An Exclusive Interview with the Fight Professor, Stephen Quadros
Any hardcore MMA fan will recognize Stephen Quadros voice and insight in an instant, after all, this man has announced over 100 world-class martial arts events (including PRIDE and Strikeforce). Stephen has worked all around the world as both a commentator and journalist. He has been dubbed "The Fight Professor" due to his obvious knowledge of all things MMA. He graciously answered a number of questions for me that I know fans will enjoy.
Q: We had a potentially great match end prematurely due to an eye poke and ultimately disappointing stoppage on Strikeforce Challengers, have you heard anything about Amassou-Prangley II happening soon, or any alternate plans regarding those fighters?
A: It was disappointing on how the Prangley/Amoussou fight ended. It was off to an exciting start. As of today I have not heard anything from Strikeforce about a rematch…yet. But it seems that fans want to see that fight. I agree it is a match with some interesting dynamics like size, age and contrasting styles.
Q: Strikeforce has been the leader in promoting women's MMA, how big do you think women's MMA can get? Do you ever see any Strikeforce "female only" cards?
A: I don’t see a televised all-female card happening just yet. But I could envision a really rocking tournament over several events at 135 pounds!
Q: Do you still train martial arts at all these days?
A: I train when I can, around my schedule. I’m not trying to be competitive or anything – I just like to workout. I always want to learn. I am fortunate to train occasionally with Alberto Crane and Romulo Barral at their Legacy gym. I teach three kickboxing classes per week when I’m in town. And I was fortunate to stop by AKA when I was in San Jose last week. When I was in Florida late last year, I was at ATT for a couple of days. I do try to stop by the best gyms, if not to train then to watch and absorb things.
Q: You have personally commentated on some of the greatest MMA events, and fights, of all-time, is there any single fighter's performance that just stands out among the rest you have witnessed, skill in victory or even heart in defeat?
A: I could name SO MANY fighters. But…I’ll just name three guys: Nick Diaz – he is just a very mysterious person, original and is a phenomenally versatile fighter, Fedor Emelianenko – he’s the best fighter I’ve ever seen in MMA and Kazushi Sakuraba – like Diaz, an original but in his heyday rewrote the image of what a fighter could be technique-wise and personality-wise. Saku had so much heart, while being a smartass all the while.
Q: Were you disappointed with how PRIDE treated you near the time of your departure from DSE, and if so, explain a bit?
A: (Smiles) No comment.
Q: Would you ever have interest in commentating for the UFC?
A: I actually approached Dana White about that at a K-1 show in Las Vegas right after I left Pride in 2003. I never heard back from him. But Joe and Mike do a terrific job as a two-man booth!
Q: How do you feel about the ZUFFA's handling of PRIDE?
A: Honestly I think ZUFFA did the best they could. Pride was a sinking ship at that point anyway before ZUFFA purchased it. And because of the Pride implosion the whole MMA scene in Japan went into a recession. The record-breaking attendance numbers have gone away. Hopefully we’ll se a return of Atlantis one day…
Q: Who do you feel is P4P the best fighter in MMA?
A: I have to say Georges St. Pierre. Anderson Silva is a close second.
Q: Could Lesnar hang with Fedor, or are critics too quick to question Emelianenko?
A: Brock Lesnar would give Fedor problems, definitely. His size, athleticism and punching power would make it a very tough match.
Q: I don't know if you can state this as a commentator, but who are your all-time favorite fighters to watch?
A: I work for a network now so I won’t get into “trouble” if I pay respect to a fighter I don’t currently commentate on. (Laughs) The short list of my favorite fighters to watch are: Fedor Emelianenko, Anderson Silva, BJ Penn, Nick Diaz, GSP, Jose Aldo. But there are some exciting new guys too, like Luke Rockhold, Tyron Woodley, Paul Daley, Dan Hardy, King Mo, Frankie Edgar, Brian Bowles. This is truly a rich period of growth for our sport.
Q: I tend to ask fighters this so I'll ask you the same, but any projects you want to promote?
A: Not at the moment. But in two months, who knows, there could be a few really cool things. I don’t like talking about stuff until contracts are signed and everything is confirmed. I’m not ‘King of The Rumors’. (Laughs) There are plenty of places online for speculation. Visit me on the usual sites – Twitter, Facebook. Just add StephenQuadros after the ‘.com/’
- Christian Onorato