Nate Quarry has seen and participated in a tremendous amount of mixed martial arts (MMA) history throughout his nearly 10 year professional career.
A cast member on the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), he was the first participant to earn a 185-pound title shot, although he lost to Rich Franklin back at UFC 56.
Quarry had 10 total fights under the UFC banner, holding a 7-3 record in the promotion, but at 39 years-old and realizing that time was no longer on his side, he's decided it's time to move on and take the next logical step.
Tomorrow night, "The Rock" will be making his debut as an analyst for Spike TV' s mixed martial arts news show titled "MMA Uncensored Live" alongside Mike Straka and Craig Carton.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): What's your role on the show MMA Uncensored Live? We've seen a lot of fighters get an opportunity to be on shows like this with ESPN's MMA Live or Inside MMA. What do you expect your role to be on this show?
Nate Quarry: More than anything, I'm just bringing street cred to the show. I'm the guy who's been there and done that and can speak for pretty much any situation a fighter is going to be in. I fought in a warehouse and I fought for the world title at the MGM Grand so any time we've had a fighter on there, I can relate to what they've gone through and my co-hosts Craig Carton and Mike Straka, they're the knuckleheads that'll be speaking from the total fan point of view or the journalist point of view and every once in a while they need to be kind of shut down and told how it really is in our world, so I bring the fighter's viewpoint but at the same time, before I was a fighter, I was a fan, so I'm bringing the fan's viewpoint as well. I'll talk about the fights I want to see and what still excites me still after 15-16 years of watching fights.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I'm interested in some of the preparation you've done before this show. I remember your work as a motivational speaker, watching one of your speeches about the heart and toughness and coming back from your back surgery. How much did being out there and all that experience speaking in front of large groups help you land this role?
Nate Quarry: Yeah, it's been a huge part of it with my speaking for the company that had my invasive back surgery. Working with them, we had it to where I was able to travel around and speak to people that are suffering so I would go to hospitals and tell my story and half the crowd would be UFC fans and half the crowd would be 90 year old people with degenerative scoliosis so I had to learn how to feel and speak to everyone in the crowd, make them feel like I was here relating to them no matter who they may be. I attended the TED conference in San Francisco and even being a young child in church, I was always doing bible readings in front of crowds. Everything kind of led up into this moment and I think once you get the opportunity, that's when the work really starts.
I'm starting to hone my craft so I can speak more fluently and fluidly as these opportunities have come my way. The biggest research and preparation I've had to do is memorizing everyone's names and their records. That's been the hardest thing for me because I'm so, so bad with names. We were doing a test shoot the other day and I was trying to think of Gray Maynard's name when Frankie Edgar fought him and I'm just sitting there saying, "You know, the guy. He fought last time at the thing and the did the what-what" and Mike Straka is just laughing at me because he knows everybody's names and their records and all that stuff. This is gonna be a live show too so you'll have plenty of fuel to trash me at the end of everybody episode for sure. I'll probably be mispronouncing names but it's gonna be fun.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You also has some experience doing your own show. It wasn't on as big of a scale as this but American Cagefighter in California on Comcast, did that help you as well? I think you said that your role on that show was a little different than this one, though.
Nate Quarry: Yeah, for that show, I was the host. I was the main host and a lot of it was me introducing segments as well where from here, I'm interacting with my co-hosts, I'm talking with the fighters and doing stuff that I really want to do where we can just sit around and talk about UFC 144. I'm not just sitting there introducing the segments and going from the camera shot to the commercial for it. We're sitting here talking about who I think is going to win. Is it going to be Edgar or Bendo? To me, that's where the fun comes in and it's not just us sitting around reporting the scores, it's us giving our opinions. Just like anybody, like you do with your friends when you talk about the upcoming fights. All the swearing and arguments that you've gotten in where you went back and forth, to me, that's the whole fun in the fight game.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Do you think that natural flow between the hosts, the opinion, is that going to help set your show apart from some of the other shows out there?
Nate Quarry: Yes, I really do. We've got personalities. Craig Carton is the number one sports radio guy in New York. Mike Straka, he left Fox News to follow MMA several years ago and now this is his dream job as well where he just gets to sit down and talk about fighting and he's been doing that with fighters for years. Then you've got me. I've always been one of the most opinionated guys. I've just never been given an opportunity to say my opinion. I think having the three of us interacting with each other, and Straka has already been screaming and yelling at me and I've had to tell him to use his inside voice. You're not gonna get that on any of the other shows. You take a fighter who doesn't even own a suit and you pour him into one, he just looks so stiff. With us, it's clothes we would wear on the street. It's words we would use on the street. I hope my mother's not watching. It's gonna be fun more than anything.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You guys have a great first show lined up. Dan Henderson is planned to be your first fighter guest. Do you feel that will add a lot of legitimacy to the show, getting a guy that's in line to fight for the UFC light heavyweight title in 2012 to be on your debut show, an MMA legend?
Nate Quarry: Yeah, I think right out of the gate it's gonna show that we have such a good show that Dan Henderson is wanting to be a part of it. He doesn't have to do anything so we're just really thankful for him being on. I've known Dan for 15 or 16 years and it's nice to sit him down once again and talk about his career, where he's come from and where he's going.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Do you feel like you guys are going to be able to give out good balanced view of everything? There are some shows that only show UFC stuff, some shows only discuss other stuff that they have a corporate interest in. Do you feel like you'll be able to give everybody a fair shake?
Nate Quarry: Well, obviously we're gonna spend a majority of time talking about the UFC because it's the biggest show, but Bellator's gonna be making a big wave too in the next coming year so we'll be taking a big focus on that too but because we're not expressly affiliated with any one brand, that gives us an opportunity to talk about whatever we want to talk about. We're not a UFC sponsored show. We're not a Bellator sponsored show. We're here to talk about every show from the smallest to the biggest. To me, that's just very exciting. It's not gonna be a half hour advertisement for UFC or for Bellator or anything.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Dan Herbertson, one of the best MMA reporters out there from Japan, he hinted this morning that he's debuting a big story about the death of Pride in Japan and all that stuff on Thursday through Spike TV. Is that going to be something that you guys have on your show?
Nate Quarry: Yeah, that's an incredible segment that we're doing on Pride and behind the scenes and the involvement with the Yakuza. It's cool to see this footage and see the interviews that everyone's got together. We've got this behind the scenes stuff that you never really see. Some people, they just watch the fights and then they turn it off and that's the entire thing. They don't think about the behind the scenes stuff where they sit these guys down and even myself, I cornered Dan Henderson when he fought [Murilo] Bustamante and what an incredible experience to be there and be behind the scenes and see the two fighters be given a duffel bag full of cash. I'm not gonna anything about the Yakuza because I like my pinkies but that's going to be a big show.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): So is that something that's going to be an important part of your show, these really big segments to get these well-researched stories out there?
Nate Quarry: Yeah, I think it's going to depend on the week. It's going to depend on what big fights are going on and what's the big controversy. We're not affiliated with any organization so sometimes the controversy will be Joe Rogan confronting Mario Yamasaki in that one fight where he disqualified Erick Silva and what a controversy on that or maybe something about better training with judges and referees or it will be Nick Diaz failing his drug test and missing his rematch with Condit or it will be a recent fight like Sanchez-Ellenberger and how the UFC made a mistake and it should have been five rounds and it was only three rounds. Did that give Ellenberger a break? It's a bunch of things that the fans are already sitting around and sharing their opinions about. We're no different.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I read that there's gonna be something called live Twitter interaction because the show's gonna be live. Can you tell me about the whole twitter interaction thing that you guys are planning for the show?
Nate Quarry: Yeah, we're gonna have this hashtag #MMAUncensored so if people are tweeting to me or Straka or Craig Carton, we're gonna be looking at those tweets during the show and we'll pick out a couple of them to ask myself or Mike Straka or maybe even Dan Henderson. So the fans will really just be the fourth person there in the studio trying to get their names on the wall so we can relate to them and answer their questions. Like I did on my facebook on my twitter, I said, "We've got Dan Henderson coming on. What questions do you want me to ask him?" I see these fans who just love MMA so much, they've got these incredible thought-provoking questions that I never would have thought of myself.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Just promise me you guys won't just pick out the most vanilla questions like, "Who's your favorite fighter" and "How was training camp" and stuff like that.
Nate Quarry: You know, it's funny you would say that because we were talking the other day about what questions to ask and that was one of the questions, "who do you want to fight next?" and "What's your gameplan for upcoming fight? I said, "Man, I'm not gonna ask that. First off, you're going to get the answer every single time about the gameplan: 'Well, I'm training for everything because he's a well-rounded fighter.'"
You're never going to get, "Well, right now I'm working on my double jab into an overhand right so I can shoot with a double-leg takedown. I think this is really going to work well and he's not going to be expecting it." You heard it here first on MMA Live Uncensored, double jab into overhand right into double leg takedown and I hope your opponent is not watching!
Those questions are never going to be answered so what I'm going to be asking or talking to Dan Henderson about, we're going to be looking back at the times he's came through and where he's going now which I honest want to know as a human being.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): That's very refreshing. Now I don't know if you're even aware of this one, but two hours ago, Vitor Belfort tweeted at you that he wants to train together with you and get you in his next camp for his fight with Wanderlei. Did you see that and do you have a response?
Nate Quarry: I woke up this morning and I saw that and I was like, "What the hell?" I didn't even know I was on Vitor's radar. That was really surprising to me. I don't even know what camp he trains at or where he's at.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I believe he's at Xtreme Couture.
Nate Quarry: Oh, so he's in Vegas. Well, I'll reach out to him for sure but with my weekly commitment here in New York City, I don't see how that would be possible. But yeah, talk about waking up in the morning and getting a surprise. That was amazing. I couldn't believe that.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Does it concern you at all, you were originally going to be doing a thing with MMA Junkie, but they got cold feet a month or two out. Do you have any words on that?
Nate Quarry: To me, it doesn't really matter. I'll let the businessmen decide what they're gonna do. I'm just gonna focus on the show and to me, that means I get to be a fan and a fighter and express my opinions and that's a great job to me. I'll let the higher-ups worry about their drama and their politics and everything. I just want to sit around and talk about fighting. This is an incredible opportunity for me. I'm really hoping that once the show gets going, everyone will see that we're not here to hurt anyone or compete against anyone. We're just here to talk about fighting. Hopefully everyone will jump on board and recognize that and want to be a part of what we're doing.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): This has nothing do to with the show at all, but since you're such a big fan of zombies and everything, how cool was it that you got an opportunity to be a guest zombie on the Left for Dead video game?
Nate Quarry: That was pretty awesome. My buddy works at Valve Software and when I wasn't in the first UFC game, he called me and said, "We've got to put you in a game here," so I went up to Seattle and they used some digital photos of me in some 3-dimensional photos and they put me in the game. That was really cool and it played right into my Zombie Cagefighter line. I hate to say there are times in my career that I was left wanting but people spat in my face, betrayed my trust, stabbed me in the back but then for every person that's ever stabbed me in the back, there's two or three or even five guys that stood up and helped me when I needed it and it's just an awesome opportunity to do any of this stuff. To be a zombie in a video game, to be able to sponsor some fighters with my Zombie Cagefighter line in Dream or in Bellator and see people wearing my shirts around or getting excited about it, it's a dream come true.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): That's about everything I had for you Nate, but before I let you go, did you have any last words about the show or anything else you wanted to add?
Nate Quarry: Nothing I can really think of. I think you pretty much covered everything. (laughs)
MMA Uncensored Live debuts tomorrow night, Thursday, February 23rd at 11 p.m. eastern time on Spike TV. You can follow Nate on twitter @NateRockQuarry.
So, Maniacs. Will you be tuning in tomorrow night so see if the new show is up to snuff? What are your expectations heading in?