In the final fight of an eight-plus year career, Nate Quarry lost by second round TKO to Jorge Rivera. Nearly two years later, Rivera debuted on the infrequent ESPN MMA Live, while Quarry kicks off his first major venture into the analyst's chair with MMA Uncensored Live, an MMA news and talk show debuting on Spike Thursday at 11 PM EST.
A month removed from his 40th birthday, Quarry finds himself in an unfamiliar place, analyzing and giving praise or criticism to those that he may have trained with and competed against. Quarry said that initially concerned him, but watching some jovial interplay between football analysts and players recently eased some of his mental burden.
"I saw that and really hope all the fighters that we cover have that same attitude, but it's a different sport with different attitudes. I know when someone said online or in interviews that I was going to lose, it pissed me off," Quarry said. "It's my job to give perspective. If I sit there and say I'm not going to say anything bad or realistic about a fighter, the show's not going to be good at all.
"From a fan's perspective, it's a sport and they're watching it to have fun. As someone now going back into that role as a fan, I hope fighters can understand my perspective. Every time there's a prediction for a fight, someone's going to be pretty pissed off. Hopefully, I don't have half of the fighters in the land hating me," he joked.
The show is a weekly venture featuring Quarry, Craig Carton (co-host on WFAN Radio with Boomer Esiason) and author/media personality Mike Straka. The three will broadcast live from Times Square in New York City, debating and discussing everything in the UFC, Strikeforce and Bellator with Twitter interaction from those watching at home.
But what will make this a must-watch show in an already crowded MMA media marketplace, one that got more packed with the recent addition of Fuel TV's UFC Tonight?
"More than anything, it's less of a sports reporting show talking about the scores that just happened and more of an opinion piece. It's a lot more like a forum than it is a news show. You know when you go to the forums and there's about 90% sh*t talking and 10% intelligence? We're hoping to raise the bar closer to 15%," Quarry quipped.
For more on what to expect from the first show, join us after the jump.
Quarry is familiar with Spike, a network he appeared on regularly during the first season of The Ultimate Fighter and on five Spike UFC events during his five years in the Octagon. He had done some work on the short-lived 2011 Comcast Sports Net American Cage Fighter show and after some screen tests and follow-ups, he was given his new role. He's been in New York all week as the group continues to prep for tonight's debut.
Quarry admits he's bad with names, something Straka has razzed him about -- a dynamic that he thinks people watching will really get into.
"What I like most is we're not playing roles. With us, it's like three buddies sitting in our basement and talking about the fights and what's coming up. We all have opinions on them. I've never understood why journalists can never share their opinions. For me, I'm not a journalist. Straka is and he's an opinionated journalist -- more than happy to tell me why he's right and I'm wrong."
The new show is one of several MMA related projects Quarry is involved in as he continues his "fun project" Zombie Cage Fighter and The Better Way Back, a group that specializes in helping those with back and spine injuries that uses Quarry as a spokesperson, even naming an award after him.
But it's this newest venture that has him most excited. With 100 million potential households, the backing of a major ad-supported cable outlet like Spike and a dynamic subject to talk about, Quarry feels fans will be able to relate to what Uncensored turns out to be.
"We're going to be telling the stories and going behind the scenes. This week, we're doing a feature on the Yakuza and PRIDE with stories that have never been told," Quarry said. "It's so close to Real Sports on HBO that it blows me away. Because we're not tied to any one organization, we can tell the stories from every angle. We're going to be talking about the same things that fans are BSing about with their friends. "
MMA Uncensored Live airs at 11 PM EST Thursday on Spike TV with Dan Henderson as a guest. Bloody Elbow will have a discussion thread on the site for fans to talk about the show and give their thoughts.