What's Buzzing:


UFC on Fox 6′s fighters are happy to fight in their own backyard


View gallery


(USA Today Sports)

CHICAGO -- UFC on Fox 6 is packed with homegrown talent. Clay Guida, Mike Russow and Ricardo Lamas all grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. Anthony Pettis is from nearby Milwaukee. Eric Koch was raised in Iowa, then moved to Milwaukee and trains with Pettis. The card has a noticeably Midwestern feel, and the fighters are happy about fighting so close to their own backyard.

For Guida, there is an extra thrill in fighting Hatsu Hioki at the United Center. Growing up in Johnsburg, Ill., he watched the Bulls dominate the 90s from that arena, and later, saw the Blackhawks win their first Stanley Cup in 53 years. Guida was at the Blackhawks' home opener on Tuesday night, and it's quite moving for him to get to compete in the same place.

"I've been going to sleep with an even bigger smile on my face knowing that I get to fight in the friendly confines, the Madhouse on Madison, you're going to see the true definition of the madhouse. I get chills every time I think about it," Guida said.

"To be able to perform in that stage, the house that Jordan built, and [Scottie] Pippen, and John Paxson and Bill Cartwright, and all these guys, the six-time champion Chicago Bulls, the former Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, it's an honor. To see my dad and my aunts and uncles and that this is where they watched those teams, I'm kind of at a loss for words for it."

Lamas wrestled and coached at Elmhurst College, a division III school in Chicago's west suburbs. The wrestling team was so excited about Lamas' fight in Chicago that they made a change to their schedule.

"They have a meet in Wisconsin, it was a quad," Lamas said. "They canceled two of the matches so they can make it back in time for my fight. My head coach, my old coach, they're all going to be there."

But that doesn't add any pressure to Lamas.

"Honestly, it makes me feel more comfortable being at home, being surrounded by people I'm familiar with. If anything, it makes me more comfortable and will help me perform better on Saturday night."

Koch will face Lamas and his large cheering section, but he's hoping to draw energy from his own fans.

View gallery



"Chicago, I know this is Lamas' hometown, but I'm right down the road. It's not a problem for me. It feels like an old school fight. It feels like a local fight, like I used to drive in Iowa," Koch said.

Koch was slated to face Jose Aldo in a title fight in July, but an injury took Koch out of the match. The title shot went to former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. No matter who is in the crowd, Koch is focused on getting his title shot back.

"I used to fight in front of my family all the time. I used to have big crowds for cheering for me. It doesn't bother me. I'm here to get my title shot back."

Pettis, who will fight Donald Cerrone, sees the extra fans in the crowd as no different from the ones who fill his sports bar in Milwaukee.

"I fight on pay-per-view on my sports bar back home. Every time my bar is filled up for my fights. I don't think it's more pressure, I'm going to feel more relaxed knowing my family is in the audience. Afterwards, they can celebrate with me."

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Lillard scores 39, Blazers run home-opening win streak to 16

      Lillard scores 39, Blazers run home-opening win streak to 16

      Portland's NBA-record streak of home-opening wins provided the inspiration against the Utah Jazz. ''With a streak that long, longest in the NBA, we wanted to keep it going,'' said Damian Lillard, who had 39 points. CJ McCollum added 25 points for … More »

      AP - Sports - 12 minutes ago
    • James has triple-double as Cavs rout Knicks 117-88 in opener

      James has triple-double as Cavs rout Knicks 117-88 in opener

      LeBron James took time to reflect as the Cleveland Cavaliers raised their championship banner. James had his 43rd career triple-double, Kyrie Irving scored 29 points and the Cavaliers beat the New York Knicks 117-88 on Tuesday night in the NBA … More »

      AP - Sports - 12 minutes ago
    • NHL-Highlights of Tuesday's National Hockey League games

      Highlights of Tuesday's National Hockey League games: Penguins 3, Panthers 2 Sidney Crosby, playing for the first time this season, started Pittsburgh's comeback with his first goal of the season and Carl Hagelin and Eric Fehr scored in the third … More »

      Reuters - 15 minutes ago
    • Twice as nice: Indians' Perez hits 2 homers in Series opener

      Twice as nice: Indians' Perez hits 2 homers in Series opener

      Once he rounded the bases a second time, propelled by a roaring crowd at Progressive Field, Roberto Perez began to understand what he had done. ''I don't think I've ever had a night like that,'' Cleveland's catcher said. Known almost exclusively … More »

      AP - Sports - 16 minutes ago
    • Cubs slugger Schwarber returns, doubles in Game 1

      Cubs slugger Schwarber returns, doubles in Game 1

      The doctors told Kyle Schwarber the day after the Chicago Cubs slugger tore two ligaments in his left knee on April 7 that his season was over. Funny how months of relentless rehab and a chance to play in the World Series can speed up the healing … More »

      AP - Sports - 16 minutes ago