Showing posts with label UFC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UFC. Show all posts

Oct 21, 2022

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 1, No. 6

By Jeremy Pinnell & Kevin Broughton

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to pay-per-view action this weekend (note: 2 p.m. Eastern start for the main card, as the promotion heads back to Abu Dhabi,) with a blockbuster card not seen in quite some time. There’s nowhere to go but up following a near-disastrous UFC 279, so Kevin and a certain Bluegrass State troubadour are here to hash things out. Only one of them is old enough to remember The Cure during their peak; details below.


We've got quite the pay-per-view card coming up Saturday, but we probably should devote a moment or two to UFC 279, which was an insult to cluster f*cks. Khamzat Chimaev busts the weight limit by about eight pounds and shuffles the entire card. It worked out well for Nate Diaz -- who ended up with a win over Tony Ferguson at 170. For Kevin Holland...not so much. 


What to make of that entire goat rodeo? 


Honestly Kevin, I might be crucified for saying this, but the main event was just a spectacle. It was a yawner. I feel like the game has advanced so much that going backwards in fighting styles isn’t entertaining. Obviously, I was a fan of both in the main event, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the upcoming PPV. I gave you the nails, but you have to provide the cross.


Hmm. Some troubling imagery there. This weekend, happily, features UFC 280 and one of the best potential fight cards in a while. There are a ton of interesting angles, starting with the top of the card: Lightweight champ Charles Oliveira -- who's beaten every 155-er not named Khabib -- gets the former champion's protege, Islam Makhachev. It's kinda crazy that the champion is an underdog here, but he's fighting a Daegestani. 


The co-main event has bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling (many don’t consider him the legit belt-holder) defending his title against the Lance Armstrong of MMA, TJ Dillashaw. And in the same weight division, Sean O'Malley finally faces a legit opponent in Petr Yan. 


There's a lot to like about this card. What are you looking most forward to seeing? It's gonna be lit, I think. 


I’m super stoked on this card.  Honestly, every fight on the main card is fire. I don’t even know where to start. I think the O’Malley/ Yan fight is gonna be entertaining AF; I’m a fan of second chances and I hope TJ beats the brakes off Aljo. Makhachev is hungry, but so is Oliviera. Damn, it’s an intense card!

That main event really has me tied in knots. Oliveira went the distance with Ferguson, then stopped Chandler in the second round, Poirier in the third, and Justin Freaking Gaethje in the first. It’s hard to pick against him, but I think Mahkachev is just a different beast. 



Anyway, are you still actively training at Brazilian jiu-jitsu? Serious question: If you're out on the road for a while, do you ever take your gi with you & find a local gym to roll in? 


I am training and it’s going very good. I feel like I’m gaining traction. I never take my gi with me; I’ve considered it, but also I can’t afford any injuries on the road. I’m trying to make money, Kevin. The hustle is real.


Duly noted, sir. Speaking of being on the road, you were quite the warrior in the summer and early fall, so it looks like you're taking some well-deserved time off. Any plans for a short tour between now and the new year? 


No, I needed some downtime. The world is crazy and I’m feeling the heat. I needed to be home with my family for a while. I have a few things lined up but am only taking things I really want… which is kind of perfect. I’m slowly getting interested in playing my guitar again.


Heck, I need to do that myself; I’ve almost lost my callouses and I don’t do that stuff for a living. 


You threw me a curve this time around and told me you've been digging a band called Urban Heat. I was not familiar & did a little research; so what is it that drew you to this group? Sincerely, “Dude who never thought The Cure would change its name and dress up like Lemmy.”



I came across this band the last tour we were on. Their song “City Lights” just sounded so good; I was immediately hooked. I’ve been listening to a lot of synth pop anyway.


Well, color me…surprised. If this were a real curveball, I’d have the umpire search the pitcher’s glove; that’s a lot of break, Cousin. We’ll let Urban Heat take us out of here, wishing you and your better half a happy Sixth Anniversary. 


Aug 19, 2022

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 1 No. 5

By Kevin Broughton and Jeremy Pinnell


The Ultimate Fighting Championship takes its pay-per-view show on the road – to Salt Lake City, not a city typically associated with legalized violence – this weekend, so your humble correspondents are back to talk fightin’, singin’, and maybe other stuff. Let’s go…


KB:  So, we’ve got UFC 278 this weekend, and I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s not an electrifying card. I think Leon Edwards has earned his shot at the belt, but it’s not a compelling main event. You don’t like doing predictions, but I will squeeze you for one pick: In which round do Luke Rockhold and his glass jaw go to sleep?


JPThe card isn’t super exciting, but Edwards and Usman are elite fighters. I guarantee it’ll be a good fight. And I’ll take Costa over Rockhold.  


KB: Hmm. I don’t think Luke makes it to Round 2. 


There are a couple of non-UFC 278 stories brewing below the surface, though. The Nigerian Nightmare – with Leon Edwards on his calendar this weekend – is already talking about a move up two weight classes, to 205. (He says he has no interest in fighting his buddy Adesanya at middleweight; understandable.) Here’s a hypothetical for you: It’s been obvious for a while now that the 205 division isn’t exactly loaded. If Usman were to jump to 205 and win that belt, isn’t he in the all-time GOAT conversation, if not the one himself? Thoughts?


JP:  Kamaru Usman would be a monster at 205. He’s already a spectacle in the octagon, but he lacks charisma. He’s not really likeable, which in unfortunate. Edwards, however, has the story: Overcoming a tough upbringing to find mixed martial arts, and rising to become an elite UFC star. If you’re boring, no one cares. 


KB: I’m not saying he’s the reason Usman might move up to light heavyweight, but there’s this a beast working his way up the 170 ladder right now, Khazmat Chimaev. He’s kind of scary, and by kind of, I mean terrifying. 


I think his only fight that’s been out of the first round was a unanimous decision over Gilbert Burns, himself a monster. 


So what does Dana White do? Matches him with Nate Diaz at UCF 279 next month…on the last fight of Nate’s current UFC contract. I hope Nate gets paid; why do you think Dana White wants him dead?


JP: Chimaev’s first real fight was Burns, and it was a brawl; probably his first real challenging fight in the UFC. Nate was the money fight. As an entertainment aspect, it was a solid choice. Nate has the tank and Chimaev has energy, but how long can he last? Gonna be entertaining. 


KB: Back in the Spring, you sang the National Anthem before a Reds game. My choir does it every summer at (whatever the Braves' park is currently called.) 

Jeremy sings the National Anthem (TikTok)


We have a dude on the front row who turns around and blows a pitch pipe, so we start off on-key.


(a) Were you nervous?


(b) You were on-pitch the entire time; had you practiced, and was there a key you were doing it in?


(c) Was that your first time doing the Anthem in a big setting? And,


(d) For Kentucky musicians, I’d guess “the Anthem at a Reds game” would fall just below “the Anthem at Rupp,” which has to trail only “My Old Kentucky Home at The Derby.” Do I have that right? 


JP: I was very nervous. I get nervous whenever I’m playing -- because I care -- but that nervousness is different. My throat went dry (ha ha.) I was shaking.  It wasn’t pleasant, but it made my family really happy and that’s why I did it. And I don’t know if I’d want to do it again unless it was Rupp or the derby.


KB: As we close things out…I’ve been begging you to listen to some new music for a while now. I was delighted when you sent me a Spotify link to a band I’d never heard of, Goose Creek Symphony. 


Which is odd, because they were formed in 1968. It’s like a different version of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The album you sent (“Welcome To Goose Creek”) debuted just a quarter-century ago. As Solomon said in Ecclesiastes, “There is nothing new under the sun.” What drew you to this “new” old band? Do you know any of these dudes? I know there’s a Kentucky contingent. Have you played with them?


JP: So, my buddy Arlo sent me that record a few months back and it reminded me of The Band a little. I dig it, and no, I don’t know these motherfuckers but I dig their sound. And Kevin, I didn’t want to tell you, but I’ve been diving back in the music. So maybe next card we can talk a little about it? 


KB: Sounds like a plan.



Jun 10, 2022

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 1, No.4

By Kevin Broughton & Jeremy Pinnell


Let's do the fight stuff first, with a look back before we look ahead. UFC 274 featured the worst title fight of all time, where my gal Thug Rose lost the belt in five rounds of bizarre inactivity. What's worse, her boyfriend/coach/groomer, Pat Barry, told her after every round she was doing just fine. What in the heck can we make of this? 


Was she protecting her belt? People hate her boyfriend. It’s really just a bummer. Bad coaching? Probably. I believe I was traveling and I heard how bad the fight was so I didn’t even go back and watch.


Moving on, the company is taking its show to Singapore for UFC 275, which will feature a couple of title fights. Jiri Prochazka -- from the Czech Republic -- is one of the two or three scariest guys in all of MMA. He faces 40-year-old (brand new champ) Glover Teixeira for the light heavyweight belt. My prediction: lots of blood and an early stoppage. Jiri is a 2-1 favorite for a reason; what say you?


I’m not predicting anyone anymore; my picks are terrible! I like Glover because his Jiu Jitsu is strong, but yeah, Jiri is a scary dude. I believe I have a pull with the universe. I lose at gambling, so may the best man win, Kevin.


The co-main event is a battle for the women's flyweight strap. No one has seriously challenged Valentina Shevchenko in her title reign, and she's a nearly 6-1 favorite here. Taila Santos has an impressive 19-1 record, but as Daniel Cormier once said, "There are levels to this game." Any chance for an upset? 


There’s always a chance for an upset. It’s a fucking war. But Shevchenko is such a killer. This might be a solid challenge.


Finally, there's an enticing rematch of 115-pound ladies. Weili Zhang and Joanna (I'm too lazy to try & spell her last name -- it's the Polish lady) had one of the most epic UFC fights ever. Joanna got her head temporarily reshaped. Vegas has these odds the closest. Each of these ladies, interestingly, has lost to Thug Rose twice. Who gets her hand raised? 


Joanna might be past it? I’ve always like Weili, so I’ll say her --  and we’ll see what the universe does -- and then I’ll know if I have a say or not. Also, don’t be lazy, Kevin.


Fine. It’s JÄ™drzejczyk. Neither of us can pronounce it, though. 


As we pivot to music, it turns out you and I are both big Lyle Lovett fans -- though you more than I if body art is any indication. He recently released his first album in a decade, The Twelfth Of June. I was going to love this album unconditionally, and the jazz/big (or, "Large") band vibes remind me a lot of my favorite record of his, Joshua Judges Ruth. Have you broken your recent musical celibacy long enough to give a listen? Your thoughts?


I am a huge Lyle fan and I obviously listened to his new record the day it came out. But we were in a tour van, and it was drowned out by highway noise so I didn’t get a good read. And no, I haven’t broken my music celibacy. I’m just bored. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.


Closing things out, for this edition: A good writer I know recently did a review of Blackberry Smoke's EP of Rolling Stones covers. Assume you have a week of free studio time and any set of players you could ask for. What five songs -- regardless of artist or genre -- would you most like to put on a J.P. EP?


That’s a tough one. Maybe I’d go with… George Jones, “The Grand Tour”; Merle Haggard, “Misery and Gin”; Billy Joe Shaver, “Ragged Old Truck”; Mel Street, “Lovin’ on Backstreets”; and Bob Wills, “Faded Love.”


 How’s that? You wanna pay for it? I’ll give you a co-producer credit.


Hmm. Maybe we can crowd-fund, but I still get a credit for the awesome idea. And geez, a Mel Street reference! What a great way to end this edition. 



Kev’s barely over .500 on UFC bets here lately, but his value plays for UFC 275: 


Jiri Prochazka, -200;


Jiri by second round stoppage, +450 

May 6, 2022

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 1, No. 3

Stars of  mixed martial arts’ premiere promotion will again come out Saturday night, so that means Kevin Broughton & Jeremy Pinnell are back to hold forth on a grab-bag of topics. And our Kentucky troubadour is feeling his oats. Let’s mix it up. 

KB: Let's do the pop culture stuff first. We recently posted a video of Tyler Childers fronting Bobby Weir's band, doing one of my favorite Dead songs, "The Greatest Story Ever Told." Not sure I would have pegged Tyler as a Dead Head, but you never know. (I myself saw the Dead for the first time in the Bluegrass State; Freedom Hall, 1989.) Pick one living artist or band you'd love to step on stage and jam with, and the song. (And why?)

JP: How many hippies does it take to screw in a light bulb? None. They just sit around and watch it burn out then they follow it for 30 years. Never understood The Dead or the fascination. Especially when there are people like Freddie King or Albert King. I don’t know, crucify me I guess but you know I’m right. 

My pick for a dream performance would probably be with one of the last greatest songwriters, Mr. Willie Nelson himself. Most of my favorites have passed, sadly, but he might be the GOAT?

KB: Hmm. I’ll put you down as “undecided” on the Grateful Dead. You do share a sentiment with a fellow pop-culture icon, though:

Moving along, at your suggestion, I've started watching Tokyo Drift, er, Vice. Tokyo Vice, on HBO. It's grabbed my interest; it's well-written and -acted, and based on a true story. I haven't researched anything, to avoid spoilers. What drew you to this series? Is the "yakuza" thing just a different flavor of the classic American mob tale?

JP: I really dig stories of the underworld. It’s just such a fascinating subject. Japanese culture is fascinating by itself, but add some criminal activity and you’ve got my attention.

KB: One of the things that’s impressed me about it is that with few exceptions, all the characters – even the criminals – have some endearing or sympathetic qualities. That’s a mark of good storytelling. 

If you can listen to only three albums the rest of your life, what are they?

JP: I can do this one, Kevin. Waylon Jennings, Honky Tonk Heroes; Guy Clark, Texas Cookin’; and Danzig, Lucifuge.

KB: One of these things is not like the other. Nice. 

Let's get to the main course, because UFC 274 is the best card -- on paper, anyway -- I've eyeballed in more than a year. At the bottom of the main card, there's a career-sunset bout between Cowboy Cerrone and Joe Lauzon. Next up, it's 40-year-old Shogun Rua (he lost the 205 belt to Jonny Bones in 2011) vs. OSP -- probably a "loser retires" match. Then there's Michael Chandler against Tony Ferguson -- a once-great fighter on a 3-bout losing streak. 

My favorite UFC fighter, Thug Rose Namajunas, looks to cement her claim to greatest strawweight fighter of all time against Carla Esparza. And in the main event, Justin Gaethje is a slight underdog to champion Charles Oliveira. A fine menu; let's take it in chunks:

(a) Who do you like in the main event? Based on the recent history of both guys, I'll go out on a limb and say this one doesn't go the distance.

JP: Aaaaaaaannnnd IT’S TIME!!!! I’m a Gaethje fan although I like Oliviera. But Justin is a banger! He will give Charles a hard time and give us a great show.

(b) Does Cowboy make it out of the first round? Hate to put it like that, but he's lost five of his last six, and it hasn't been pretty. He's a betting favorite, but Lauzon is a smart fighter. 

JP: Dang, man. I like Cowboy so much so he’s my pick whether it’s a good one or not.

(c) Chandler won his UFC debut against Dan Hooker, then ran into the buzz saws who'll fight in the main event Saturday. Two guys really needing a win here. Does Ferguson have a shot? He’s a 4:1 dog.  

JP: I’m not a Chandler fan, but I think he gets the win. But a Ferguson victory could turn things around for him and really make things interesting.

(d) Thug Rose: She seems to be cleaning out the straw-weight division with two wins each over Joanna and that bad ass Chinese chick. Does Esparza have a shot? 

JP: I’m not sure why Carla is fighting Rose who has the belt right now, but whatevs.


Jeremy Pinnell is touring his ass off. Catch a show, but don’t request “Uncle John’s Band.”


Kevin’s plays for UFC 274, which are worth exactly what you’re paying for them:

Rose Namajunas (via decision) - +165

Joe Lauzon over Cowboy Cerrone - +150

Lauzon via submission - +700

Charles Oliveira over Gaethje -  -172

Apr 8, 2022

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 1 No. 2

By Kevin Broughton

This weekend marks another UFC pay per view event, so we check in with Brother Jeremy Pinnell. Fresh (well, maybe not so fresh) off a Thursday night gig opening for Dale Watson in The Bluff City, our partner was a little sassy this morning. (Note to self: don’t hassle a dude about deadlines if he could choke you unconscious.)

Let’s mix it up. 

Since last time, I’ve had a chance to listen to The Wilder Blue's self-titled album, and Ian Noe's River Fools and Mountain Saints. These seem like some hot rocks to me. Your thoughts?

I absolutely love that Ian Noe record. He’s an amazing songwriter. I haven’t had too much time to dig into The Wilder Blue but the harmonies are killer and they sound like some talented folks. It’s also 9:00 a.m. and we’re in Memphis so I’m a little out of it. I’ll apologize for my answers after being berated by you last night for a slow turn around.

Moving right along…Say you're a presenter at The Americana Awards. You make what you think is a harmless remark about a nominee's wife's bald head (my hypotheticals are laced with irony.) Husband approaches you, winding up for an open-hand slap. What's your best jiu-jitsu counter move, knowing you have to keep the show flowing?

Hahaha! If I saw said guy approaching, I’d probably close the distance. I’d maybe shoot a double leg and go side control to mount.  I’d control the position until security came or just try to keep distance. But I feel like that is a pretty threatening act which would call for immediate action.

I wasn't crazy about this UFC 273 card at first, but you kinda changed my mind. I think the Korean Zombie is kind of a weird matchup for Volkonovski. That could be a good fight, with the Zombie's length. The rematch of Yan vs. Sterling ought to be lit – given the controversial way Sterling “won” the belt. 

And Burns/Chimaev has potential for a great fight. What are you looking forward to in this PPV?

I was stoked on this card as soon as I saw it. Volkonovski is a banger but Zombie is a murderer. I think everyone knows Sterling doesn’t deserve that belt; he said it without saying it when they put it around him. His pace in the last fight was awful. I’m not a fan. Yan is obviously a way more measured fighter.

Also, Chimaev - Burns is gonna be a war. There’s so much hype with Kazmat right now and, I’m really stoked on that. 

If you were able to competently play one instrument besides acoustic guitar, what would it be, and why?

I’d probably play piano, if I could be a modern-day Mickey Gilley or Jerry Lee. Maybe you can buy me some lessons for Christmas.

Mar 4, 2022

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 1, No. 1

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Mixed Music Action, a hybrid back-and-forth between Jeremy Pinnell and Kevin Broughton that touches on the worlds of music and mixed martial arts…and whatever else may suit them.

When Kevin interviewed Jeremy last fall in advance of the release of his phenomenal album, Goodbye L.A., he was delighted to learn that Jeremy practices Brazilian jiu-jitsu and, like himself, is a big fan of the UFC. Two guys, two great topics and a platform like FTM? To quote UFC ring announcer Michael Buffer – though much more succinctly – “It’s time!”

KB: I caught a show with an artist last weekend -- the second-to-last show on this tour. He was really struggling with his voice, and I didn't envy him on the next night's show. That has to be a common problem in your line of work. Do you have a go-to, emergency throat remedy, beyond gargling salt water?

JP: First of all I want to say I’m happy we’re doing this. Gonna be fun.

So, losing your voice happens a lot. When you’re singing two hours a night -- and we’ve done four-hour nights -- it’s unavoidable. I supplement while on the road: Vitamin C, Vitamin D… I try not to smoke cigars. Throat Coat has been proven to work when necessary. But you have to go hard.

KB: When I recently asked you what's good to listen to these days, your first answer was the new Cactus Blossoms album. They remind me a lot of the early Jayhawks, right down to the Minneapolis roots. What about them do you find so appealing?

JP: I just dig their Everly Brothers sound. The harmonies, the hooks, the songwriting, etc. I also dig the Jayhawks and have seen them twice. Once when I was 16, they opened for The Black Crowes at Riverfront Coliseum 1993. The lights were on and people were strolling in when The Jayhawks played.

KB: Two poignant answers there. In a subtle way, you let me know that I’ve got a decade-plus on you, and now I’m jelly that I never saw the Jayhawks open for the pre-implosion Black Crowes. Whose idea was this feature, again?

Anyway, what's up with JP these days? You touring, raising young 'uns, rolling in the BJJ studio? A little of everything?

JP: I’ve been able to hit the Carlson Gym a little more, but touring is picking up quite a bit. I’m looking forward to summer. Yesterday was open mat at the gym, and my son and I went down, and some surrounding gyms showed up and everyone rolled for a couple hours. It was really cool seeing my son use the things he’s learned and enjoy himself. He’s seven, by the way. He and I have been enjoying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu quite a bit.

KB: Looking ahead to this weekend's UFC 272 card: The main event has "must see" written all over it, and to say there's bad blood between Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal is like saying Jon Tyler dabbles in conspiracy theories. Covington is a sizeable favorite, and his only recent losses are to Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. Jorge is a fan favorite who needs a win. 

Your thoughts on the matchup, please, and give me the winner and method of victory. I'll even go first and say Covington by unanimous decision; his wrestling's too much.

JP: So I talked to my BJJ instructor and asked him his thoughts. I’m a Jorge fan obviously, but he said Colby will probably wear him down by using his wrestling, and probably win by decision. But the cool thing about a fight is, anything can happen! I think Jorge is fighter’s fighter. I don’t think anyone will like Colby even if he does win. 

KB: Hmmm. Going to a ringer for advice on picks? I mean, I’m not calling Brent Cobb or Leroy Virgil for advice on what music questions to ask, but whatever.

Finally, pick me another winner on this fight card.

JP: I like Kevin Holland, but Alex Oliviera is fierce. I’ll take Alex. I’m also taking Edson Barboza over Bryce Mitchell, even though I like Bryce more. But who knows?*


*Solid, underdog picks from the Kentucky Troubadour here, ladies & gents. Serious value plays.



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