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

Apr 12, 2024

Mixed Music Action: Volume 3, No. 1

By Jeremy Pinnell & Kevin Broughton

This weekend features one of the greatest cards in UFC history, so what better time for the return of your favorite combat troubadour and his trusty scribe? Georgia Pinnell fans, there’s big news for you, too, so let’s dig right in.

What's up, partner? Been a good minute. We've got two major events coming up shortly, UFC 300, and the return of Jeremy Pinnell to the Peach State for the first time in three years. Which are you looking more forward to? I mean, pay-per-views come around every few weeks, but how pumped are you to hang with your partner-bro in journalisming? And do you know anybody who can get a boy on the guest list?

Kevin, I’m stoked for this Pay Per View. I wish I was gonna be home to watch it, but whatevs. Also, I am stoked to hang out and officially meet you in person. I feel like we’ve been going back and forth for over two years on whether or not you’re a government spy or some kind of plant, to expose the alt country music scene for what it really is? I’m guessing a little bit of both but I’m all in either way. Honestly, I’m just happy to be on the road. 

If your phone’s not getting blown up with money requests from the RFK Jr. campaign, it’s missing a great opportunity. This UFC card..."stacked" and "loaded" don't really seem to do it justice. Just to give the fans some perspective, we've got the No. 5 and No. 2 contenders going at it for the next shot at the 205 title; Calvin Kattar fighting the former bantamweight champ; and former women's welterweight champion Holly Holm facing an incoming judo beastess...on the preliminary card. How nuts is this lineup?

Dawg…even the early prelims are worth the pay per view buy in my opinion. This will be pure entertainment all night. 

I want to get to the main card in a second, but there's been a lot of buzz about the lady newcomer, Kayla Harrison. She won judo gold medals in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, fighting at 172 pounds, and ran through the 155 division in PFL. Now she'll fight former women's champ Holly 135 pounds. 

Harrison is close to a -500 favorite in her UFC debut. But man, she's probably been not just cutting weight, but making major lifestyle and physiological changes. That's a big challenge, but if she gets to 135 the day before the fight, do you see bad things for the lovely Holly Holm?

I watched her sizzle reel, and she is an absolute animal but 135 lbs. is a huge cut from 175. I’m assuming Holly is 100% comfortable fighting at that weight? I’m a Holly fan but we’ll see.

See YouTube Short Izzy Couldn't Stop My Takedowns

Looking to the main card, man, what a spread! Let's start with former lightweight champ Charles Oliveira, whose only loss in about 10 years is to Islam Makhachev. He's the No. 1 contender for the belt, and he's an underdog to Arman Tsarukyan, who's number 4 in line. It says a lot about a packed 155 division, doesn't it? 

Honestly, I’m just excited to see Oliveira fight. He such a measured martial artist and his submission game is one of the best. Both their records kind of even out. Very exciting matchup. 

Dana White threw a fun one in for the fans: Justin Gaethje will put his BMF belt on the line against Max Holloway. This one ought to be fun; I think Justin's a healthy favorite for a reason, but Max is a tough out for anybody. What's your read on this one? 

I love the BMF belt! Justin is one of my favorite fighters but so is Max, and Max is only 31, and only getting better. He struggled with Volk, which really surprised me how much he took. That fight made you realize how good Volk really was. This matchup is just pure excitement and fun. Both of these guys are killers.

Turning to music, word on the streets you've been spinning a lot of Sierra Ferrell. Mixed Music Action Headquarters approves! In these days when a fella can't go 30 seconds without hearing about Taylor Swift or Beyonce, what do you like most about your fellow Appalachian artist?

Sierra seems like she’s just doing what she wants, and people are catching on. I love it when artists do what they want and people catch up. I had the opportunity to see her live last year, and she was amazing; blew everyone away. Her new record is so powerful; it takes you to a place, and that’s how you know it’s good: When you find yourself somewhere else.

It’s powerful.

Also, I told you I was listening to BigXThaplug and you paid no mind. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Sometimes you assume things were told you in confidence.] But in this serious time you need people enjoying life, and I’ve been going through his entire catalog. It may be the best hip hop going right now. I’m answering these questions in the tour van. You owe me a coffee. I appreciate ya, Kevin. 

Dec 15, 2023

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 2, No. 5

By Jeremy Pinnell & Kevin Broughton

The UFC closes out the year with its final pay-per-view of 2023, as do your humble journalistic correspondents, Jeremy “I’ll choke your ass out” Pinnell, and Kevin “don’t do it with the actual blue belt, please save my dignity” Broughton, with their expert analysis. Seriously: This might be a fight worth the 70-ish bucks Dana is charging via ESPN+. Or not. Read on.


Kevin:  Hey, dude. It's been a minute. These last few UFC events have been pretty underwhelming, and you've been busy. Playing music and (checks notes) earning a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu! First off, congratulations. Let's use this moment to educate me a little on BJJ; I assume there's a basic set of standards (holds/escapes/etc.) you have to achieve. In general terms, what involved in earning a blue belt, and what was the process like for you? 


It took me almost 3 years to get my blue belt, maybe a little more? I was traveling quite a bit and I would become inconsistent in my training. I don’t know much about rank but I’m surely beginning to understand, and your capacity to use and comprehend technique has a big role in advancement. Plus commitment, obviously. 

If I recall correctly, I had to go through multiple guard passing techniques and sweeps. I’m sure there was more involved, but my memory goes quick these days.


Kevin: After some not-so-compelling fight cards, UFC 296 has excellent potential to close out the year on a high note. Colby "Make Fighting Stupid Again" Covington gets his third shot at welterweight gold, this time against Leon Edwards...who's twice beaten Covington's former nemesis, Kamaru Usman. I have to say, I think the wrong fighter is favored here; Edwards is a -155 favorite to Colby's +130. My gut tells me Covington's size, strength and wrestling will be too much for Leon. Pinnell, am I missing something?


Jeremy: No, I don’t think you’re missing anything. Colby is a banger. It’s gonna be interesting; although I like Edwards he wouldn’t be my favorite on this fight.


Kevin:  There are a couple of tasty matchups on the undercard. UFC all-around nice guy and welterweight gatekeeper Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson stands between Kazakhstan mauler Shavkat Rakhmonov and a run at the 170 title. These Soviet-bloc Sambo dudes are all pretty scary; can Wonderboy keep this guy at range? I kinda crave a Wonderboy spin-kick for the upset win, but that’s me talking with my heart. 


Jeremy: Shavkat’s record is clean. Wonderboy always amazes me. That’s an interesting matchup. Gonna make for a great fight.


Kevin: Finally, may we talk about Tony Ferguson? From October 2013 to June 2019 our guy won 12 straight fights, besting the likes of Rafael dos Anjos, Edson Barboza, Josh Thompson, and Athony Pettis. Then he lost to Justin Gaethje and five more guys in succession. Tony's 39 and on a six-fight skid. Does he have enough in the tank to beat Fatty Pimblett, the most overrated UFC fighter since Coke Monkey McGregor? 

Jeremy: Honestly, after seeing Paddy propped up by the UFC, this is kind of a lame fight considering Tony is on his last leg. Although I hope Tony knocks him out. 


Kevin: Fine, but I’m pretty sure he goes by “Fatty.” And Tony is kind of a brain-dead lunatic, but I’m with you. 


You recently closed out a stretch of dates to end your touring year.  Did you have a favorite, or most memorable this year, and are you trying out any new material on the road? 


Jeremy:  I’ve been to New York multiple times, and this time it was different. It was like I understood it or something? We had lunch at the famous Nom Wah Tea House, and I bought a fake Rolex and gifts for the family. It was maybe a highlight. We also hit Texas this year, and that was a great tour with good friends. It’s been a good year. Of course we’ve been running new ideas; you have to. 


Kevin: You told me you've been listening to Croy And The Boys a good bit here lately, and I'm thankful you turned me on to them! Other than the honky-tonk ethos, what drew you to these guys? Have y'all ever crossed paths? 


Jeremy: So, I got to meet these guys at the Ameripolitan awards and just dove into their music after hearing the tune “I Get By.” I felt like I fell upon a gold mine. Seriously, they might be my favorite current band? 


Kevin: Well, here’s one of theirs from 2017, “Leaving’s The Last Thing,” but stick with me anyway, Slick.


Kevin: I gave you the rare homework assignment a couple weeks back: Watch this documentary about Tom Petty and the making of Wildflowers. I tend to come up goose eggs when I float a musical suggestion to you; please tell me you're not a Tom Petty hater, Jeremy! Did anything stand out to you about the recording/producing/song selection portions of this film? 


Jeremy: Actually Kevin, I did watch it and enjoyed it very much. I love Tom Petty. I connected with his relationships with musicians, and the idea of moving away from the normal way of doing things and making your own path to create good art. It’s hard to create something beautiful in a hostile or damaged place with musicians. It’s good to do your own thing. Unapologetically. 


Kevin: Aight, Cuz. Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to all the Pinnells.




Jul 28, 2023

Mixed Music Action / Vol. 2, No. 4

By Jeremy Pinnell & Kevin Broughton

This weekend’s UFC 291 fight card may be the best of the year so far and includes the revival of a “fun for the fans” faux-title. Let’s dig into another edition of Mixed Music Action. And look! We’ve got company, too.  

Kevin: Saturday's UFC 291 features a great card. There's no conventional title on the line, but Dana White has reincarnated the "BMF" belt with the retirement of Jorge Masvidal. And you know what, JP? Let's just give the folks some highlights of that scrap -- Masvidal's last win in the UFC -- from almost four years ago:

Personally, I like the idea of the BMF ("Baddest Mother Fucker," for those wondering) belt; it's cool for the fans. I thought Diaz-Masvidal was a perfect matchup, and I really like Dustin-Justin 2 for the second incarnation. Your thoughts?

Jeremy: Hey, Kevin. We’re on tour right now so I’m gonna include our tour manager -- and my jiu jitsu instructor -- Mr. Blayne Hodges, who has kindly taken some of his time to hit the road. He’s been a good friend and huge part -- maybe the biggest part -- of my martial arts journey. He also teaches my son and I’m grateful for his friendship.

Kevin: A little irregular, but I’ll allow it. Is there some proof that this Mr. Hodges exists? 

Jeremy: Well, here’s a picture from the other night…

Kevin: Oh, my goodness. You & Blayne have the floor.

Jeremy: I’m a Gaethje fan, but Dustin’s jiu jitsu is legit. It’ll be a banger for sure. Either way I’ll like the outcome. I’m gonna pass on to Blayne. 

Blayne: I like both guys but have always had a slight personal bias towards Dustin. He’s a little bit cleaner, but still thrives in the pocket under fire. One of the best switch hitters we’ve seen outside (Max) Holloway and (Cory) Sandhagen.  I think his volume and composure gets the job done again, but Justin is a dog for sure.  I also like the BMF title --  nothing wrong with a little theatrics. It’s good for the sport.

Kevin: Masvidal said that Dana "picked the right two guys" for BMF 2, so I'm excited. I don't think we'll see much grappling. 

There are several other intriguing fights on this card. In the light heavyweight division -- where the belt keeps getting vacated due to injuries -- Jan Blachowicz is a slight favorite over former 185 champ Alex Pereira. You have to think the winner will fight for the belt next. 

At welterweight, Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson -- the #7 contender -- reprises his role as division gatekeeper and will be a slight favorite over *another* Pereira, this one named Michel. Somehow Tony Ferguson keeps getting paid to fight; he's a big underdog to Bobby Green at lightweight. And finally, there's a tasty, contrast-of-styles fight at 170 with grappler Michael Chiesa facing off with striker Kevin Holland.

I think this card is fire. What blows your dress up here?

Jeremy: I mean I’m stoked to see all of it, but Blayne and I were just saying how crazy it is that Wonderboy is still in the top ten. He’s been at it for a while and is still incredible. I’m going with Tony in the Bobby Green fight. Also, I think Blachowicz will probably dominate if it goes to the ground. 

Blayne: The whole card is really compelling front to back.  I’m curious to see how Alex does moving up. His hand speed and power are obviously always a factor but that cut to 185 had to be killing him. All the OG’s around him talk about how big he is so potentially that could really help his gas tank.  Jan has underrated grappling in my opinion, but I’m not sure it will be enough to get the finish.  Excited to see how that one plays out.

Kevin: Sorry, I just keep looking at that picture of you two, wondering if anybody would be crazy enough to try & swipe a tee shirt from the merch table.

There's one dude worth mentioning on the prelim card, because he's a fan favorite. I mean, who doesn't love The Black Beast, Derrick Lewis? But lo and behold, dude's lost four of his last five (and they haven't been pretty losses) and I find myself dreading every fight for him. I guess when I look at the way Robbie Lawler went out with a win, it's sad to see guys like Cowboy and Jorge and Tony Ferguson go out on long losing streaks. Am I too sentimental?

Jeremy: Don’t get soft on me Kevin! I feel similarly, but just from my observation, it doesn’t look like Derrick cares. So, whatevs. Also, Lawler shouldn’t have been in a prelim for his retirement. That’s like a gold watch and fuck off.

I understand the sentiment, but I think fighters have a clear choice to move on at an appropriate time --  and some hold on for different reasons. Whether that be an unrealistic perception of where their skills are currently in relation to the other top athletes, or just for a paycheck.  I hate to see it but it’s a part of the human condition.  To walk away from fighting for some is like looking at their mortality.

Kevin: You've been back out on the road. I believe you've been to Tulsa, Little Rock and Dallas so far, and you're in Austin tonight (The White Horse.) Anything fun happening? Met any cool people? Playing any new material? Will you ever again play Atlanta, Georgia?

I have so many questions. Go.

Jeremy: Tulsa was great. We rehearsed in St. Louis on Monday, then the air conditioning went out. Some good people in Tulsa helped us out, and now the van is an ice box. Little Rock at the Whitewater tavern was super fun. A lot of good people and good energy. Friday the Whitehorse is gonna be great. Always a good time. I’m a big fan of Texas.

Kevin: You fellas have fun out there. (No need to say “Stay safe.”) And just hear me out, now: I think you guys, if you’re ever looking to fill some down time, well, the possibilities are endless.

Apr 7, 2023

Mixed Music Action: Vol. 2, No. 3


By Jeremy Pinnell & Kevin Broughton

Easter weekend features another big UFC event, but the month of April sees yet more honors for one half of your MMA team of correspondents. Maybe Jeremy’s thinking to himself, “Wow! If I’d start collaborating with Kevin sooner, I’d have a Grammy by now, and maybe a slot on ‘Dana White’s Contender Series.’”

Read on.

KB: Another edition of Mixed Music Action brings yet more glory for my partner. Not only are you an Ameripolitan award winner, you're getting it done on the mat, too. I believe you won a silver and a bronze in your first jiu-jitsu competition; I have so many questions! Were you nervous? Will this fuel your hunger for more competition? Heck, JP, what was it like?

JP: I got the gold in “gi” and bronze in “no gi,” Kevin. I tell you what, my first match I felt very heavy. All my strength was gone. I had some difficult “no gi” matches but won 2 of 4 -- it was a round robin tournament. I hated it, but the reward came later after a day or two. I felt centered and at peace. I think I needed to see where I was at, and it made me a better human being. Testing yourself. I have a deep respect for people who put it all out there in the ring, octagon or mat. I don’t know what’s in store, I know I need to keep training and we’ll go from there.

KB: Gold and bronze! A thousand pardons, sir, and hearty congratulations.

I've been wanting to ask about your songwriting process for a while now. I assume everyone's experience and technique vary from song to song. A couple years ago when we talked about Goodbye LA (the title cut specifically,) you said the band was loading in for a show and someone commented that as hot as SoCal women are, "they don't want babies," and that became the genesis of the song.

Let's pick another one, because I'm pretty sure it's my favorite song of yours, "The Ballad of 1892." (I get the feeling it's a go-to for you, too.) What went into that song? What was the inspiration, and how did you work it out?

JP: My process has changed over the years. I’m usually on the go, so I write in my head if I have a melody or hear something that sparks an idea. I never used to write anything down and I typically don’t but, in my older age I want to start making a record; that is, something to leave my son.

“The Ballad of 1892” came from a book I read by Emma Goldman; it was the story of her and Alexander Berkman and the assassination attempt they made on Henry Clay Frick -- a known union buster and all around shit bag. I didn’t agree with everything in the book, but she would say things like “We’re slaves to the whip, and we love it.” After the attempt Alexander went to prison and Emma hid out in brothels, helping the women take care of themselves. It’s just a hillbilly version of anarchism and a nod to the working class. The boss needs us; we don’t need the boss.

KB: There's been some movement in the world of Mixed Martial Arts since last we checked in. Jon Jones is now the UFC heavyweight king, and he made it look ridiculously easy. I expected more out of Cyril Gane, to be honest. Stipe Miocic is next up for Bones, but it's hard for me to see anyone giving him a problem so long as Francis Nganou is MIA. Your thoughts?

JP: Man, Stipe looks old and Jon is no joke. I want to see Francis and Jon, period. That’s the fight for me. 

KB: You and me both. Dana’s gonna have to come off the wallet, though. Maybe he’ll have some extra dough now that the UFC bought the WWE (don’t even get me started.)

Back to UFC 286, the biggest shock had to be Valentina "Bullet" Shevchinko losing her belt; one misplaced reverse kick, and she's choked out. One has to think there will be a rematch pretty soon, because she's second only to Amanda Nunes in terms of dominant female fighters. What say you?

JP: I saw Grasso train for that exact back-take. They knew it was coming; Bullet was losing her composure the entire fight. Grasso was just waiting for the right moment, and it paid off. 

KB: This weekend's UFC 287 features a middleweight rematch for the belt Israel Adesanya lost to Alex Pereira last fall. Any chance Israel tries to grapple a little bit? Because as Sean Strickland (and Izzy) showed, standing in the pocket and banging with a world-class kickboxer ain't smart. 

JP: I’m excited about this main event. I feel like Izzy did really well last time, but Alex caught up with him. Alex is scary but so is Israel. I think you’re right about grappling. Might need to do something different which will be interesting if that’s the case.

KB: Finally, the co-main event features a fan favorite badly in need of a win -- Jorge Masvidal -- against Gilbert Burns. Street Jesus wants to keep this fight on the feet, but Burns will have other ideas. What are you looking for in this fight?

JP: Burns is gonna smoke Jorge.

KB: I think you’re right, Champ. Till next time, we’ll think about an attempted murder of an all-around shit bag.

Mar 3, 2023

Mixed Music Action Vol. 2 No. 2

By Jeremy Pinnell & Kevin Broughton


The first weekend of March brings martial arts fans a much-awaited Pay Per View and the return of a legend to the UFC octagon…


Wait! What’s this? Some breaking news? Hold on…



KB: Let's start off with the "music" portion this week, because we've got an award winner up in here! When I peeped your tour dates before our last edition, I noticed a Memphis gig for the Ameripolitan Awards. For folks who don't know, these awards are the brainchild of Dale Watson and fall into three broad categories: honky tonk, rockabilly and outlaw. And who walked away with the "Male Honky Tonk" prize? Our very own grappler/songwriter/journalist!


You're in some high cotton, buddy, so congratulations. I have to ask first: Did you have an inkling you were the winner when you booked the gig? In any case, how much does this honor -- bestowed by your peers -- mean to you?


JP: It was a cool experience; I’ve always been a huge fan of Dale’s. I didn’t think I’d win, so I didn’t even have a speech prepared. Maybe next time, if there is one. I’m not one for fancy stuff and getting dolled up (KB – “Say it ain’t so!”) but it was a neat experience and I’m very grateful to be a part of. We went to Graceland, which is a trap, bro. DO NOT GO, unless it’s not busy and you’re not on a time schedule. We had Checkers for post celebration dinner and KFC twice. So, we didn’t starve.



KB: Before we look ahead to this week's pay per view, UFC 284 featured a super fight for the ages. Nobody -- you and me included -- expected anything other than a finish by Islam Makhachev over Alex Volkanovski. Lo and behold, Alex took him the distance; and two of three judges had Volk winning two rounds out of five. What a fight; Alex is the toughest sumbitch in the UFC. Change my mind.


JP: Alex is tight. It was such a great fight; I couldn’t look away. Makhachev’s wrestling didn’t look as sound as people put on. He’s no Khabib. His stand up didn’t look bad, but Volk is a tank. I loved that fight; probably gonna watch it again.


KB: We have a highly anticipated main event for UFC 285, but before that let's talk about an up-and-comer in the first bout of the main card. Bo Nickal was a phenomenal wrestler (184 lbs.) at Penn State. He barely missed making the Olympic team, and was the Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year in 2018, when that conference produced nine first-team All-Americans in football and four NBA first-round picks. 


Nickal won his contract on "The Dana White Contenders Series," and I'm finding it hard to stay off the hype train. He's a -2000 favorite over journeyman middleweight Jamie Pickett, meaning for a bettor to win $100, he must risk two grand. He certainly has the look of a star in the making; what will you look for in his big-stage debut?


JP:  I mean he’s a wrestler, I watched him hitting the pads and it seems like something is off. I’m not on the hype train. I’m curious to see what he’ll do.


KB: Hmm. I’ll remember this when you try to climb on the train later.  And of course, we have the long-awaited return to the octagon for Jonny "Bones" Jones, easily one of the two or three greatest mixed martial artists of all time. It's been three years since Jones has fought, and he's moved up to heavyweight from 205. He's a slight betting favorite over Cyril Gane, a silky-smooth, athletic striker – and two-time world Muay Thai champ -- who's finished some top heavyweights like Black Beast Lewis and Bam Bam Tuivasa. 


Lots of wildcards in this fight; what will you be watching for, JP? Also, we’ve got a women’s flyweight title: Valentina “The Bullet” Shevchenko will defend her strap.


JP: Honestly I’m stoked to see Jon fight. Gane is an animal. I might buy this pay per view. Stoked about the bullet fight. She’s fun to watch.


KB: It's been a while since we've asked you for a musical recommendation, Honky Tonk King. You still in a techno-pop groove? What's in your rotation these days?


JP:  I’ve been listening to Mariel Buckley. She has a record called Everywhere I Used to Be. It’s pretty tight. Also, I’ve been listening a little to Mightmare, (a Sarah Shook side project) which is good. I haven’t fully dug in.


Feb 11, 2023

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 2, No. 1


By Jeremy Pinnell & Kevin Broughton

Welcome to the second year of periodic installments of “Mixed Music Action,” a Farce The Music Production. This week, Jeremy and Kevin ponder the question: “What do you say to Dana White’s wife if you see she has two black eyes?”

(Spoiler: “Nothing. Dana’s already told her twice.”)

Actually, they talk about other stuff, too. Read on.

Happy New year, pal. Before we look ahead to a new season of UFC pay-per-views, I think the last half of 2022 merits a look back; belts changed hands in three weight divisions where champs looked to have those straps on lockdown. In August, Leon "Rocky" Edwards won welterweight gold in perhaps the greatest Cinderella finish in UFC history.

In October, Islam Makhachev was scary good against lightweight king Charles Oliveira, making it look easy against the dude who had cleaned out the 155 division. And in November, middleweight champ Israel Adesanya was stopped by punches from Alex Pereira in the final round. 

Two of these bouts (Usman/Edwards and Adesanya/Pereira) are already scheduled for title rematches. On paper, it looks like Kamaru Usman is most likely to get his belt back. Pereira seems more likely -- to me, anyway -- to retain the 185 title; he's a bad man. 

Your thoughts on how long these new champs might reign?

A lot did happen, and honestly, I’m not super excited. I think you’re right, unfortunately. I’d like to see Edwards keep the belt because Usman is such a bore. I also think Periera will win but that fight was close until the last round. Could be interesting. It’s exciting to think who could take out Makhachev. He made light work out of Oliveira

And oh, by the way, we've got ourselves a superfight this weekend. The aforementioned Makhachev will put his lightweight belt on the line against featherweight champ Alex Volkanovski, currently ranked as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Islam is a considerable favorite, but he's going up against one of the most well-rounded fighters in the game. What's your analysis of this bout, and how do you see it ending?

I don’t know man, Volk pieced Max Holloway up and it was super impressive. He was on a different level. The size difference is pretty crazy between Volk and Makhachev. I could see Islam taking it in the second or third round. His wrestling is another level. I’m actually excited about this fight; I have been for a while.

I think Alex hangs around early, but Islam finishes him in the third.

Something kind of odd about this fight: There's been relatively little noise, promotion-wise. If you look on social media, sports sites, Youtube, etc., it's been pretty quiet. Islam actually wondered aloud why the UFC didn't send him and Volk on a worldwide publicity tour, and I think he has a fair point. Seems like Zuffa (UFC's parent company) has spent more time and money promoting Dana White's "power slap league." Do you think this is because Dana White himself is focused on winning that promotion's Co-ed Championship?

Honestly, let’s just get to it: Power Slap is a fucking joke and makes the UFC look cheap. What a bad move! I blocked PS on my social media and then they start pushing it on the UFC page, and so I dig into the comments and it’s getting so much hate. People think it’s the worst. What a bad move on Dana’s and the UFC’s part. I feel sorry for those idiots, just standing there slapping each other. What a waste of existence. They’re so much in the fight game, so many stories, and they took a fucking dump on all of it with that dumb ass shit. Fuck, it makes me mad.

Got it. I’ll put you down as “undecided.”

Bold prediction by me: By the end of 2023, Islam Makhachev holds both the lightweight and welterweight titles. Am I crazy?

You’re not crazy, it seems totally legit. If you’re right, then you can buy me dinner. You’re welcome.

Let's hop in the musical way-back machine and visit one of the more confounding bands in country music, Son Volt. A decade ago, they (well, it's Jay Farrar & whichever musicians he's assembled) released Honky Tonk, which I consider second only to the groundbreaking, revolutionary Trace. I mean, is there a better waltz with double fiddles than "Hearts and Minds?"

Farrar can be all over the map, album to album; a few are timeless classics, while others leave me scratching my head. 

What are your thoughts on Son Volt overall, and how big is their impact on country music from your perspective?

Jay was one of my original influences more than 25 years ago. I was a big fan of Uncle Tupelo and leaned more towards Jay rather than Jeff. I never was a huge Wilco fan. Jay always kept with a more traditional sound -- which I liked -- and Jeff was making noise or whatever he was doing. Trace is one of my favorite records. Haven’t really listened to Honky Tonk too much because by the time that came out there were so many better country records to come, out and it almost seemed a little late. Don’t hate. You asked.

Clown. At least you know Son Volt is far superior to Wilco.

Turning our attention to Jeremy, your tour dates page shows a gradual start to 2023's road work. Should fans expect to see the schedule fill up pretty soon? And does a light tour schedule correspond to an increased jiu-jitsu workload? 

You know what, I’m gonna take it easy this year and do what I want only. Sometimes you find yourself hitting the pavement and it doesn’t feel good. I did, however, sign up for my first Jiu Jitsu tournament in March. So, I’m getting to class more because I don’t want to go get beat up. I will dominate. I think we’ll be heading to Texas at some point and a few other things but that’s about it for now.

Jeremy Pinnell, right, with instructor Blayne Hodges

Aight, stud. Choke somebody’s ass out in March. Talk soon.


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