(An epic after-party in the making. Pictures courtesy of Tom Hill Photos.)
If you missed last night’s Bellator event you not only lost out on the chance to see some great fights, but you also missed seeing one of the best MMA cheering sections of all time. Super Bowl champion tight end Jeremy Shockey and Oscar-nominated actor Mickey Rourke were cageside in Hollywood, Florida on Thursday night to support their friend Roger Huerta, who defeated a surprisingly game Chad Hinton via third-round submission. As you’d expect, Rourke showed up looking like your ne’er-do-well uncle who lives in a motel on the edge of the town, and Shockey seemed either really enthusiastic or maybe just a little drunk, but they were both there to support their friend in his new venture and we think that’s nice.
Sure, maybe the trio seems a little odd, but also pretty awesome. Rourke and Huerta became friends when “The Wrestler” star offered to help him hone his acting skills. And Shockey? Well, Shockey knows a good time when he sees one. Missing the chance to hang out at weird after-hours clubs with Rourke and Huerta is the kind of thing you’d hate yourself for when you’re wasting away in your rocking chair decades from now.
Seeing this kind of support section cageside at an event should really serve as a notice to other fighters that they need to improve the overall quality and strangeness of their entourages. There was a time when having David Spade there to cheer you on was enough. After last night, unless you’ve got Peter O’Toole sitting next to Hideki Matsui, you’re a nobody.