Karyn Bryant: It takes much more than that to horrify me (Exclusive Interview)


MMA H.E.A.T.’s Karyn Bryant never thought her UFC 130 post-fight interview with the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will spark a big debate in the Mixed Martial Arts community. Many journalists found Rampage Jackson’s “motorboat” expression a disgrace to the sport, suggesting that the UFC President Dana White should punish Jackson. 

We went directly to the source (or at least one side of it), asking Karyn Bryant about motors, boats, Rampage Jackson, superheroes and what’s her favorite tune from the 90’s.

Quick Intro: 

Karyn Elaine Bryant is married to Wade Eck, with whom she has one child, a daughter Aurora. Bryant has an impressive resume of hosting TV Shows on MTV, VH1, TNT, NBC, CNN, ESPN, Showtime and many others. Karyn Bryant currently co-owns MMA H.E.A.T., which stands for Heart, Endurance, Aggression and Technique. MMA H.E.A.T. for their extensive coverage of Mixed Martial Arts, always bringing the best out of fighters’ personalities on camera. 

Feel free to follow Karyn Bryant on Twitter @KarynBryant, and “like” the MMA H.E.A.T. page on Facebook.

You went under fire recently for what happened with Rampage. Many journalists are writing articles about how you should get offended and why what Rampage did was wrong. What do you think about this whole thing?
What happened between me and Rampage was different from what happened to the CagePotato girl. He didn’t touch me, and we were just laughing and having fun. If I didn’t feel comfortable about it, I would say something, don’t you think so? I wasn’t worried about it at all. I mean, would tell him to back off if I didn’t feel okay with it.

And also, it’s not your first interview with Rampage…
Yeah, exactly. And people are also giving me a hard time about the “black fans” question. I was really interested about his fan base, and how it’s growing with that group of people. It was a real question.

There’s also a transcript of your “Motorboat” conversation with Rampage Jackson on MMAFighting (by Michael David Smith), and I have to say when you’re reading a text version – you’re getting a totally different impression than actually watching the video, and understand that there’s a friendly vibe and it’s nothing but a good humor.
Yes. Everyone who seen any of my interviews knows my personality. I’m all about giving more fun interviews, entertaining the fans, joking and stuff like that. I’m not an uptight person.

If that type of thing happened to Heavy.com’s Megan Olivi for instance, what would be your opinion?
Well, I know Megan a little bit, and I know that she knows how to handle herself. She would put someone in his place if she felt uncomfortable. Again, there were so many people around during that interview, so I never felt like I was in any real threat of being… molested. I don’t really want to talk about other women and how they should handle it, or if they should handle it the way I did, simply because everyone has their own personality, and their own “state of mind” when it comes to situations like the one I had with Rampage.

After the interview, did you and Wade think it could develop into such a big story?
I mean, Wade was filming the whole thing. He’s always there behind the camera, and we took it as a joke anyway.  If I was offended, a. we wouldn’t put it up on YouTube, and b. We’d sue Rampage for what he did. But it was all fun, Rampage was in great mood after the fight, and we really enjoyed the interview.
– Wade Eck: Actually, after it happened, we immediately went on to interview Dana White and Travis Browne. It’s not like we were shocked, stopped the interviews or left the post-fight press conference.
Karyn Bryant: It takes much more than that to horrify me. And in all seriousness, I don’t want fighters to think now that they can’t joke with us. That’s what MMA H.E.A.T. is all about. We love talking to fighters and showing their personality a little bit more. Listen, when you put men and women together in any context, there might be some stuff going on… it’s not a crime.

There’s also an interview with Ariel Helwani, where Rampage gets a little bit physical. At least in my opinion, jokes are good, but until a certain point when it’s not a joke anymore. You just got to know when to stop.
The relationship Rampage and Ariel have is their own thing. I really don’t have an opinion about how either should handle this. Simply because I know that Ariel Helwani is a very smart guy, and he knows what he’s doing.

Okay, let’s get to the “fun section” of our interview. If you had a chance to become a Superhero, who would it be?
I would like to be a mind reader, like Professor X. But I also want to fly, so I’ll take this one from the Superman. Oh, and I’ll take Storm’s hotness.

Your favorite music hit from early 90’s?
Wow, that’s hard. I spent a lot of time with Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction. You know, being on MTV during that era, I would say that “Give it away” by Red Hot Chilli Peppers is my favorite.

Who are your favorite fighters?
I’m a huge Shogun fan. Everyone knows I’m a Shogun fan. I like Randy Couture, sorry that he’s done. He’s a great guy to watch and had a very big influence on this sport. Who else… oh, I like Scott Jorgensen a lot. Also, Rashad is getting a lot of heat, but he’s a very nice person and he’s very funny. And of course Anderson Silva. He’s phenomenal, and I can’t understand how some people say he’s overrated.

You interviewed so many people. Do you still have a “dream interview”?
I would like to spend more time with someone like Anderson. To pick his brain more. Who else…

Chael Sonnen?
Well, actually it’s an interesting one. Because he likes to be smarter than everyone else, but I don’t think he will be able to get over me. It could be a great challenge.

Alright, Karyn. Thanks a lot for your time. You know, it was really important for me to get your side of the story out there.
Yeah. You see, people who know me, know that it’s not the thing I would be bothered by. I didn’t want to speak for all women, because it’s everyone and how they feel about themselves, their environment and I just know that for me, I’m okay with that type of thing. Thank you.

  • This whole Rampage thing has been blown way out of proportion, anyone with two brain cells could see that it was all in good humour. Karen’s interviews are always light hearted, and funny IMO. Rampage is an entertaining guy, and knows how to play to the camera.

  • I wonder sometimes if her husband ever gets jealous when she does her interviews because she can be a little flirtatious at times. That said, she’s really good at what she does and most of the female reporters do flirt at some point IMO.

  • Who gives a crap. he didnt even hump her like that japanese reporter but Karyn gets 10x the publicity… i know that was way back in pride but MMA was still considered popular in the fight community. Karyn Byrant is just an ugly media whore. We need more sexy megans out there anyways, ta ta

  • Wade is a camera man, actually. He gets all the MMA Heat content edited and uploads it on YouTube 😉

  • Six

    She likes the attention … hell she doesn’t even use her husbands last name.

    Her husband is her camera man .. and does not seem to mind.
    probably swingers.

  • maybe she buys him a big screen or something with the extra dough she takes in from it.

  • i love her work.. she’s always in a good mood and joking with fighters.. her interviews differ from the norm that’s cool and she just got a boat load of free pub because of a non-story good for her.. keep doing your thing karen!! eff the haters

  • All he’s tryna do is have some fun guys so just let it be. And yes they probably are swingers.

  • I agree. I laughed for sure. It’s really weird to me how people saw that interview and were offended.

  • Already. That’s dumb that people hate on her because she isn’t super fine. I think as an interviewer she handles herself very well.

  • Chael would be a funny interview. Hope she gets to face that challenge.

  • these people are so ****ing sensitive. You say or do one little thing and they go off on you and try to get you arrested or some shit like that. Unless Rampage hurts or kills some1 who gives a ****?

  • says the person who misspelled “always”!! please get on your moral high horse and ride off into the sunset because obsiously we neanderthals dont possess the mental capacity needed to comprehend your moral crusade….

  • says the guy who misspelled ”obviously.”

  • ok?? im not insulting anyone’s intelligence tho.. and i knew i probably spelled something wrong im not really a typing expert i still look at the keyboard..

  • I cant believe this michael idiot actually wrote that article! what an imbecil, they were having fun in that interview and i personally enjoy interviews like that where the fighters true character comes out, which is all rampage interviews. Why would you want to stop someone from revealing his true personality? He’s been off the mark a few times but thats Rampage his interviews are just too entertaining in the grand scheme of things those interviews where he crosses the line are a fair trade off.

  • okk you clearly said she’s not bright then proceeded to misspell a word.. all im saying is you should make sure your finger is clean before you point it.. i never insulted you in anyway shape or form.. my misspelling doesnt matter because im not claiming superiority to anybody.. and name calling?? lls WOW

  • It’s amazing how many of you “keyboard warriors” love to theorize and make up stories. Karyn and I have been happily married for close to 10 years. She’s by far the coolest woman I know and many of my friends think so, too. Does your wife or girlfriend LOVE to watch ESPN and share football stats with your Dad? Mine does. And on the flip side, she LOVES to cook. We eat healthy home-cooked meals nearly every night. She’s just that awesome.

    As for continuing to use “Bryant” for work, it’s what she’s known by. Google her. She’s interviewed nearly every A-list celebrity you can think of, anchored her own live hour enterainment news show on CNN, guest hosted CBS’ Early Show, covered Super Bowls, co-hosted ESPN’s live New Years Eve special, etc. Her credentials and experience far surpass nearly every other MMA journalist. Can you name another American MMA journalist that has taken the time to learn Portuguese? Karyn has. She’s a true pro.

    I wish more fans would educate themselves before making ridiculous comments. Karyn and I founded MMA H.E.A.T. because we love the sport and want to help it grow. We sacrifice a lot to bring everyone the stories and coverage we do. If you also love the sport, why not help us to make it better? The goal of MMA H.E.A.T. is to humanize these fighters and show that they’re great men and women. Our sport receives a lot of criticism, some people comparing MMA fighters to “**** fighting.” Our goal is to prove them wrong.

  • shut up Fight Fan, if she was in the kitchen none of this would of ever happened

  • if she was in the kitchen, this would of never happened

  • uh you speak for yourself there buddy, i dont think any fighters find her annoying and i dont either. and thats a retarded theory, if she sued rampage she would still get interviews, cuz most fghters wouldnt fake moterbaot an interveiwer.

  • i like her interviews alot more than helwanis, hes so nerdy and studdery, cant stand him some times

  • I don’t know why fans are making a big deal out of this, and in the same time insulting Karyn.

    Guys, Rampage and Karyn were just having a little fun. We all joke around from time to time, we’re not cyborgs. Grow up.

  • Karyn is a bro ppl need to stfu!

  • damn anton is all over rampage today

  • seriously… stupid to think it is wrong for jackson to act like himself and to shit talk on bryant for how she does her job

  • Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but that just sounds like 6th or 7th grade humor. You seem quite eager to judge others; I’d like to know what you’re doing to help support and grow the sport of MMA?

  • well lets see??? I COMPETE…

    gtfo of here if you cant take what people say on the internet, your going to die a very angry person.

  • D

    “I don’t do interviews with women… unless i fornicate with them first… so you should stop talking now… unless you wanna… you know…”
    – Mike Tyson

  • i think the “kitchen stuff” line for woman is well played enough, woman has a great history of contributions to mankind without them man arent succesful, a man to be succesful needs a great woman by her side. woman empowers man to do great things,and also a woman can bring down a man(which is shown in history)in his back. i can see that your woman is probably on the kitchen right now and for us our woman is working enough to make a better place and make some contributions to the society. being said youre a
    fighter ayt?good luck bro i cant see your name on mma scene blah blah.

  • Hunter, hunter. What the heck got into you? The guy is standing up for his wife and there is no shame in that in this scenario, but there is shame on your part considering you have anything to say back to the man who she lives with. Chael Sonnen competes too when he can and I don’t see him as a great contributor anymore so maybe competeing doesn’t mean all that much if your a duchebag. Who wouldn’t defend their wife?

  • i really dont care, who the hell goes around to every website making account names just to get on and rant for 30 mins, who really cares, the line about the kitchen is a joke, anyone who takes it as truth is ignorant in the first place.

  • I could see it if it was someone pissed about a scenario that involves them and their partners proffessional lives. He’s trying to stop a mistake from happening because of peoples distorted perceptions. Rampage could get into a lot of un-needed trouble over this if guys like him don’t straiten out the facts as an eye witness. If he and his wife stayed quite then it would be likely that Rampage would be in trouble because of perception.

  • u r

  • I like Karyn and her interviews. I know Rampage was joking, but it was in pretty poor taste in my opinion. A few flirtacious comments on camera is one thing, but diving for a reporters breasts seems to take the theme a bit farther than I ever recall seeing on legitimate sports interviews. It ddin’t end up humanizing him, but rather, demonizing him.

    As for the ‘keyboard warriors’ comment, I don’t think you will get far or sway opinion in your favor with that particular expression here. I would hazard a guess that many of the participants on this forum could kick your ass all the way back to the girl’s washroom in a New York minute.

  • I agree with you HunterB.

    I knew you were joking. You were probably irritated by the tearful moral tirade her husband who basically implied that all of us ‘keyboard’ warriors were uneducated and should smarten up, like him.

    I llke Karyn, and yes, I think she’s hot.

    But I think she has a very bad taste in picking husbands.

  • The lady did not mind so lets leave it at that.

  • Dude not only she is fine but she is actually a great reporter, she is educated and does smart questions, her interviews are really entertaining, all those stupid girls who ask fighters stupid stuff make me sick, she knows her shit…