TSC Interviews: HDNet's Mike Straka
That's why I love MMA. It doesn't matter who your parents are in MMA. It doesn't mean anything that Ryan Couture's dad is Randy Couture if Ryan gets the s*** kicked out of him. Doesn't mean he's gonna get a contract in the UFC.
I understand you've done some commentary work?
I did some for M-1 Selection. It was OK. I was alright at it. If anything, it gave me a new found respect for guys like Joe Rogan and Michael Schiavello, especially when calling a boring fight and making it sound exciting. And I'm not a bulls******.
You probably wanted to say this fight f****** sucks...
I did. I did...and I haven't been asked to come back since. (Laughs)
Do you think M-1 Global has too much influence on Strikeforce?
I don't think they have any influence on Strikeforce. Zero. The only influence they have is over Fedor Emelianenko. Other than that, they have no influence over Strikeforce whatsoever.
Why does it seem like they do though, especially in the matchups? I mean Alistair Overeem shouldn't defend the Strikeforce Heavyweight Title unless it's against Fabricio Werdum.
That's matchmaking though. Look at Gray Maynard. He was passed over for a title shot twice. I think Bellator has a pretty good system in place. But Maynard should have gotten the title shot before Frankie Edgar did. Maynard had a poor showing against Nate Diaz and that set him back almost 18 months to get a title shot, but he had to beat Kenny Florian to get it. These fights are all very risky.
As far as Fedor goes, he's got nothing to prove. He lives in Stary Oskol, Russia, which is like population 12. He doesn't need any money. He doesn't care about being famous. I think people hype him too much.
So you think people blow Fedor up too much?
I do. I think Fedor would say "I've got everything I ever need and my family has everything they need and I fight for a living. I don't give a s*** about fighting Brock Lesnar." And I don't blame him for not fighting Lesnar. I wouldn't. A guy like Cain Velasquez who's up for the challenge, has a great chance of winning at UFC 121 in October. In fact, Shane Carwin was beating Brock Lesnar at UFC 116 until he gassed out.
Don Frye told me in a recent interview that he felt Shane Carwin was the worst prepared fighter he's ever seen because he gassed out after the first round. Do you agree?
I don't necessarily agree, but I'm not a fighter. Don Frye is, so I'll take his word for it.
What's your thoughts on the current state of MMA?
I think it's gonna get even bigger. UFC just opened up an office in China. The growth is gonna be incredible. MMA is gonna be big in China. MMA is still just scratching the surface. Anybody that wants to watch it will find it. I don't think MMA needs a network like ESPN to be successful. I really don't. I think the worldwide expansion will make MMA even bigger and if it can get into the Olympics, that would be incredible for the sport. Although it didn't help Taekwondo. (Laughs)
Curling gets more freakin' ratings than Taekwondo does.
Do you feel like UFC should absorb WEC and their smaller weight classes under one banner?