Coach Jamie Huey: The Ultimate Fighter 17 Team Sonnen Striking Coach

MMABeats: What is your MMA/ Combat Sports background?

Coach Jamie: My background is amateur boxing and co-founder of the second largest boxing program in the pacific northwest.

MMABeats: What is it like coaching Chael Sonnen?

Coach Jamie: When I am working with Chael it is more of a partnership than me coaching him. In all honesty Chael is more of a coach to me than i am to him. He is an amazing athlete to work with.

MMABeats: Who would you like to work with that you havent worked with before?

Coach Jamie: I would love to work with a guy like Frankie Edgar. But even more with guys I feel like could make a big improvements with my help. Also any of the guys from The Ultimate Fighter 17 Team Jones. like Adam Cella. I would love to work with several guys who didn’t make it onto the TUF17 show. Kito Andrews would be on the top of that list. I am willing to work with most anyone who is coachable, but my number one need is LOYALTY. I turn down a lot of work from fighters I call “gym jumpers” . They are fighters that jump from gym to gym their whole career. It is great to cross train at other gyms, and other teams, but I make it a priority to dedicate myself to the right people. Disloyal fighters are why I turn work down all the time. A fighter that is disloyal is the only type I will not work with.

MMABeats: I heard that Jon Jones tried to hire you away from Chael as his coach. What are your thoughts on that ?

Coach Jamie: Jon offered to retain my coaching services. he offered to double what ever Chael was paying me, but little did he know that Chael over pays his coaching staff. My counter offer to Jon was after Chael beats him on April 27,2013 is that when Chael retires i would be willing to help Jon get the title back. That is a true story, it happened in front of the cameras in the TUF gym, and nothing happens in the TUF gym without it being recorded.

MMABeats: How did Team Dark Side come into existence?

Coach Jamie: I told Coach Clayton Hires that he should show appreciation to his boss Brian for letting him take time off on such short notice to travel to corner Chael against Brian Stann. Clayton got Chael to sign the fight towel that was used during this fight for his boss whose name is also Brian. Chael won the fight by an arm triangle submission. Clayton gets the towel and asks Chael to sign it and to make it out to brian. Chael assumes Clayton meant Brian Stann. Chael looks at Clayton and says “Welcome to the dark side coach.”  Everyone knows we are the bad guys so Team Dark Side became our team  for TUF17.

MMABeats: During training camp what does a typical week consist of ?

Coach Jamie: 6-7pm boxing. 7-8pm padwork. 8-9pm sparring, and on Sundays add to that hill sprints and /or running steps to work on cardio.

MMABeats: What kind of music do you listen to while training ?

Coach Jamie: I listen to hiphop and Chael listens to 70s conutry.

I just want to thank Coach Jamie for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to me. I enjoyed this interview and look forward to talking to him again.


Mike Straka

Mike Straka

MMABeats: How did you go from being a VP and Executive Producer at Fox News to being involved with MMA commentating and the shows you were a part of like Fighting Words and MMA Uncensored Live?

Mike: I was wearing many hats at Fox News, and one of them was part time on air talent. One of my bosses called it red light fever…once you get it it’s hard to shake, and if you’ve ever watched Fox News you know I’m in no way their idea of full time on-air talent, so I took my bat and ball and went to HDNet to do Fighting Words. I had hopes the show would have a long run, but to quote Mark Cuban, “the numbers just aren’t there,” so after just 32 episodes (and less than 1/4 of my fox salary) I was out on my ass. The irony is there are no  numbers for anything on HDNet because they enjoy very little distribution but that’s another story. So I bounced around for most of 2011, freelancing and trying in vain to get a full time job. I worked briefly for ABG and the TapouT guys and that was Jamie Salter doing me a solid to be honest, and just when I was going to go back to producing news MMA Uncensored came along, and even though Spike was at war with UFC I had no choice but to take the job and hope for the best. In reality it was a dream job for me, a big budget show that covers the sport I love, but we all know how that ended.
Such is the life of an MMA outcast. I certainly can’t make a living fighting for credentials to cover shows for one fledgling network after another, so to answer your question – ‘how did I go from being a VP and Executive Producer at Fox to where I am today?’ I’d call it some pretty fucking bad luck.

MMABeats: What is your background in MMA / Combat sports ?
I was a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do who won every tournament I ever entered. One day while I was at Rutgers where I ran the TKD club we entered a tourney at Yale University and I met Herb Perez, who invited me to train with him. I went every day from 1989 to 1992 while Mr. Perez trained for the Olympics and turned from a point fighter to a full contact little machine, largely due to the ass kicking he gave me day in and day out. Herb would go on to win the gold at Barcelona, while I went on to become a page at CBS where I learned the basics of the TV and the TV news business. I was also a district champ wrestler in High School and wrestled for Rutgers University as well, although I was more of a practice squad player than much of anything else.

MMABeats: On your show “Fighting Words” who was your favorite interview and why?


Mike: My favorite was Dana White, because at the time he did my show, he was at war with HDNet over some Randy Couture business. I helped those guys get their UFC credentials back based on my relationship with the organization, but then they cancelled my show – the numbers just weren’t there.

MMABeats: What are your thoughts on TRT use in MMA ??

Mike: I think they should legalize marijuana and TRT. I wish there was TRT for broadcasters.

MMABeats: Do you think now that the UFC has a women’s division that WMMA will be more accepted by the “mainstream” MMA viewer ?


Mike: I don’t think MMA will ever be mainstream. There’s a reason every single ancillary business that enters the space dives in with a huge splash and goes out with little notice, after spending all of its seed money – RYU is the latest but there were my friends at Tokyo 5, there was BSN, Gaspari just exited MMA – just go back to the UFC fan expo exhibitor lists and see the dozens if companies that no longer exist and that will answer your question.

MMABeats: What advice would you give someone wanting to cover MMA as a media person?

Mike: Make your Fuck You money before you quit your job. Also be sure that whoever you sign on to work for is not in the UFC’s crosshairs.

MMABeats: What kind of music do you listen to while training ?

Mike: Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Croce and Harry Chapin – all slow tunes that harken on better days and woe is me sentiment.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Mike for taking the time to talk to me and do this interview!

Ryan Couture Heading to the UFC

One of my favorite people in MMA to interview is Ryan Couture. I was really excited at the opportunity to watch his fight against KJ Noons on Showtime. It had to be one of the best fights I had watched in a long time. Ryan is a tough as nails guy with a heart the size of Texas. I had the privilege of interviewing Ryan after his fight with KJ And here is what he had to say.

MMABeats: How long is your medical suspension?

Ryan: Acodring to the paperwork there is no suspension but after round two i would have thought it would have been at least 30 days.

MMABeats: KJ Noons has called you out for a rematch. If given  that opportunity would you take a rematch with him?

Ryan: I would take a rematch, but i will fight whoever the UFC sets up for me to fight.

MMABeats: What are your thoughts on moving to the UFC? Do you think it will be a big adjustment for you to make that move??

Ryan: The game and game plan will be the same. The biggest difference is the octagon is bigger and more room to fight.

MMABeats: What are some of your goals heading into the UFC ?
Ryan: I just want to continue to improve and win fights and to work my way into title contention.  The talent pool is about to get a lot deeper so I’m excited for the challenge ahead of me.

MMABeats: What words of wisdom would you have for a person wanting to become a pro MMA fighter ?
Ryan: Fall in love with training.  As long as you’re working hard and improving at every opportunity, the rest will fall into place.
MMABeats: What do you do 1st thing when you wake up?

Ryan: First thing when I wake up I typically take my supplements, eat a banana and head to the gym

MMABeats: At the end of the day what makes you look back and now it was a successful day ?
Ryan: At the end of the day, I can sleep well and feel successful as long as I know I gave my all in the training room.
I would like to thank Ryan for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer these few questions.
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