Photo courtesy Professional Fighters League

NBCSN to televise new MMA league bout after Daytona Xfinity race

Leave a comment

The Professional Fighters League will be part of the Coke Zero 400 Weekend, Daytona International Speedway and NBC Sports Group officials announced Thursday.

Following the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race, the PFL will put on a four-bout MMA card in the UNOH Fanzone on June 30.

The PFL will make its official debut in January 2018, but the Daytona weekend will serve as a chance to showcase some of the series’ top fighters.

“In this first-of-its-kind partnership, the Professional Fighters League inaugural event at Daytona will bring fans of MMA and stock car racing together – both of whom thrive on intensity and high-stakes competition,” said Carlos Silva, President, Event Production and Business Operations, Professional Fighters League. “This is the first in a series of innovative and groundbreaking league initiatives from the Professional Fighters League, and we’re proud to kick it all off at one of racing’s most iconic venues.”

NBCSN will televise both the Xfinity race, as well as the two-hour PFL fight card. Fans that buy tickets for the Xfinity race will be able to attend the fight.

“Partnering with Professional Fighters League and NBC Sports brings added entertainment to the already busy Coke Zero 400 Weekend,” Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said. “Race fans have a contagious passion and dedication to the sport of NASCAR, and we are looking forward to bringing them the excitement, thrill, and talent of professional MMA at the renowned Daytona International Speedway.”

Three bouts on the June 30 card will be three rounds in length, as well as one five-round main event. The eight fighters competing at Daytona will be among the first fighters signed to compete in the inaugural 2018 Professional Fighters League season.

The matchups are:

* Jon Fitch (29-7-1) vs. Brian Foster(26-9) – 170 lb Welterweight Main Event (For the 2018 #1 seed)
• Smealinho Rama (10-2) vs. Ronny Markes (16-4) – 205 lb. Light Heavyweight Bout
• Joao Zeferino (21-8) vs. Herman Terrrado (14-3-1) – 170 lb. Welterweight Bout
• Jason High (19-5) vs. Caros Fodor (11-5) – 155 lb. Lightweight Bout

Follow @JerryBonkowski

NASCAR America: Navigating Sonoma means plenty of twists and turns

Leave a comment

You turn left and turn right, what’s the big deal, right?

Actually, wrong.

Sonoma Raceway is an extremely technical racetrack full of winding turns both to the left and right.

On Thursday’s NASCAR America, Parker Kligerman took to the iRacing Simulator to show what drivers might expect on the nearly two-mile roadcourse north of San Francisco this weekend.

NASCAR America: Which NASCAR driver is ready for zombie apocalypse?

Leave a comment

Now there’s something you don’t hear NASCAR drivers talk about every day: how to prepare — and potentially survive — a zombie apocalypse.

Our intrepid reporter, Rutledge Wood, threw a number of NASCAR drivers for a loop when he asked them that very question.

The reactions range from incredulousness to seriousness.  Among those Rut talked with included Martin Truex Jr., Elliott Sadler, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones and Kyle Larson.

And here’s a few surprises:

  • Brad Keselowski wants to buy a tank for the apocalypse, and supposedly Dale Earnhardt Jr. is waiting to take delivery on his own tank — both to kill zombies, of course!
  • Several drivers also talked about one of their former own who reportedly has already made big plans to take on any zombies that come across his path. As Wood said, that former driver’s name rhymes with Schmarl Schmedwards.

Check out the hysterical video — trust us, it WILL make you laugh — if for nothing else the outlandish responses from some of the drivers.

But it also makes one wonder: what if a zombie is among us and he’s disguised as a zombie? What then — and who might it be?

NASCAR America: John Hunter Nemechek looks to overcome small team, funding

Leave a comment

The good news for John Hunter Nemechek was with his win last weekend at Gateway, he and Nemco Motorports qualified for this season’s Camping World Truck Series playoffs.

But there is potential bad news, as well: because of having one of the smallest teams in the truck series and limited funding, Nemechek and his team are going to need more financial help, lest they potentially can’t afford to race for the championship in the playoffs.

Nemechek talked about that with NASCAR America on Thursday’s show. See the above video.

NASCAR America: Papis teaching next generation of NASCAR champions

Leave a comment

Even though much of his racing career was spent in open-wheel competition, it may surprise some to know Como, Italy native Max Papis has a combined 95 career starts in NASCAR across its three racing series: Cup, Xfinity and Trucks.

Papis’ versatility has proven invaluable in mentoring a number of young drivers with the potential of some day becoming NASCAR champions, including current student William Byron.

Papis spent Thursday on NASCAR America talking about what makes a good young driver and how he enjoys his role as a mentor and teacher.