MMA Fight Radio 10/5/17 program review

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Host Jay “Big Jay Bowski” Pagliaro and Shawn “Dallas” Hall got the show underway talking about the Las Vegas tragedy with special co-host ringcard/fitness competitor girl Deseree Flores and in-studio guests LFA 24 competitor Larue Burley and LFA 25 competitor Jordan Larson.

They also discussed cutting weight, and Mandy Polk’s chances against Machenzie Dern at LFA 24.



In-studio guest Larue Burley (7-3) – who apparently resembles rapper T.I. – discussed his upcoming fight with Maicon Mendonca (6-2) at LFA 24. When asked if he took fights to further his career, he said “I’ve had 1 fluke fight…everybody I’ve ever fought was supposed to be ‘the next big thing’…and I’m 7-3”. “All those dudes were undefeated…I haven’t fought anyone with an upside-down record other than 1 time” he continued.

They also discussed his bout with James Nakashima and his questionable tactics (eye pokes and groin shots) that Burley states cost him the contest. “It would’ve been a lot better fight if hadn’t stabbed me in my eye…I literally could not see until the next Wednesday out of my left eye. When the doctor came up to me, it was the craziest thing because he was literally in front of me and all I could see was the tip of his nose.” he said. The eye poke occurred in the first minute of the fight. He continued to compete, believing “the show must go on” but looking back, he wished he had not because he had lost all depth perception and was missing the majority of his punches.

Jordan Larson chimed in stating he was in the same position in his last fight after receiving an illegal knee strike. He said “Could I have continued to fight. Yes…but I’m not on point. It wasn’t my fault that it happened. How mad am I going to be later if I don’t make that decision? I was winning that fight…there’s not going to be an asterisk next to it. It’s going to be an ‘L’. That’s all anybody’s going to see…it’s tough to make that call.”

After Deseree mentioned Nakashima felt it should’ve been an easier win, storming out of the cage, Larue continued “you put my nuts into my head and stabbed me in my and you still couldn’t finish me. I guarantee if you let me do that to you, I’m going to finish you”. When Dallas asked what he’d do differently if he fought him again, Larue said “knock his damn jaw off”.



After a break they discussed the connection between CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and MMA. Jay asked the fighters in the room what steps they take to protect themselves. “A lot of it’s your gym time” Jordan began. “You have to have coaches watching these sparring sessions, making sure that they’re not full-out fights…and you’re not in there bashing each other’s heads around… there’s a time and place for hard sparring but it also needs to be monitored” he continued, stating that those are the sessions where the hard strikes add up.

Dallas mentioned that PRIDE FC and UFC veteran Gary Goodridge said he knew he got his CTE from sparring in the gym. “He was knocked out in the ring several times but he never felt after that like he did after sparring” stated Dallas. Jordan also felt that head gear made sparring sessions worse, giving you a false sense of security and allowing you to utilize poor head movement.

Jay asked the question of where is the line between going to hard and not hard enough. Larue said you have to rely on a good partner who knows “when to hit and how hard to hit” and that if you don’t have fighters with fights coming up, you don’t need to do as much hard sparring and time is better spent on drilling and technique. Larue doesn’t like the headgear either as it catches when he turns his head and doesn’t allow him to see hook punches coming at him.

Jordan also said “you need to put your ego aside. If you’re coming in there to ramp up your ego for the day, that’s the wrong answer. That’s where you’re going to end up damaging (yourself) or your training partner”.

Deseree mentioned that, from her BJJ experience, she knows it is the new people that will hurt you and the more veteran fighters and students know not to turn it up without a good reason.



Jordan Larson (8-3) discussed his upcoming fight with Kassius “Killa Kayne” Holdorf (9-4) at LFA 25 on October 20th in Nebraska (Holdorf’s home turf). Larson says he likes fighting there as some of the pressure is off when fighting away from home. He intends to “out MMA” Holdorf and feels his striking will open up his takedowns.



Mandy Polk (3-3) will be taking on Mackenzie Dern (3-0) at LFA 24 on October 13th. Jay mentioned that Mandy is in the “UFC of body-building” asked how she felt that background helped her when it comes to cutting weight in MMA. “100%. There’s nothing better than having the background I have. I’m like a doctor/scientist/trainer when it comes to cutting weight. I can start from 140lbs or 120lbs and be functional at whatever weight I come in at because of my background”. She also mentioned that many women in MMA struggle with weight as their bodies are always changing and she is able to use the science of her sport to put the best version of herself possible in the cage. Mandy still actively participates in IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) competitions and last competed in 2016.

Deseree and Mandy discussed the similarities, differences, and even the mutual disdain of the sports of bodybuilding and MMA. “They are both very different and both extremely difficult”. She also mentioned that MMA prepares her body for fitness competition like nothing else. “I do have to be a one-woman Cirque du Soleil out there. I have to put on a show. I have to perform.” Mandy also said talked about how she can maintain a muscular physique and still have ample cardio.

Earlier this year in Tennessee, Mandy also helped apprehend a bad guy. They were having a meal after leaving a fight and after seeing a physical struggle, she grabbed the guy around the waist until bystanders stepped in. Knowing the legal process, she was glad didn’t have to do any more than that.

As for opponent Mackenzie Dern, Mandy is actually a fan of Dern’s and was inspired by her BJJ win over Gabi Garcia. Now she’s pumped to face her in MMA competition. She knows Dern’s game plan is going to be to take her down so – without unveiling too much of her own game plan – she’s be training a lot of wrestling and takedown defense.

The conversation turned to the touchy subject of retaining water for women and the difficulties female athletes face that male competitor are oblivious to.



The guys mentioned that everyone made weight for the Bellator show on Friday. They also talked about upcoming fights between Carlos Condit/Neal Magny and Frankie Edgar/Max Holloway. The conversation turned to John Moraga’s need to change his walk out music (a Tupac track) in his bout with Magomed Bibulatov due to the recent Las Vegas shooting. As we now know, Moraga scored a 1st Rd KO in the biggest upset of the night.



Fight Ready MMA athlete Tracy Cortez (0-1, 3-0 Amateur) takes on Roxanne Ceasear (0-2, 2-4 Amateur) at WFF on November 4th. The pair met previously in KOTC and Cortez won by TKO early in the 1st Rd. Even with the win, Tracy hopes to put on a better show. Touching on her loss in her pro debut at Invicta FC 25, Tracy said “it lets me know where I stand as a fighter…she was more experienced. I just need to learn how to control my nerves in the big spotlight like that”. The first fight took place in Texas and this time she gets to fight at home.

Tracy also talked about her martial arts background, which includes wrestling and BJJ. She believes she’s good at everything. Not great but well-rounded. She also said that having her boyfriend Benny Madrid as her trainer has really helped her put everything together and helps her avoid some of the mistakes he made in his career. Putting the previous win aside, Tracy respects Roxanne’s abilities and believes she’s faced quality opponents despite her record.


The guys opened with discussion of the Fabricio Werdum/Derrick Lewis fight and how Werdum almost started with Tony Ferguson. Dallas felt Lewis should stand and bang with the Brazilian. Jay felt Werdum should work to get the fight to the ground where he was most comfortable. The majority of the crew felt Werdum would win. However, as we now know Derrick Lewis did not compete and Werdum defeated Walt Harris by armbar early in the 1st Rd.

Moving on to Demetrious Johnson/Ray Borg, Dallas felt it would go 3 rounds while Deseree felt it would go just 2. Jay felt that the most dangerous fighter is the one that has nothing to lose. All felt Johnson would make history. And as we now know, Johnson did go on to break the records for title defenses, submitting Borg in the 5th Rd.

And concerning Tony Ferguson/Kevin Lee, Dallas and Deseree took Lee to win while Jay and Jordan took Ferguson. As we now know, Ferguson submitted Lee via triangle choke in the 3rd Rd to win the UFC Interim Lightweight Championship.

Until next time.

James Hirth


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