There’s a lot more to UFC 90 than the fights on Saturday. Here’s all you need to know to make your weekend in Chicago truly epic.
UFC AUTOGRAPH SESSION
Where: Swissotel, 323 E. Wacker Drive
Lowdown: Clay Guida, Dan Henderson, Rashad Evans and Miguel Torres will be hanging with fans from 10 a.m. to noon. Props to Maggie H. at Yahoo! MMA Experts, whose tourist-friendly guide to Chicago is also worth checking out. Portillo’s FTMFW.
UFC 90 WEIGH-INS
Where: Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St.
Lowdown: Free and open to the public. Doors are at 3 p.m. CT, and the fighters start hitting the scales at 4. Good luck, Thiago!
JOE ROGAN LIVE
Where: Zanies, 230 Hawthorn Village Commons; Vernon Hills
Lowdown: The night before every UFC event, Joe Rogan traditionally books a standup appearance at a local comedy club. Though Zanies is a little off the beaten path — Vernon Hills is about 35 minutes away the Allstate Arena — it’ll be a great place to mingle with other fun-loving UFC fans on Friday. Joe’s set starts at 8 p.m.; tix are $25 and there’s a two-item (food/drink) miminum. Coincidentally, Carlos Mensteala will be doing appearances at the Rosemont Theatre this weekend. Could we be seeing a repeat of this scene at some point?
COMBATLIFESTYLE.COM ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY
Where: Spy Bar, 646 N. Franklin St.
Lowdown: If you’ve ever wanted to be in the background of one of Tracy Lee’s party pics, here’s your chance. The photo blog known for pictures of fighters eating and hot females posing turns a year old, and the word is that some well-known fighters will be helping them celebrate. Festivities kick off at 11:30, so you’ll have more than enough time to make it over after Rogan tells his last joke.
After the jump: So many after parties, so little time…
ANDERSON SILVA‘S OFFICIAL AFTER PARTY
Where: Crobar, 1543 N. Kingsbury
Lowdown: Party like a champion. One of Chicago’s most well-known clubs will be hosting a blow-out for the Spider after his fight, so go here to buy a $10 ticket in advance, or call 312.266.1900 for a table reservation.
XTREME COUTURE AFTER PARTY
Where: Moda, 25 W. Hubbard
Lowdown: An all-star cast of fighters — including Randy Couture, Gina Carano, Frank Trigg, Tyson Griffin, and Jay Hieron — will be representing Xtreme Couture at the scene-y, stylish space known as Moda. Call 312-505-9898 for a table or to RSVP for $10 admission.
RACHELLE LEAH POST FIGHT PARTY
Where: Enclave, 220 W. Chicago Ave.
Lowdown: The beloved UFC All Access host and Playboy cover girl gets her own bash at the 15,000-square-foot freak factory Enclave. Click here to get free admission before 11 p.m. — you know, if you don’t mind missing the Silva/Cote fight.
JOE ROGAN AFTER PARTY
Where: Manor, 642 N. Clark St.
Lowdown: Probably the siiiiiiickest, craaaaaaziest, most world-class, high-level after party of the night. If you caught Joe’s set at Zanies on Friday, head to Manor and shout out your favorite bits at him. He’d love that. (Actually, he’ll probably be too busy explaining his new tattoo to the fighter-groupies in the VIP section.)
SPENCER FISHER AFTER PARTY
Where: The Fifty/50, 2047 Division St.
Lowdown: So this is how the other half lives. The King’s after party isn’t at one of those fancy dance clubs, but at a sports bar known for its fried apps and sandwiches. It’ll be a decidedly smaller-scale affair, but if you just want to get a couple drinks after UFC 90 without worrying about doormen, awful DJ music, and overcrowded spaces, this may be your best bet.
SELL/CLEMENTI AFTER PARTY
Where: Rednofive, 440 N. Halsted St.
Lowdown: Pete Sell, Rich Clementi, Matt Serra, and for some reason Shonie Carter will be hosting a party at Rednofive, which features a bumpin’ club upstairs and a more chilled-out lounge downstairs. Music will be provided by “official UFC/WEC DJ” Mikey Swift, and if you’re a baller on a budget, bottles of Belvedere will be available for $150. Close your eyes and you’ll swear you’re in Long Island!
THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER 9 TRYOUTS
Where: Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road; Rosemont
Lowdown: Luckily, you have all Sunday to sober up. If you’re a fighter looking for a spot on The Ultimate Fighter: Team U.S. vs. Team U.K., open auditions will be held in Rosemont on Monday morning. Registration begins at 9 a.m., and tryouts kick off at 10. Applicants should be prepared to grapple and box. For more on what to expect when you get there, watch this and read this.