Nathan Corbett heads into hostile territory at Glory 15 with a smile

What’s in a staredown? Everyone knows that it’s the fight that settles everything between pugilists but so much of the gamesmanship and anticipation happens before the first bell rings.

If you’re a big time fighter, say Australian kickboxer Nathan Corbett, and you fight in a major company like Glory, the promoters will do all they can to create public tension between you and your opponent. There are often press conferences, during which you are seated near one another and asked about one another.

Sometimes, fighters are brought together at the center of the ring by the presiding referee right before the fight’s start to go over final instructions. Most of all, however, there is the stare down, which occurs right after both fighters weigh in the day before the contest.

Both men have trained for weeks, singularly obsessed with one another, are often extra irritable from having just dropped a considerable amount of weight and now are made to stand inches from one another in a fight posture, but not to actually fight just yet – to simply pose for photos.

When you actually think about it, the ceremony is as strange as it is familiar to fight fans. However, the reason it persists is simple – we think we can see something in the fighters based on how they react to the awkward situation.

Fighters often think they can tell something about their opponent in those moments as well. Some fighters  huff and puff, some look anywhere but their opponent, others smile, and sometimes – if we’re lucky – a mini brawl breaks out right there on the stage.

Corbett has tried just about every approach throughout his career. “I’ve tried to look into the eyes of my opponent, other times I’ve looked away so I wouldn’t lose focus,” he recounts to Cagewriter shortly after weighing in to fight Gokhan Saki in Istanbul on Friday.

The two will fight one another in the semi-finals of the Glory light heavyweight tournament Saturday. Whoever wins will fight again that same night in the finals against the winner of Saulo Cavalari vs. Tyrone Spong.

Corbett has used different approaches to weigh-in face-offs in the past, but this time he did what came naturally. “This time I just smiled at him,” he chuckles.

“I’m in a good place and I wanted to stay there. I’m calm and ready to fight. [Saki] was trying to look like a mean, scary guy, and he is a mean scary guy, but I just wanted to keep myself in the good place I am.”

Focusing on himself in that moment is an extension of what Corbett has done throughout his training camp for this fight and tournament. He explains that focusing on one’s self is about the only thing a fighter can do when heading into an unpredictable tournament where you don’t precisely know how many times and everyone who you will fight.

“With a tournament, you just have to focus on the one fight in front of you because you don’t know what will happen after that. You have to focus on yourself, and what you need to sharpen, what your strengths are,” he says.

Corbett says that Saki is unpredictable himself as well. “[Saki] goes hard, is explosive, has power in both hands and switches his stances,” he details.

“So it’s difficult to plan too carefully for what a guy like that will do because you don’t know what he will do at any given moment.”

Corbett has also not allowed himself to think too much of what might happen should he beat Saki – specifically that he could face Spong in the finals. Years ago, Corbett knocked Spong out but hit him after the stoppage and the bout was changed to a no contest.

Last fall, Spong got his revenge and stopped the Australian. Corbett would surely like the chance to break the tie with Spong but is focused on Saki.

“I’m just focused on fighting Saki, not would could happen after him,” he insists.

Corbett will admit to needing the boost he received from a win in his home country two months after the last Spong fight. “I definitely needed that,” he says.

“The opponent they gave me [Henriques Zowa] was a good match up for me and I was fighting at home but it was good to get another win. I needed to get the last fight out of my mind.”

Corbett brings his surging confidence into hostile territory today against Saki – a Turkish fighter. Corbett has fought many times in his native Australia and knows that it won’t be easy fighting a home town hero on his own turf.

Similar to the weigh ins on Friday, however, Corbett plans to confidently be himself when faced with the pressure and smile back. Well, smile and hit back.

“I’m used to being the hero, fighting at home. I’ve thought about that a lot already. The last time, I thought about my opponent. Everyone was cheering for me and I thought about what it felt like to be him in that moment, because I knew it would be me some day,” Corbett says.

“The fans will get [Saki] more excited and he’ll come out even harder against me. That’s fine. Whatever type of energy it is, it is still energy, and I’ll take it in and use it as well.”

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter


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After Coming Back From Death, Blagoi Ivanov Makes It To Bellator Tournament Finals


Blagoi Ivanov vs. Lavar Johnson at Bellator 116: Round one began with both men measuring each other until Ivanov put Johnson against the cage. He began working for a take down and got it. Ivanov worked on the ground but Johnson briefly reversed and started ground and pound. Ivanov reversed again and looked for a heel hook. It failed and Johnson briefly started ground and pound. Both men stood up and Ivanov looked for the take down again.

He then started working a guillotine. However, Johnson pulled a slam and started ground and pound again. Ivanov got up and they got into neutral. Ivanov went for a punch then tied up looking for a take down. He continued to push Johnson against the cage then got a head and arm. He then worked side mount and pulled a keylock on Johnson who submitted.

After the match Ivanov said it felt amazing to make it to the finals after coming back from the brink of death. This was in reference to Ivanov being stabbed back in 2012 and when it happened he was on the brink of death. He was put in a drug induced coma, lost a massive amount of weight, and it was doubtful whether he would ever come out of the coma and if he did he would have probably been a vegetable.

However, when he came out of the coma Ivanov said that he would fight again and despite the hurtles he returned to competition and the match was the culmination. When asked about future opponent Alexander Volkov he would win.

At the post fight press conference Lavar Johnson talked about how he is a blue collar man who provides for his family. It was a constant note in the lead up to all of his fights where he was always looking to provide for his family and fiance.

However, at the post fight press conference Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney noted that Johnson would be back with the promotion. With the win Ivanov is now set to face former Bellator Heavyweight Champion Alexander Volkov in the finals. This should be a good match.…nament-finals/


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All New MMA Posts Will Be Made On MMAPain This Week

More about the change after the jump. I plan on upgrading MMATKO in the near future but not sure what I want to do yet. I will be posting on my other MMA site for a bit and you guys should go there daily just as if it was MMATKO. MMAPain has a much [...]


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Dana White confident Gina Carano wants to fight

Dana White and Gina Carano did recently meet to discuss bringing the former Strikeforce champion into the UFC for her first fight since 2009 and, according to the UFC President, the meeting went well. Carano does not have a deal to fight anyone yet but White was optimistic when he spoke with Fox Sports last night after the TUF: Nations Finale card.

“Gina and I had a good meeting. I’m very confident that she does want to come back and she does want to fight. We do not have a deal but, umm, we might,” White said.

Rousey, of course, next defends her bantamweight title against Alexis Davis this coming Fourth of July weekend in Las Vegas. According to White, Carano isn’t only interested in fighting Rousey – “Conviction” wants to take on whoever the UFC champ is at the time.

“No, this isn’t a ‘I’m just coming back to fight Ronda Rousey.’ [Carano] wants to fight whoever the champ is,” White insisted.

Speaking of women fighting, White also opined on the controversial question of who would win a real fight between Rousey and boing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.

“MMA fight or street fight, Ronda Rousey easily, easily wins that fight,” White said.

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter


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Tracking Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) DX110

Scheduled for 5 Mar 2014

Discovered on February 28th, 2014, Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) 2014 DX110 will pass within .9 lunar distances of the Earth on Wednesday, March 5. Slooh will attempt to track* during closest approach starting at 1 PM PST / 4 PM EST / 21 UTC – international times – Slooh Host and Observatory Director Paul Cox will host the 15 minute broadcast. Cox will explain the difficulties in finding and completing the necessary research to accurately determine an asteroids orbit in prelude to our major broadcast this Sunday, March 9th with the Minor Planet Center.

PLEASE NOTE: with a current orbit uncertainty rating of 7 coupled with its small size, location, and incredible rate of motion, there is a high probability we will not capture the asteroid during the broadcast. But given its proximity to Earth and timing with the CU13 broadcast, we wanted to try to image it for the public during its close-approach.


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