April 25, 2008
'Dooms' Day has arrived
By JOSE RODRIGUEZ -- Sun Media
Georges St. Pierre walked off with the championship belt and the respect of lippy Long Islander Matt Serra.
Four other fighters took home an extra $75,000 each in bonus money.
But all tolled, Alberta's Jason 'Dooms' Day may have been the biggest winner at last week's UFC 83 in Montreal.
Brought in as a last minute replacement for an injured Patrick Cote, Day was supposed to lose.
He was a virtual unknown against the heavily favoured Alan Belcher, whose last two wins took less than three minutes combined with his last opponent ending the night in hospital with his head split open to the skull.
“Yeah, I guess I surprised some people,” says the 29-year-old homebuilder from Lethbridge, whose UFC debut is still creating a buzz in fight forums.
“Obviously it doesn't compare to winning the championship or anything like that but as for how things will change for guys after that night, absolutely my life will change more than anybody who fought on that card. People now know who I am.”
A confident Day took to the Octagon, showcased a textbook rubber guard, unloaded some ground and pound before getting back up and beating the stand-up specialist at his own game with some precision punches and elbows. The ref stopped the fight before the fourth minute of the first round handing Day the TKO win much to the delight of the 21,000-plus fans in the Bell Centre.
Though a UFC virgin until this past weekend, Day has a record of 17-5 in the alphabet soup of fight leagues that pave the road to the UFC.
Day says he has his sights set on bigger-name opponents.
“Michael 'The Count' Bisping keeps coming to mind,” says Day referring to The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner who recently dropped down to Day's 185 lbs. weight class.
“I have no quarrel with the guy and I think he's a great fighter but he has a lot of energy it would be a very intense fight. A good test for me.” Day would also like to take on fellow UFC 83 winner Nate 'The Rock' Quarry who went three rounds with B.C.'s Kalib Starnes who was unwilling to engage with the American drawing boos from the crowd.
“I was embarrassed watching that,” says Day, who took a seat in the stands to watch the remainder of the card following his victory.
In what has become one of poorest outings by any mixed-martial artist, Starnes ran away from Quarry for three rounds as the Oregon-native stalked him around the cage.
In interviews since the fight, Starnes has said he suffered a broken foot and that's why he became unwilling to strike.
At one point during the debacle, which was part of the pay-per-view portion of the event, Quarry stopped in the centre of the cage and pretended to punch himself.
“At that point, I wouldn't care how hurt I am,” says Day.
“I would find a way to punch that guy in the face.” When the UFC calls for his next fight, he may get a chance to do just that.