Thanks to everyone who submitted stories for today’s crowd-sourced edition of the CagePotato Roundtable. We’ve selected 12 tales from the pile — ranging from drama to comedy to horror — and we’ll begin with a story that comes to us from an actual pro fighter, involving one of MMA’s greatest out-of-the-cage rivalries…
A few years ago I fought on the Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields card. While at weigh-ins I was obviously star-struck from being at Al Hrabosky’s with a room full of legends and badasses. The only guy I had the balls to say what’s up to was Nick Diaz. He was completely cool and super polite, he said hi and introduced himself to the entire table (my cornermen, shaking each one’s hand). We were just shooting the shit about how it was my first time on a big card and that I was fighting T-Wood. I was thinking this dude is nothing like the interviews I have watched.
All of a sudden he looks over and sees Joe Riggs and almost flips shit, starts telling his corner guys “there’s that little bitch right there!” Looks over a crowd of people and called Riggs a punk bitch. Then Gil and someone else walked him away/cooled him down. Proved that if Nick doesn’t like you and fights you he may fight you again in the hospital and almost again at completely different fight’s weigh-in!
You guys all remember Dan Barrera from TUF 6, right? Well I met him during a math class in the Fall of 2011 and it was one of the weirdest experiences I’ve ever had.
There was a guy across the room in my math class who kept talking and interrupting the class, mumbling things about The Ultimate Fighter. I couldn’t help but think that I had seen him somewhere before. The guy got up and said something like, “Sorry to interrupt your class, I’m here for my cousin to get notes, his girl is pregnant. Thanks. Ultimate Fighter, UFC, peace.” Then he left and we thought it was over. But in the same way that an obsessive ex-boyfriend keeps popping up in closets and dressing rooms long after the breakup, Mr. Barrera was not willing to let this end. When we went into the computer lab to continue the class, there he was.
He was speaking with different people, who were mostly trying to ignore his ramblings. I, however, felt like a moth being drawn to his glowing beam of crazy. So I asked him what he was talking about and he pulled up a picture on one of the computers showing Dan Barrera weighing in for a fight. “Oh shit, you’re Dan Barrera. Yeah, you fought Ben Saunders.” To which he replied, ”Yeah and I beat him too, I put this hand through his face.”
Sure, I remember him getting a good shot in on Saunders, but Barrera would have us believe he easily won that fight. That is obviously not true, Saunders beat him…twice. Once during the show and once at the finale. Of course, when a mentally unstable, possibly cracked up pro fighter says something like that, I figured I should just let it slide. I find truth and reason don’t mean much to a deranged person.
Then he handed me a magazine article which featured him dressed as a cowboy, looking like he was ready to participate in a rodeo. As any normal person would do, Barrera asked me to read it aloud to the class. After graciously declining, he decided to read it instead, knowing the wisdom was too great NOT to share.
As he did so, I just had to wonder why this guy was crashing a college math class. Why is he showing pictures of himself on the Internet and reading aloud a magazine article featuring himself? I knew Dan was a little nutty from watching TUF, but squirrel shit has nothing on this guy.
Once the article was finished, it was time to leave us all with something really important to think about. Getting into preach mode, he actually pulled a Bible out of his pocket and said (to the best of my memory):
Do you see this? This is the word, it’s the word of our savior. How many letters does law have in it? Who knows that? How many letters does law have in it? Don’t be scared. *writes “law” on the white board* It has three letters in it. How many letters does God have? Don’t be scared, it has three letters. You see? God made the law and his word is law. Now how many lines does an ‘A’ have? It has 3 lines. What’s three times three?…
That’s about all I can remember before the teacher came in and asked him to leave. I hope Mr. Barrera was on some good coke or meth, because honestly, if he’s like that sober he is not of this world.
Anytime I feel as though I’m losing my grips on reality, I just remember this experience and feel as though everything will be ok. Perhaps that was the true wisdom of Mr. Barrera. Thank you sir, you have helped change one person’s life for the better.
My brother and I were in Vancouver for UFC 115. Being from Winnipeg, we checked into our hotel downtown. The lady who checked us in said her husband was in charge of the hotel where all the fighters were staying and tipped us off on its location. (Thanks check-in lady!).
As soon as we got to the hotel we spotted Chuck’s trainer John Hackleman so we knew we were in the right spot. Moments later we ran into the Iceman himself so we were pretty stoked already. Then we saw Jon Fitch standing by himself checking in. And we continued to let him stand by himself because it’s Jon Fitch so who fuckin’ cares?
Walking back outside we recognized a chubby Asian dude but couldn’t quite figure out who it was. That is until it dawned on us, he wasn’t Asian at all but Diego Sanchez. Being a big fan of his we asked if we could get a picture with him. If you look at the picture, it is literally three seconds after Diego whispered in my ear, “Yo, I’m in Canada, land
of the good shit. You got any chronic you can hook me up with?” Being from Canada of course we did.
But it was back at our hotel. He said come back and we’d blaze up in his hotel room before he had to make some club appearance. Getting baked with the Diego sounded rad to us so we made the short trek and back. When we got there though he said he had to get going. But we gave him a joint or two anyways seeing as he was all chubby and still depressed from the beatdown BJ gave him months earlier. Maybe we didn’t get high with the Nightmare, but we were happy to hook him up with the best shit in the world
Fight Chix was started by Elisabeth and I back in 2006. I was doing design work for a company called STATS — we developed a statistical system like Fight Metric (before Fight Metric) and used it with the IFL. So I headed up that project and Elisabeth and I also used the networking as a spring board to launch Fight Chix.
Well it was May 19, 2007, and we were at the hotel bar in Hoffman Estates by the Sears Center. We were enjoying some drinks with Bas Rutten and Tiffany Fallon. Typically hanging out with Bas at a bar is an event unto itself, but this evening the focus was on a former champion who has recently lost his belt to Randy Couture. Elisabeth excused herself to use the ladies room and returned to the table PISSED. On her way back, Tim Sylvia was sitting with his feet up on a chair and blocked Elisabeth’s path back to our group. He was also with a group of fighters from the Miletich camp.
Tim looked up and said “So what is this Fight Chix thing” to which Elisabeth replied “It’s my clothing line. It’s for female fighters and fans of MMA.” Tim kinda laughed and responded with “Well that’s dumb, why would you start a clothing line for women, when its not a woman’s sport?” Several of Tim’s friends kinda laughed and Elisabeth stood her ground. “Really Tim? So there are no mothers, wives, sisters, or girlfriends that support you when you go into the cage? There aren’t fighters like Tara Larosa, Roxanne Modafferi or Julie Kedzie who train and compete just as hard? And if it wasn’t for women, you wouldn’t be here, now would you Tim?! Are we done here?!”
And Elisabeth walked back to our table as the Miletich camp cheered in a “you just got served” kinda way for Elisabeth. The result of this encounter was absolutely no bad blood for Tim Sylvia or anyone in his camp. It really lit a fire that still burns today, to be the best MMA Lifestyle brand out there for female fans and fighters. We know Tim isworking hard to get back in the UFC and we wish him well — and we thank him for his comment that was the gasoline on the fire of success.
My friend’s wife works at NBC and became friends with Dana from seeing him in the building. He got her free tickets to UFC 128 in Newark since she was pregnant and her husband (my friend) are UFC enthusiasts. We didn’t know where we would be sitting until we got to the arena and picked up our tickets. Turns out they were great — 20 feet away from the cage, second row in the arena. The only better seats were the few rows of folding chairs set up on the floor. Our seats were directly behind who I now know was Tiki Ghosn. I have no direct pics of him from fear of him punching me in the face, but I do have pics from the night and other UFC fighters who came into our seating area because it was so close. The following story is 100% true and can be verified by the three other people with me.
So me, my friend, his wife, and her friend get to the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, and pick up our reserved VIP tickets that Dana White was kind enough to set aside for us. We get there early, as people are starting to fill up the arena. We sit behind this bald man with a weird beard, all alone, who no one pays attention to. We all love the UFC and this was our first event, and were like little children on Christmas spitting out all our UFC knowledge and excitement for the night. The undercard fights are starting, and there she is, Arianny Celeste, holding the ring card 25 feet in front of me. Me and my friend go nuts, as I yell out, “OMG! It’s Arianny, she’s so fucking hot, she’s dated so many UFC fighters, what a slut.”
Then, the bald man with the weird beard turns around, looks at me, and says “You should watch what you say, that’s my girlfriend.” I just get mad that this guy says this to me, so I respond “Oh yea, and who the hell are you?”, not thinking that this is a UFC fighter, since I have been a fan for about five years and have never seen him. Tiki responds “How long have you been a fan of the UFC?” I say, “About five years, why?” He says, “Well then you wouldn’t know me” and turns around.
I am now pissed that he stops talking so I jump on my Blackberry and google “Arianny Celeste’s boyfriend,” and the first choice that comes up on Google is “Arianny dating ufc fighter Troy Burkham” [Ed. note: He means Josh Burkman] so I tap Tiki on the shoulder and say “Hey man, are you Troy Burkham?” This seemed to infuriate him, and he responds “No, I’m Tiki Ghosn.” I laugh, and say, oh ok sorry man then I Googled him and saw that he used to be a UFC fighter. I then proceeded to say, “Hey man, I’m sorry” again and he said “Yeah, yeah, no problem” in a pissed off tone.
Me and my group had an awkward silence for the next couple minutes as we did not want to anger an old UFC fighter, but by the time the next fight came on we were loud and crazy again. Nothing else was said the rest of the night, except every time a fighter that came into the crowd or that I saw would come into view I’d yell out “OMG it’s…….” just to let him know I was a UFC fan, and I did know almost all past and present relevant fighters. The real highlight of the trip was getting my Jon Jones Form shirt autographed by Rashad Evans before they were really beefing, I still have it hanging in my room. Hope you enjoyed my story about how I almost got into a fight with an ex UFC fighter for calling his girlfriend a slut lol.
I got to roll with Shane Carwin while training BJJ in Boulder. I use the term “roll” loosely, of course. He passed my butterfly guard in a heartbeat, crushed me in side position, and laughed a little. I apologized for wasting his time.
[Ed. note: Short, sweet, and to the point. Cool story, bro.]
On the next page: A brutal cockblocking by Bas Rutten, an unexpected staredown with Chuck Liddell, and Viva Hate’s tale of black-on-black crime at the Boston Fan Expo.