MMA Fanboy Heads to UFC 87
In 1975, I was five and I became a huge hockey fan. Denis Potvin was winning the NHL Rookie of the Year and he became my favorite player. I followed his New York Islanders team loyally. Whenever they came to town, I hassled the Islander players and coaches for autographs and sticks at the arena. I even got to put on one of Al Arbour’s Stanley Cup rings. I devotedly followed the NHL until they left Winnipeg in the 1990s. I was now married and had a family and did not have time for such foolishness.
Now as I pack for UFC 87, I laugh at how I have come full circle. Like many, I watched the early UFC cockfighting but drifted away as Tito Ortiz and Frank Shamrock rose to glory. MMA caught my eye once again with Chuck/Randy I and TUF 1 hooked me. Now, I cannot get enough MMA.
While in Europe last year, I managed to attend UFC 72 in Belfast. While watching live, I got to speak with Eddie Sanchez as Tyson Griffin stole a victory from Clay Guida. Later, I talked with Brandon Vera, Tyson Griffin, and I managed to get photos with Joe Rogan and Randy Couture. I was 5 again.
I stay up until the wee hours to watch DREAM. I downloaded all the old PRIDE and UFC shows that I missed. I watch the FIGHT Network religiously. I root for my home team (any Canadian fighter) and I was thrilled to sit at a table with Joe Doerksen at Ultimate Cage Wars (even though I did not talk to him once). I also cheer for the gimmick fighters like Brock Lesnar and Kimbo Slice. While writing this, Brian Stann is losing his WEC Light-Heavyweight title on my TV.
This weekend, I will be at UFC 87 to see GSP defend his title. I am taking my MMA converts: my wife, father-in-law, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law to their first UFC. I hope to catch my first weigh-ins and maybe bump into a fighter while we walk around Mall of America or Valley Fair.
Why did Cageplay.com ask me to write for them, I don’t know. The closest I come to training is watching my kids at Judo twice a week while listening to Sherdog podcasts on my iPod. I am no expert, I am a MMA fanboy.
A Fanboy’s impression of UFC 87 from Minneapolis.
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