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.

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.

Josh Nason joins Figure Four Daily crew, Anthony Pettis To Be First Guest On MMA Podcast With Bryan Alvarez

Wrestling Observer | Figure 4 OnlineI’ve hinted a bit on Facebook recently about working toward a big MMA-related podcast announcement and Tuesday,  it was time to pull back the curtain on what I’ve working behind the scenes on for six months.

I’m excited to announce that starting March 9th, I’ll be joining Bryan Alvarez of Figure 4 Online/Wrestling Observer fame for a bi-weekly podcast, interviewing some of the biggest names in the MMA game today.

The shows will be part of Bryan’s Figure Four Daily series.

Our first guest? I wanted to start strong, so we got the final WEC Lightweight Champion and UFC top contender Anthony “Showtime” Pettis to be our first guest. We’ll be talking his upcoming battle with Clay Guida, training with a growing team in Wisconsin, the MTV experience and some industry-related chatter that will be a ton of fun. I can’t wait!

Anthony Pettis on FFD with Bryan Alvarez and Josh Nason

UFC lightweight Anthony Pettis joins FFD on 3/9.

This all started coming together back in August 2010 when I met Bryan and site co-founder/MMA journalist Dave Meltzer at UFC 118 in Boston. They were great guys and as a subscriber to the site for several years, I saw an opportunity to help build out some additional MMA content for their audience while also expanding my own brand within the industry.

Traffic-wise and content-wise, the site is a monster destination point and is known throughout the combat sports business, fueled by a passionate worldwide paid subscriber base that enjoys access to both Dave and Bryan’s newsletters, tons of audio content and a message board that simply has to experienced to be understood.

Bryan and I kept talking and in February, the ideas started to take formulate into a solid plan of attack. Finally, here we are and ready to talk to Anthony Pettis next week.

(Did I say I was excited yet? Ok…still excited!)

In any case, check out the site and if you love combat sports (MMA, pro wrestling and even boxing/kickboxing), you should subscribe, if only to hear my beautiful voice which is priceless in its own right. This I know to be a fact. They do have free shows every week, so sample what they have to offer. I’m telling you:  if you love MMA, you’ll love what they have to offer.

It’s been an amazing kick-ass ride so far on the MMA journalism train and I’m anxious to get this next leg of the journey started. As always, thank you for your support!

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

Read my interview with Jon Fitch in February’s FIGHT! Magazine

I returned to the pages of FIGHT! Magazine, the world’s largest mixed martial arts publication, in February with a feature on UFC welterweight Jon Fitch.

Fitch is set to face former UFC Lightweight/Welterweight champion BJ Penn in the main event of UFC 127 in Sydney, Australia. We talked about the importance of the Penn fight, the evolution of his fighting style and misconceptions about style over substance.

I also interviewed AKA jiu-jitsu coach Dave Camarillo who coached Penn in the fighter’s early days at AKA and even co-authored a book on BJJ with him.

Fun story that you can read this month in February’s FIGHT! Magazine.

Josh Nason interviews Jon Fitch in February's FIGHT! Magazine


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

Five Reasons ESPN Boston Needs An MMA Section…And Why I’m The One To Run It

Update: I started a Facebook page and a Twitter feed for the initiative. Thank you for your follows and likes!

When you say ESPN, you’ll get different reactions depending on who you ask.

Some chide the “Worldwide Leader In Sports” for paying too much attention to Brett Favre and Lebron James, others like the fact they can see World’s Strongest Man competitions every week while others simply love the fact that no matter what time of day and method, they can access sports news, scores and opinions.

One of the coolest things they’ve done in the past few years has been the introduction of microsites that focus on some of the biggest cities in the country: Dallas, New York, Chicago, L.A. and the best of them all, ESPN Boston.

The sites leverage existing ESPN content and also feature site-specific features by some of the area’s top traditional print and online journalists, many recruited from newspapers that simply couldn’t match the opportunity.

But while the sites primarily focus on traditional sports (think the four major leagues), each site has its own unique coverage. Examples include Los Angeles who prominently features USC and UCLA and New York with their U.S. Open coverage.

But it’s what the Dallas site offers that really grabbed my attention: a mixed martial arts section.


Their blog is contributed to by three writers, one of which hosts a show on the regional ESPN radio affiliate. While the stories mainly focus on local talent, the section also features news and opinion on national MMA news, obviously UFC-centric.

So with the sport continuing to expand around the world and more eyes than ever focused on the product, it’s time that ESPN Boston adds an MMA section. And yes, I’m the one that should run it.

Need some reasons? Here’s five.

1 – Journalistic experience

Not to brag, but I’ve got the whole writing thing down. I’ve been writing and reading since age 3 and started covering sports in my sophomore year of high school. Through my college years at Orono’s University of Maine, I never stopped. While football and men’s hockey were always the big beats, I took the path less traveled with women’s basketball and field hockey. The niche sports always appealed to me and still do.

After seven years working in pro hockey, I revived my writing career in a part-time capacity with local and national magazines and websites. It felt awesome getting back in the journalistic saddle.

It’s easy to be a blogger. It’s not easy to be a journalist. I take pride in my background and continue to work on my skill set every day. Whether it was being on a beat, writing columns or being an editor, I’ve been there and done that and love learning more about my craft.

2 – MMA experience

While I have never competed in the sport, I understand the discipline it takes to compete in it. While the assumption by some is that the competitors and fans of MMA are bloodthirsty simpletons, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

I was a pro wrestling and boxing fan that began to appreciate MMA in 2005 when The Ultimate Fighter reality series first started on Spike TV. I couldn’t get enough and was fascinated by the personalities, the passion and the dedication these men and women put into their careers.

Armed with that, I began to write about MMA, first starting my own blog and then contributing to other websites like Bleacher Report which helped my work get placement on CBSSports.com. While doing that, I added internationally distributed FIGHT! Magazine and began to do radio appearances.

Between my articles and those media appearances, my name is getting more familiar all the time in the MMA community thanks to hard work and long hours of writing, networking and being dependable.

3 – Online experience

Writing is one thing. Getting that writing found is another.

In my full time job for an email services provider, I’m responsible for creating content and getting clients, prospects and industry pros to interact with us. Whether that’s through social media, comments on blog posts or simple conversations, I feel great accomplishment and pride when those people understand our brand and look to us for answers.

I understand the importance of creating great stories and then promoting them for maximum page views, chatter and reader loyalty. Updating a blog once a week isn’t good enough. A commitment like this requires daily thought and content, created by those dedicated to the cause and up to ESPN standards.

In addition to writing, I’ve been an editor and understand the responsibilities of recruiting the right people to create compelling stories. Having the backing of ESPN would make this whole process even easier to accomplish.

4 – Boston — and all of New England — is ready for it

With MMA legal in Massachusetts, the UFC came to Boston this past August with a pay-per-view card and a Fan Expo that brought tens of thousands of fans into the city for the weekend. UFC President Dana White –a South Boston native — was ecstatic at the amount of coverage the event got as every major media outlet was present throughout the week’s media activities.

They’ll be back, but there are many other regional organizations that are based here that will continue to grow. World Championship Fighting, Combat Zone, Triumph Fighting and more are promoting events on a regular basis and people want to read about who’s next and why they should care. I think we could be leaders in this coverage, leveraging the power of the ESPN brand to satiate these consumers.

And when the UFC does return, ESPN Boston would provide unparalleled coverage of that event.

5 – I kinda work for the ESPN family already

I record a weekly segment called ‘The MMA Minute” on WGAM 900/1250, an ESPN Radio affiliate based in Nashua, NH. That must help, right?

My goal for the MMA section on ESPN Boston would be to create a destination for readers ranging from dabblers to the hardcore fans that are looking to get in-depth coverage and opinion on both the UFC and the local scene. Our work would stand alongside that of Mike Reiss, Gordon Edes, Chris Forsberg or any other ESPN Boston writer in capturing the reader’s interest and engagement with a flavor of everything that encompasses our six-state region.

In a hyper-competitive media market like Boston sports has become, diversification is a key weapon in winning the war for pageviews. It sure would be good having an MMA content general leading the charge, wouldn’t it?

Let’s talk, even if it’s just an informal chat.

Email me at nason35@gmail.com, hit me up on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. I do have a cell, but at the risk of getting bombarded with date requests, I figured that best be held in private.

So what do you say, ESPN Boston? You ready to step into the MMA content cage?

Josh Nason is a freelance journalist who has penned pieces for FIGHT! Magazine, Apollo (Australia) Magazine, Manchester Magazine and more. While he loves to write about mixed martial arts and email marketing, blogging about music and observations on life are passions as well. Follow him at Twitter and check out his audio archive of appearances.

Nason On The Net: A New GUI, The Jake Shields Effect, Interview With A Zombie

A new interface, evaluating Jake Shields and an appearance with a Zombie. It’s the weekly recap in my work ’round the internet.

Email Marketing

SendLabs debuts a new email marketing interface

Our company launched a new interface after months of hard work.

Email Marketing CSI: The case of the one-month old email

I put on my CSI hat and investigate why I got a dated email one month late.

Three simple lessons you can learn from the world’s longest subject line

The Union-Leader’s subject line length is ridiculous. I provide some key tips you can learn from their errors.

Salesforce study shows email marketing rules communication roost

Enough said.


MMA

UFC 121: Why Gilbert Melendez should be a huge Jake Shields fan

Jake Shields debuted at UFC 121 and how things turn out could open the financial door for some future free agents.

Strikeforce drops the ball in forgetting about Brett Rogers

At one point, Brett Rogers was one of Strikeforce’s top heavyweights. Now, he’s a forgotten man.

UFC’s Chris Leben arrested on suspicion of DUI

A news piece about the middleweight’s latest run-in with the law.

Shane Carwin out of UFC 125

A news piece on Carwin’s back injury forcing him out of the new year’s first UFC event.

Interviews

UFC 121 Preview on Rubber Guard Radio

I join Matt “Kid Zombie” Mann for our monthly chat about the world of MMA, focusing on UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez.

Josh Nason is a freelance journalist who has penned pieces for FIGHT! Magazine, Apollo (Australia) Magazine, Manchester Magazine and more. While he loves to write about mixed martial arts and email marketing, blogging about music and observations on life are passions as well. Follow him at Twitter and check out his audio archive of appearances.

Friday Night Fights: John Benoit vs. Don Carlo-Clauss Headlines Combat Zone 35 In Salem, NH

Combat Zone returns to action Friday.While the bright lights of the major MMA groups haven’t yet shone in New Hampshire, regional organizations continue to thrive in the Granite State.

One of those reaping the benefits – Combat Zone MMA – roars back into action Friday night at Salem’s Rockingham Park for their 35th event. Yours truly will be on hand to cover the event with a full post-event writeup.

While it’s not exactly Red Sox vs. Yankees, the event is headlined by Massachusetts native John Benoit (10-2) vs. New York native Don Carlo-Clauss (7-2) in a lightweight bout.

The 11-fight card features four pro bouts and seven amateur contests. While it may be light on household names, regional events traditionally have enthusiastic crowds filled with families and friends from all camps, making for a unique and intimate environment.

Top O’The Card

Benoit comes into Friday on a two-fight win streak, last submitting John Hersey via 1st round choke in September. The 27-year-old is a Renzo Gracie NH student and it shows with five career wins by submission.This will be his Combat Zone debut as he’s mainly competed for Mass.-based World Championship Fighting.

Carlo-Clauss returns to Combat Zone for the first time in over two years. He also comes in on a two-fight win streak, albeit two split decisions. The 30-year old last competed in May.

The co-main event features American Top Team member Will Santiago – making his professional debut after a 3-0 amateur record – against 0-3 Glenn Reeves at 185 pounds.

The Undercard

Santiago isn’t the only talent making his pro debut as Lisbon, NH-native Nate Ainsworth jumps from the amateurs to take 1-1 Adam Toussaint. Ithaca, New York’s Derek Lamb also makes his pro debut against Derry, NH native Nicholas Santos who is looking for his first pro victory at 0-3.

The lone female fight on the card features Shannon Harney vs. Heather Lambert.

The Organization

Combat Zone has been in business for years and have run solely in New Hampshire since the fall of 2008. The group already has dates established for their next three events following Friday night, showing stability and providing their fans with an immediate next event to plan for.

Tickets are still available for the event with doors opening at 6:30 pm for an 8 pm bell time. Amateur bouts are three 3-minutes rounds, while the pros fight under traditional unified rules.

With Combat Zone live Friday, Strikeforce Challengers on Showtime Friday and UFC 121 Saturday night, it’s going to be another MMA packed weekend.

Sounds great to me!

Josh Nason is a freelance journalist whose work has been published in FIGHT! Magazine, Bleacher Report, Manchester Magazine, WrestlingObserver.com and more. While MMA and email marketing are passions of his, he also writes on music, TV and life in general.

Follow him at Twitter and check out his audio archive of appearances.