(‘Anyone here order a nice, cool glass of sexy?’)
Let me begin this installment of the UFC scene report with a message for that twelve-year-old kid who thrashed me at UFC Undisputed during yesterday’s Fan Expo: You got lucky. Lucky that the game designers gave Wanderlei Silva a flash chin and “Rampage” Jackson a ridiculously powerful left hook. Lucky that you don’t have a job and you get to sit around playing video games all day. Lucky that I’m too nice a guy to slap a kid in the mouth for gloating after his one-punch KO victory.
Now that that’s taken care of, let’s move on.
I’ve been to one or two UFC’s in Las Vegas by this point, Potato Nation, but I’ve never seen it like this. The Fan Expo was a massive throng of humanity, and not just the kind of typical MMA fan humanity that you might expect. Sure, I did see an infant with a Chuck-hawk, but I also saw a woman in her fifties get really excited when Shane Carwin showed up at the Warrior Wear booth. I also watched two teenage girls trying earnestly to figure out whether Paulo Thiago was someone they should try to get their picture taken with, before ultimately deciding to take a photo with a cardboard cut-out of Brock Lesnar instead.
(Who loves reading?!)
For reasons totally unrelated to these girls, I spent most of my time at the Fight Magazine booth watching “Mayhem” Miller do his I’m-clinically-insane routine for the delight of the crowd. At one point he insisted that everyone gather ’round and try to take pictures of him mid-air while he jumped up and down for no real reason. No one enjoyed it more than he did. The thing about “Mayhem” is, it’s not an act. He really is like that all the time, which just seems exhausting.
Wandering around the expo, I came upon this booth devoted to all things Pride. I guess enough time has passed between the UFC’s purchase and subsequent destruction of the Japanese MMA org that they can now begin profiting off our nostalgia for it. Even though I realized what they were up to, I can’t lie and say that I didn’t come very close to buying a Pride t-shirt. But then it would have been super embarrassing if I showed up to the weigh-in and Lorenzo Fertitta and I were wearing the same thing.
After the packed weigh-in, I did a little video blogging for Raw Vegas about the subtle differences between the Motel 6 and the Excalibur (short version: they’re both pretty shitty). Then it was off to The Orleans to watch the all-female Tuff Girls MMA event, where Cage Potato reader Paige Zio completely annihilated her opponent. Seriously, people? Paige ain’t playin’. She came out guns blazing with head kicks and vicious combos, battering her opponent until she, shall we say, chose not to continue midway through the second round. Since she appeared to be on an express train to Unconscioustown, you couldn’t really blame her.
(Just as I was taking this picture, Donovan McNabb walked by behind me wearing a "Rampage" Jackson t-shirt. But I just had to get that shot of Gray Maynard, didn’t I?)
Finally, I ended my night at the Cage Potato/Fight Magazine party at Tryst. I’m not really a nightclub kind of guy, but even I have to appreciate a place built around a waterfall, just like I have to appreciate the bikini-clad go-go dancer who, if I’m not mistaken, paused to snort something during her routine. The girl barely missed a beat. However, my appreciation for the poshness of the place began to diminish right around the time I paid ten bucks for a Corona. But just when you start to complain about something in life, you see someone who has it worse.
(Expertly cultivating the I-have-no-problem-hitting-you-with-this-cast look.)
Urijah Faber was just one of many MMA celebrities in attendance last night, and while I get just as excited as anyone to see my favorite fighters partying it up, the biggest thrill for me was snagging this rare photo opportunity.
(Yeah, Joe Silva is totally wearing a Richard Dawkins Foundation t-shirt. So no, he probably doesn’t want to come to church with you.)
Things I learned while talking to matchmaker extraordinaire Joe Silva: 1) he’s very amused by the aura of mystery Dana White has cultivated about him, 2) he takes a lot of pride in creating match-ups that jerks like me get excited about, and 3) he’s just as pumped up to watch Jon Jones fight as we are.
After a long day of UFC-related activities, I decided to pack it in and get some rest for the big show tonight. Don’t forget to check out our liveblog tonight, and come back tomorrow for fight recaps, pithy observations, and jokes about Brock Lesnar’s tattoo. Obviously, you don’t want to miss that. While you wait, enjoy some more photos from last night’s party. I’ll just be over here with my hangover.
(KenFlo. Also pictured: Kelly Crigger’s awesome t-shirt homage to Team America.)
(Dammit Marcus, I am in no mood to stand and bang right now.)
(You know who’s impressed when you tell them that you wrote this cover story? Nobody.)