMA Show
– Josh on WrestlingObserver.com

Read My Interview With Pittsburgh Steelers’ LaMarr Woodley In May’s FIGHT! Magazine

Fight Magazine - May 2011I might be a diehard New England Patriots fan, but sometimes work takes precedent.

I ventured into enemy territory several months ago in chatting with Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro linebacker LaMarr Woodley for a feature in May’s FIGHT! Magazine.

Woodley was a bit easier to track down than Tim Thomas, simply because Woodley is in his offseason — a locked out one at that. We chatted while he was in Michigan on family business and talked about what attracted him to the sport, his training in Florida and being a part of UFC 100.

He’s a good dude and I joked with him a bit over text about whether LaMarr vs. Lesnar would be a great main event (he has no interest in that or any other fight).

Follow LaMarr on Twitter, yet another pro athlete who loves, respects and understands MMA and wants to be involved. We can’t have enough of those guys around.

Josh Nason is a freelance MMA journalist who contributes to FIGHT! Magazine, WrestlingObserver.com, BloodyElbow.com and several radio shows/podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @JoshNason.

How My April FIGHT! Magazine Feature On Boston Bruins’ Tim Thomas Came Together

Fight Magazine - April 2011 - Josh NasonIf you love hockey and MMA, I am fairly confident you’ll like my interview with Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas in April’s FIGHT! Magazine. The story of how it happened is quite something as well.

I remember reading an Ariel Helwani Q & A several years ago on Thomas and wanted to do more of a feature piece on him for FIGHT!. I pitched, they accepted and off we went. But pro athletes in the “traditional” sports are a bit tougher to track down than their MMA counterparts, sometimes to a maddening degree.

Thankfully, this wasn’t the case but it still took a while. I used to work for a pro hockey team and understand the athlete’s workday pretty well. There’s a lot of hard work but there’s a lot of downtime too. I was glad to be able to work everything out, which is more than I can say for another Boston team that I was attempting to work with. That story will hopefully have a happy ending…someday in 2015.

After leaving several messages on voicemail and getting nowhere, I took to Twitter (of course!) and asked if anyone could help out. I hate doing biz in public like that, but desperate times call for desperate social media efforts. And hey, it worked!

The next day, I got an email/call from Eric in their PR department and after several months of trying to figure out a good time for a phone call, we found a window when the team was in Vanouver on a long layoff.

Tim called me on a late-Thursday afternoon and we had a great 30-minute chat about his love of MMA, where it came from and basically anything but hockey. Having worked in the sport for so long, I knew it was going to be fun. Hockey players are very similar to MMA talent in that they are tough dudes who enjoy being tough dudes. For the most part, they can have normal conversations like most normal people and that’s refreshing.

The shifting of conversation away from hockey was done by design as Thomas and many other athletes talk about their professions constantly. Especially in the Boston media, they are doing interviews non-stop about the same subject over and over and over again. I thought it’d be a nice break for Thomas to discuss something other than the ice, even though we did chat a bit about his scrap with Montreal goalie Carey Price earlier this season.

So I encourage you to pick up April’s FIGHT! and check out the feature, along with the other great writing in there. As always, let me know what you think and be on the lookout for another big athlete piece in May’s FIGHT! as well.

Josh Nason is a freelance MMA journalist who contributes to FIGHT! Magazine, WrestlingObserver.com, BloodyElbow.com and several radio shows/podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @JoshNason.

Listen To My F4W Interview With Joe Warren, Read My Bellator 39 Coverage With Eddie Alvarez, Pat Curran

Another busy few weeks for yours truly with a fairly good-size announcement coming shortly. And apparently, I became obsessed with Bellator Fighting Championships recently?

Joe Warren interview with Bryan Alvarez (subscription needed)

In my continuing bi-weekly MMA interview show on WrestlingObserver.com with Bryan Alvarez, we talked to Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Warren for 30 minutes on all kinds of stuff. We covered Bellator, his break in the business at an old age, appearing at a TNA wrestling event, knowing Kurt Angle and more. It was an awesome show and another reason why you should subscribe to the site.

Bellator 39 Preview: Pat Curran Sees A Win-Win Situation Against Eddie Alvarez

Despite the read totals being quite miniscule, I really liked how this turned out. Even though he lost, I think this is one of my favorite features I’ve written in 2011. One of the reasons I love writing is uncovering stories and introducing the public to people flying under the radar. Curran is one of those guys, so I’m happy to help tell a little of his life story.

Bellator 39 Preview: The Unique, Strategic Position of Eddie Alvarez

I couldn’t connect with Bellator Lightweight Champ Eddie Alvarez for a one-on-one, so I took some quotes from a conference call and fused them into an opinion piece. I really loved this one as well and the numbers somewhat seemed to support it.  Alvarez is a talented man on an island, surrounded by the Zuffa sea. For some reason, he’s in no hurry to jump in.

Bellator 39 Live Coverage and Results: Eddie Alvarez defeats Pat Curran

Pretty self-explanatory. Fun night with plenty of great fights, but the best part was sleeping in a hotel on the way back. (Seriously, I was tired!) I’ll cover Bellator anytime as they create a fun atmosphere in small enough venues where the people get into it and can see everything.

April’s MMA Schedule Highlighted By UFC in Toronto, Bellator’s Big Month

It’s a busy month, but not by UFC or Strikeforce. Yep, it’s Bellator!

Audio Appearances

My latest WGAM MMA Minutes are up, but for more free audio, here you go.

 

Josh Nason is a New England-based freelance MMA journalist that contributes to FIGHT! Magazine. He frequently does radio/podcast appearances and asks for your “like” for ESPN Boston to cover MMA.  Follow him on Twitter.

Hear My MMA Interviews With Bobby Lashley And Anthony Pettis Free On WrestlingObserver.com

Bobby Lashley - MMAWell, we’re past the first month of audio interviews on Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Daily and so far, so good!

Both interviews are available to stream or download free right now — more than an hour of audio goodness for you. How benevolent am I?

 

Here’s what co-host and site co-founder Bryan Alvarez and I have done so far:

Anthony Pettis

Bryan and I talked to the final WEC Lightweight Champion as he prepares to take on Clay Guida in June in his UFC debut. The man that threw the kick heard ’round the world in December was great to talk to and the 30-minute interview covered everything from taekwondo to the decision to fight Guida instead of wait for the UFC Lightweight Champion and more.

Listen here.

Bobby Lashley

We got a good 15 minutes in before Bobby’s phone cut out and we never heard from him (seen above) again. Before that point, we talked his main event for Titan Fighting Championships, his contract status with Strikeforce and what he thinks about the Zuffa purchase, his view on wrestling and more. After the interview, Bryan and I previewed UFC Fight Night in Seattle and discussed the Jon Jones’ victory for the UFC Light Heavyweight title.

Listen here.

Next interview is set for Wednesday, April 6th and I’m working on a current champion for a major organization. A former champion is all but booked for Wednesday, April 20th and no, it’s not Nick Diaz.

Josh Nason is a New England-based freelance MMA journalist that has an Eddie Wineland feature in March’s FIGHT! Magazine. He frequently does radio/podcast appearances and asks for your “like” for ESPN Boston to cover MMA.  Follow him on Twitter.