Yesterday we celebrated the food-indulging holiday known as Thanksgiving. In the spirit of this tryptophan-filled day, I wanted to write a special Mixed Martial Arts Beat column in honor of you, the readers.
For the past two months — as I’ve been writing this column — I’ve received numerous questions regarding my stances, preferences and opinions on a variety of MMA topics. This week I address the four questions people frequently asked me. Get ready, some of these might just shock you.
If you had to compete against any one of the UFC champions, who would you choose?
This question has all the makings of a “pick your poison” cautionary response. When coming up with a solid answer — because I don’t want to take a punch from any of the current UFC champions — I had to decide based on the “one and done” principle. With that said, I’d take a match against the GOAT (greatest of all time) middleweight champion Anderson Silva. One, he’d probably put me to sleep with one well-placed jab and two, I can say I stood in the Octagon with Anderson Silva. The defense rests.
What MMA event are you looking forward to the most within the next six months?
There are two events that I’m interested in watching. Locally, I’m stoked to attend the Peninsula Fighting Championship 3 on Dec. 29. This event has all the makings of an exciting and dynamic competition. I believe that event will be the PFC’s best one to date. The other event I’m looking forward to is the UFC on Fox 5 card taking place on Dec. 8 in Seattle. Not only is this card stacked, but it’s dynamic. Benson Henderson defends his belt against Nate Diaz, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua faces Alexander Gustafsson and BJ Penn squares off against fast-rising welterweight Rory MacDonald. Did I mention the event is free on Fox?!
What do you think he is the most frustrating aspect of MMA on the Peninsula?
A great question and one for which I have an immediate answer. The most frustrating aspect of MMA on the Kenai Peninsula is fighter withdrawal from events. This is a general concern and frustration within the local MMA community. For a local promotion — like the Peninsula Fighting Championship — a fighter withdrawing from an event can cause problems that extend beyond finding a suitable replacement. It prevents opposing competitors from gaining experience and can hinder the promotion from booking future matches and events.
What is your favorite MMA event?
I can think of countless UFC events that have been exciting to watch but I’d have to say my favorite event has to be the Peninsula Fighting Championship 2 back in March of this year. There are two reasons for this choice: One, it was — overall — an exciting event. Not one matchup went to the judges’ scorecards and all ended with exciting finishes — including a championship bout that ended in spectacular fashion.
The second reason is selfish in nature. I was the ring announcer for that event and had the time of my life. Amid the cheering of the crowd and the excitement that each competitor brought to the arena, the fact that I happened to be in the middle of all that electricity made for an amazing night and event. My suggestion — make it a point to attend the next Peninsula Fighting Championship event on Dec. 29 at the Soldotna Sports Center. Then you’ll understand what all the excitement is about.
If you want to ask me a question or answer one of the questions from above, you can do so by leaving comment or you can hit me up on Twitter. My Twitter handle is @scottlevesque. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Scott Levesque writes a weekly column for the Clarion on mixed martial arts. He will cover MMA at the local, state and national levels. His handle on Twitter is @scottlevesque.