Posted on February 27, 2012 by Jason Bobbitt
UFC 144 in Japan did not Disappoint
Leading up to UFC 144, it was not known what the reaction would be by Japanese fans as it has been UFC’s first event in the Land of the Rising Sun since UFC 29, almost 11 years ago. One thing the event had going for it is the return of Rampage Jackson to the Japanese fans that made his career.
Although the odds were against Ryan Bader in this match, we at West Coast Authentic were confident as Ryan’s corporate sponsor, that he would upset Rampage.
“It was an easy decision to sponsor someone like Ryan, not only do we have an exclusive contract for his autographed memorabilia, we have also got to know him and his manager, David Martin of Martin Advisory Group and seen for ourselves what a great athlete Ryan Bader is and what a great team he has behind him” says West Coast Authentic owner, Jason Bobbitt.
Ryan called in to us just days before heading to Japan and said he was healthy, confident and not at all concerned that Rampage would be in front of his hometown crowd. He would see Rampage as just another fighter in the cage and Ryan’s job was to defeat him regardless of the odds. That it is exactly what Ryan Bader did. Ryan basically controlled Rampage for all three rounds and the judges score him 30-27 across the board.
Rampage certainly made the fight exciting, slamming Ryan to the mat in round two, just like Rampage’s old days in Pride. Ryan was rattled by the slam but quickly recovered and controlled Rampage for the rest of the fight. This is Ryan Bader’s second win in a row, improving his record to 14-2 and improving his chances at a title shot versus Jon Jones.
We had another fighter on the UFC 144 card that autographs photos, gloves and shorts exclusively for West Coast Authentic, he is now the new UFC Lightweight Champion — Ben “Smooth” Henderson.
We wanted Ben to take the title from Frankie Edgar for a couple reasons; we have an exclusive contract with Ben, and secondly, Frankie Edgar denied one of our other exclusive fighters from the title — Gray Maynard.
We spoke to Gray a couple weeks ago about a possible Edgar-Maynard4 and he was definitely hoping Edgar would hold on to his belt long enough for that to happen. We would love to see Gray have another shot at the title and maybe it will mean another Edgar-Maynard before Gray gets that shot.
Posted on February 23, 2012 by Jason Bobbitt
Ryan Bader speaks to West Coast Authentic before heading to Japan
WCA: Troy Hunnie, West Coast Authentic here with UFC Light Heavyweight Ryan Bader. Ryan thanks for calling in today, how are you doing?
BADER: I’m doing well, I’ve just been training last week here before I leave for Japan and camp’s going perfectly, I’m healthy, I’m ready to go, I’m in shape, I feel good and healthy to go to fight.
WCA: Good to hear hey and thanks for signing those hundreds of photos and gloves we sent you last month, hope you didn’t injure your hand in the process!
BADER: No, absolutely, loved doing it, loved getting it out there to the fans and all that so check it out westcoastauthentic.com and get all your authentic MMA gear.
WCA: I imagine UFC144 in Japan is on your mind right now, are you looking forward to it?
BADER: Oh ya, definitely, you know in training camp you kinda put your head down and just grinding away but know that the fight is get closer you know you start to back off a little bit from the heavy, heavy training so you start see the light at the end of the tunnel and instead of beating up on your training partners all day and getting beat up by them you get do it to someone else you know so I’m excited about it.
WCA: Do you like sushi?
BADER: I do like sushi. We actually went up to Tokyo in November for the press conference so I got to check it out a little bit and know what to expect so ya it should be a cool experience and it was kind of nice to go there beforehand.
WCA: So you and Rampage, did you try and keep your distance when you were over there?
BADER: We were at the press conference and then the day after they had has going around seeing different sites and everything around Japan and some media stuff and we were pretty much with each other all day. Ya, it was fun.
WCA: So Rampage Jackson being a fan favorite over in Japan, do you think this will benefit him or will this be added pressure for him?
BADER: You know, I think it will just be the same really, I mean everywhere you go the fans are not really fighting the fight for you or anything like that you know, we are both travelling over there, we are both doing the same thing and we both train hard for this fight and it is only him and I in the cage you know I am not fighting all of his fans or all of Japan or anything like that I am just fighting him, you know that it really what it comes down to. You know he can have home field advantage but that doesn’t really get to me at all.
WCA: Ok, you’re coming off an impressive knockout win against Jason Brilz in November are we going to see a repeat of that strategy against Rampage?
BADER: Yeah, you know, we got some new coaching staff, I got a new head coach before that fight with Jason Brilz, watching film, running our camps and we had a new boxing coach before that fight also so I feel like I grown a lot as a fighter and definitely you know I gotta use all my tools against a guy like Rampage so am going to go in there, put on a good show, use everything together and go out there and get the win.
WCA: What’s your game plan for dealing with the long flight and time change?
BADER: Yeah, I fought in Australia before, it was a longer flight, I got there a little bit earlier you know you basically get on their time. We have been sparring at little bit here in the morning since we will be fighting around noon Sunday morning in Japan. I’ve done it before. In Australia we fought at like 10am so I’ve been there before and know what to expect and I won’t let that added pressure and added travel get to me at all. I am just going to do what I do, do what I trained for and show up and perform.
WCA: Are you going to spend some time in Japan after the fight?
BADER: We going to stay about three more days, it is going to be nice you know we fight in the morning on Sunday so we’ll have all that day to relax where usually you fight at night, get out of there about midnight and don’t have a chance to really hangout at all so you know we are going to go out there and stay until Wednesday and my coach will be out there and a couple friends are going to be out there so we are going to have a good time afterwards.
WCA: Now back to signing autographs for a second, do you find it to be a great way to connect with your fans?
BADER: Absolutely, anything where I can connect with my fans, you know they drive the sport and everything and for them to get something authentic, right from the source is a great way to connect with them and I’m honored to just be able to do that and that people actually want that.
WCA: What was the craziest thing a fan has ever had you sign?
BADER: Oh man, I’ve signed body parts yeah they usually say sign my arm and I’m like… really? you really want me to sign your arm here? Sometimes you sign a picture of you with a guy from a long time ago and then he sees you later and has you sign that picture that you just took with him then again another picture that he just took of the picture of the picture… that’s pretty crazy but definitely cool.
WCA: Are you a sports memorabilia collector yourself?
BADER: Not so much. I do have a lot of MMA stuff from just being around the sport and being around the guys. As a kid I lived in Reno Nevada and we use to go over to Oakland and my dad was a huge Yankees fan. I have some stuff signed by Don Mattingly and Paul O’Neil, a couple guys like that but other than that it is mostly MMA and I have some footballs, some hockey sticks and stuff like that from just being in the sport of MMA and meeting these different people. I guess I do a little bit and when opportunity arises you can get some from somebody or we do a little trade, I definitely like to do it.
WCA: Ok Ryan thanks so much for your time today, is there anything you would like to say or plug?
BADER: Just look out for this fight and to just let everybody know that all the stuff we are giving out and signing is the real deal so check it out and hopefully it will be worth a lot more after this fight.
WCA: I’m sure it will be. You can follow Ryan on twitter at twitter.com/ryanbader and be sure to visit westcoastauthentic.com for Ryan’s exclusive autographed memorabilia, so come and check it out. Thanks again Ryan and good luck in Japan, we will be rooting for ya!
Posted on February 23, 2012 by Jason Bobbitt
WCA interview with UFC’s Gray Maynard
WCA: Troy Hunnie, West Coast Authentic here with UFC light weight Gray Maynard. How’s is going today?
Maynard: Going good.
WCA: Last time we heard, you were checking out AKA gym in San Jose, how did that work out?
Maynard: Oh it’s going I’m going to head up there today, was up here in November to train and you know it’s a top gym, really good, really good.
WCA: Your living in Santa Cruz now, how far is it to the gym?
Maynard: About 40 minutes. Gotta go over a mountain and then you’re there, it’s a cool drive, not that bad of a drive. I head up there about three times a week, it’s a great place to train.
WCA: How are you liking Santa Cruz in general, compared to living in Vegas?
Maynard: Ah it’s definitely a lot slower paced, lot of mountain biking, lot of surfing. There are about three or four Jiu Jitsu gyms, a guy named Mark Taylor has a gym there. I have been working with the Morozevich’s strength and conditioning for that. They are in town there as well and they know there stuff.
WCA: So you’re fairly active on Twitter and I know you guys get bonuses from UFC for this, is that something you try to go after?
Maynard: I tweet occasionally, I’ll go on little spurts, I’ll tweet and try and answer back a lot of people but as far as being active I don’t know if I’m as active as a lot of people are. Bonuses, I’m just not that organized on Twitter to go after it.
WCA: We heard that you were working with Jose Aldo down in Rio, was that just before his fight with Chad Mendes?
Maynard: Yeah. I was there for a month and then about two days after he fought, yeah he did a great job.
WCA: Are you going to Holland to do some more training with Andy Sour?
Maynard: I’m going to head up there in about a month, so March I might be going up there. I’m a big fan of him so it would be great to work with him and his group.
WCA: If Frankie Edgar holds onto his belt long enough, can we expect a Maynard-Edgar number 4?
Maynard: That’s what I’m shooting for, you know I really mean that, and the UFC, they hope that too because you know that will be a big fight and will be a good fight for the fans as well but for now he has to deal with who he has and I’m gonna have something probably coming up in June and we gotta keep on path until we meet again.
WCA: As you know West Coast Authentic is in the sports autograph industry, and we ask all the fighters this, what was the craziest thing a fan has asked you to sign?
Maynard: Her panties!
WCA: Do you find it difficult in hotels during fight week when you are stopped by fans asking for autographs or to you try and avoid it all together?
Maynard: Well that’s a job I have to do and if I’m prepared to do it I’ll head through then and if I’m not then I stay in my place or a way to not go through or go around it.
WCA: Gray, thanks very much for your time today, it has been a pleasure.
Maynard: Yeah, no problem.
WCA: Gray Maynard fans can visit westcoastauthentic.com for his exclusive autographed memorabilia, so come and check it out. You can also catch up with Gray on Twitter at twitter.com/graymaynard. Thanks again Gray, we’ll talk to you again soon.
Maynard: Thanks for having me bro.
Posted on February 20, 2012 by Jason Bobbitt
UFC Superstar Jon “Bones” Jones Named Honorary Race Official For The 54th Annual Daytona 500
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones will serve as Honorary Race Official for the 54th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 26 at Daytona International Speedway (FOX, 1 p.m. ET).
As Honorary Race Official, Jones will be introduced at the driver’s meeting, participate in pre-race ceremonies and ride in one of the honorary race official cars ahead of the 43-car field for the 200-lap, 500-mile historic race.
“Jon ‘Bones’ Jones is the biggest name in mixed martial arts,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “We are excited to welcome him to the ‘World Center of Racing’ and have him be a part of the pre-race ceremonies for NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race.”
“I am thrilled to be able to serve as Honorary Race Official at this year’s Daytona 500, NASCAR’s premier event,” Jones said. “Like the UFC, NASCAR has a passionate and knowledgeable fan base, and I am honored that I will get to share this experience with them.”
Jones’ holds a career record of 15-1, which is comprised of eight knockouts and five submissions. He was named “Most Dangerous Man” at the 2011 Spike Guys’ Choice Awards and “2011 Fighter of the Year” at the World MMA Awards.
In December 2011, the Endicott, N.Y. native capped off what many have hailed as the greatest year in MMA history with a submission against Lyoto Machida.
Earlier in the year, Jones became the youngest champion in UFC history at the age of 23 after he won all four of his fights and earned the Light Heavyweight title. With two more defeats of former champions later in 2011, Jones became the first fighter in UFC history to defeat three former champions in one year.
Jones entered the UFC in August 2008 after only four months of competing in professional fights.
Currently, Jones trains in Alburquerque, N.M. under legendary MMA coach Greg Jackson. On April 21 in Atlanta, Jones will take on his former champion training partner, “Suga” Rashad Evans, in one of the most anticipated UFC fights of the year.
Tickets for Speedweeks 2012 events, including the 54th annual Daytona 500, are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
If you are unable to attend in person, be sure to tune in to the Daytona 500 on FOX on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. ET.
Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway). In addition, fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter (@NASCAR) and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR and #DAYTONA500.
Posted on February 15, 2012 by Jason Bobbitt
Jon “Bones” Jones featured in the launch of The NOC
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones is one of the featured athletes in the Feb. 15 launch of The NOC (Network of Champions), a YouTube-based project.
Bringing viewers the world’s most famous sports stars like they’ve never seen them before, the NOC is a 24-hour YouTube channel devoted to athlete lifestyle and comedy. Original shows include Say What, a funny take on what athletes say in social media. The Ice Bucket offers an inside look at how athletes unwind off the field. And FaceOff features athletes competing against celebrities and YouTube stars.
Jones is featured in the initial The Ice Bucket video. He spent a day training with the Broome County Sheriff ‘s Office in upstate New York, and the video shows Jones taking part in combat, driving and attack dog training.
“My time with the Broome County Sheriff’s Office shooting for The NOC was amazing. If I wasn’t competing in mixed martial arts, I would want to be working in law enforcement. This experience gave me just a small sample of what happens in that field. I had to be ready physically and mentally for all the challenges, and I can’t wait to get back out there again,” Jones said.
The video can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKj0ZqhaBIQ&feature=youtu.be
Posted on February 9, 2012 by Jason Bobbitt
UFC Welterweight Champ Carlos Condit to visit Eglin Air Force Base March 2-3
UFC Interim Welterweight Champion “The Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit will visit Eglin Air Force Base in Florida March 2-3 to meet with many of the brave men and women serving the U.S. military domestically and internationally.
The trip will be sponsored by Military Debt Management Agency, a non-profit charitable organization which assists military personnel in obtaining previously denied security clearances as well as personal budget counseling, credit education, and affordable debt management programs to active duty and retired military personnel.
“It’s an honor to be able to meet with the our country’s military personnel. They do so much for our country and protect our freedoms. I am excited to visit Eglin Air Force Base to be able to shake the hands of the troops and thank them,” Condit said.
During the two-day trip, Condit will sign autographs and take pictures for military personnel, conduct a question and answer session and also teach a one-hour self-defense seminar for military wives.
Condit, who trains in his hometown of Albuquerque, N.M. at Jackson’s MMA, is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Nick Diaz in UFC 143, which earned him the Interim Welterweight title. He holds a career 28-5 professional record (5-1 UFC), has won his last five fights and 13 of his last 14 bouts overall. Three of his last four victories have ended via KO/TKO.
For more information on Military Debt Management Agency, visit www.militarydebt.org. To follow Condit and his training, fans can visit his web site, www.CampCondit.com or follow him on his Twitter handle, @CarlosCondit.
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