(Jackal Letibleu continues his adventures in Vegas at UFC 109. You can read part 1 right here)
It’s Saturday morning. Hangover. Fight day. I don’t remember how I got to bed again. Damn this shower feels good except it just tore open the burned skin on my lip. Now it looks like I really did get punched in the face. Crap, I forgot my room card in my room door again. I have to stop doing that before I get robbed and raped. Time to break out the ‘I Club Baby Seals’ shirt. I really wish I had a fashionable Fightlinker shirt. This will have to do.
I took the time to have a brunch buffet and headed for the main gate of the arena. The UFC Fight Club people are here already. I am third in line. Metal detectors? Are you serious? This silly process will hold everyone up. There is Fight Club liaison Rachel Sutton again looking all bubbly. She just saw me in line and waved. She looks exactly like Giada De Laurentiis from the Food Network.
I can see some fighters streaming in with security now. Fraggle Rock afro boy Koscheck just walked by looking just as snobby as he did the day before. Wow, the card girls and Xyience are here. There is Chandella up close. She doesn’t look that bad from here but doesn’t look right at the same time. She looks plastiky like a crayola that was forgotten on a baseboard heater. I miss Logan and her mystery finger. Maybe Bob Arum was right and it’s because I am a homosexual skinhead tattooed MMA fan that I don’t like the replacement girl.
The gates are 20 minutes late opening. The crowd is getting restless. Brandon and his wife just pointed me out. I’m remembering what happened the day before and they apparently do too. I want to shrink into the crowd and disappear the more I think about it. Brandon is waiving at me? They still like me now that they are sober? Maybe it’s my French Canadian accent that did it.
The crowd behind me is really getting impatient. The security staff just brought these kids to the metal detectors. They are wearing what looks like badly fitted last minute security outfits. I just realized they are being explained how a metal detector works and how to pat people down right there in front of us seconds before the gates open. They look terrified. So this is where using Jobboom gets you! This looks like a prank.
The gates open, I walk through the metal detector and of course it goes off. The kid in the Halloween security guard costume has a metal detector wand and he looks scared to use it. I point at my shoes and tell him my steel toes set it off. He looks relieved that he has an excuse not to pat me down or use his wand. He just waved me through. Security is a joke. This confirms again that similar to airplane safety, security is all about the illusion.
There she is: the Octagon. It must be female, right? She is like a boxing ring wearing fishnets. Pretty lights everywhere. This arena is very nice for this kind of event. Even the cheap seats look like they have a decent view of the cage.
Without any warning they jump right into the first fight. There seems to be only a quarter of the seats filled by the time Rolles Gracie steps into the Octagon. I am so pumped to see this guy fight. So are all the others around me. A few minutes later I find myself along with 2000 other people wondering what the hell that was.
Gracie started off strong and then his brain seemed to disconnect from the rest of his body. It was like he was being controlled by a puppeteer like in the movie Being John Malkovich. The high we felt of seeing him enter the cage followed by the low of seeing him wilt and succumb to an invisible force was similar to that feeling you get when you first discover you have diarrhea on public transportation. Gracie sucked the energy right out of us early arrival fans. I hope this doesn’t set the tone for the rest of the card.
If I wasn’t Canadian and this 8$ beer bottle I am holding was not made of aluminum I might have been tempted to throw it. Empty aluminum bottles don’t fly far and they don’t have the impact desired by one who would be inclined to throw a bottle. Wonder what Joe Rogan is saying about all of this? I can see him cage side moving his mouth and Goldberg nodding looking at him as if the home viewers could see him. No Rogan interview for the Mexicutioner?
A guy next to me introduces me to the UFC transmitter available for 10$ which gives us a real time connection to the cage side commentary and doubles as a device that helps block out ANNOYING CHICKS BEHIND ME THAT KEEP YELLING UNINTELLIGENT THINGS. This receiver is the best thing since sliced bread! You get the best of both worlds. The live experience and the PPV audio. Rogan can influence the reaction of the live audience, genius! As a bonus, between fights you hear all the technical cues from the broadcast van. It is a cool insight into the inner workings of a UFC broadcast.
Next fight is Hague and Tuchscherer. Hague is doing more damage and seems more technical but Tuchscherer got a few lucky sloppy takedowns and won the first 2 rounds. In the third round Hague seems to throw caution to the wind and demolishes Tuchscherer. It’s a good argument for a 10-8 round. It would make this fight a draw. Only one judge sees it as a draw, Tuchscherer wins via takedowns. Good fight though.
Next fight is Brian Stan against Phil Davis, the freaky looking black dude. Man does he look dangerous. Stan looks good for someone who is being dominated and tooled. This fight is a lot more one sided than I thought it was going to be. Phil Davis is a very interesting prospect. I am a fan.
The Nover and Emerson fight I ended up leaving half way into it to have a smoke. I started smoking again just for my sojourn in Vegas. It is piss pouring rain in Las Vegas. It is coming down hard. I think I just saw a girl drown because she looked up. I hope it’s one of the girls sitting behind me. There are still a lot of people filing into the arena.
Melvin Guillard looks pumped. It’s a good fight. Ronys Torres tried to throw Melvin Guillard out of the cage. That was funny. Guillard still has stuff to work on but he looks good. More disciplined. Holy cow I just witnessed the rebirth of the 3 Stooges. An ice bag broke open and spilt ice all over the octagon. Looks like 3 commission guys scrambled around like chickens with no heads trying to clean it all up. One of them knocked over the bucket they were filling. What a mess. Rogan is going nuts! He is jumping up and down! Goldberg is still looking at him and nodding LOL. It is as clumsy to watch as a bunch of 5 year olds in a potato bag race. I wonder if they are smoother than this in bed. They must all be single. This will be talked about for a long time. I can already visualize the YouTube videos!
The Mac Danzig fight kinda whizzed by me, I was talking to the guy beside me about the upcoming fights.
More $8 beer. I probably financed a lower tier fighter by now.
The Zuffa satellite just went up on the screen. It’s the UFC gladiator intro. Here we go!!! I should not have drank this much, I’m starting to lose tolerance for those monkey girls behind me. I should send them one at a time to drown outside in the rain.
Cheesy music must be Trigg. Yup. He is being booed. The only reason we want to see Twinkle Toes in the octagon is to watch Serra disconnect his consciousness from what we perceive as existence. I wonder what it’s like to know you’re being paid with the hopes that your brain stem gets shocked into shutting off for a second.
The rocky entrance again? The last time I saw Serra live I was booing him until my voice gave out. I am cheering for him now. Serra looks a bit chubby this time around. Didn’t notice that at the weigh ins the day before. Damn those girls behind me are really getting on my nerves. GO SMOKE AND DROWN, I’LL SUPPLY THE SMOKES. The guy beside me is also visibly annoyed at the girls. Wonder if I can play head games with him and coax him into committing a felony…
WE AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARE LIIIVE!!!
This is what I was hoping. Trigg doesn’t seem to want to take Serra down. He is moving straight back. Talking about Trigg and back, he has some gross looking lump on his back. The thing is the size of a large clementine! I wonder if it has puss in it. Serra has found his distance. He is touching Trigg’s face over and over. The face petting is funny, it means the punch is coming and there is nothing Trigg can do about it. It’s going to happen, it’s going to happen, it’s going to…. BAAAAAMMM!!!!!!! It happened! The crowd is going nuts! Serra brought us back from the Rolles Gracie glum mood. Now it seems more like a UFC event. Trigg is protesting. He looked out from here.
Now it’s Miller time and I’m drinking an 8$ Bud. Maia looks much better than the day before. I can’t tell if he is limping. He looks like he has color now. The fight is kind of slow. Maia got Miller down but Miller popped back up. Ouch, Miller is doing a Michael Jackson crotch grabbing move but Mazzagatti seems to be watching another fight. Someone get Mazzagatti a bag of popcorn so he can look like he is at least doing SOMETHING. He isn’t doing ANYTHING, Maia just keeps nailing him. Man I hate this ref.
Here it is, the UFC poker plug from Goldberg is playing in my UFC transmitter ear piece…its followed by a super long uncomfortable silence. I bet Rogan is trying to cut through the alcoholic haze of last night to remember that he had something to say right now… yesss, he said it, I am now officially the only UFC fan that has been mentioned 3 times during 3 different PPV’s. Nothing to brag about but it’s still nice to know a bunch of people could know who I am if I reference myself as ‘Fake Joe Rogan’. Maia looks like he improved his boxing. People are booing. It’s a decision. Maia takes it. Nothing spectacular but considering his last fight was a KO loss it’s forgivable.
Next are Swick and Thiago. They both look bouncy. Thiago’s head movement reminds me of Thiago Siva. DAMN IT, I missed the Thiago punch because I was glaring at the annoying girls behind me. What is that… a d’arce??? Shit, Swick is out!!! I missed everything. I need another beer. I am going to stand in the isle from here on in.
Co-main event. I think I am most hyped for this fight out of all the fights. Ever wonder how they get the camera shots of the fighter entrances? It’s a dude walking backwards holding a camera while his face is stuffed in a viewfinder. He walks backwards with mini super fast steps as if his shoe laces were tied together. He keeps the camera only about 20 inches from the fighters face. There are 3 people running behind him coiling the wires. How this guy does this repetitively accident free baffles me. I am sure sometime soon we will see the camera dude fall backwards in an epic disaster. Until then, seeing it live is impressive. Nate Marquardt’s body dimensions remind me of a scorpion.
I’m not going to go into this fight because there is nothing funny to say. Quite sad actually. Very, very sad. The whole time I was watching Nate Marquardt on his back that Asian dude’s face that put 4K on Sonnen from the night before kept coming back into my mind. Man I hope I never see him again because he will laugh at me. I don’t know what the lines looked like but I’m sure he made a killing. How much blood can a man loose?? That was a lot of blood. Need more beer. The beer guy wearing a tuxedo must think I’m a millionaire looking for a friend with the amount of beer I bought off him. This is money I’m spending was won at a poker game that I don’t remember winning so I don’t feel attach to ‘it’.
The Couture/Coleman fight went like I thought. Crowd went nuts for Randy. Coleman looked scared. Coleman did not sound intelligent during his post fight interview. I wish I had heard what Tito said but he was on the other side of the cage. I hope Tito gets the same treatment as Trigg when it’s his turn to return to the octagon.
It’s all over, we all pack like sardines into the hall leading to the exit. This hall feels like I am back in cooking school and I’m squashing meat into the funnel of a meat grinder for the first time. This time I am the meat. The tuxedo beer guy is signaling me over. He has 2 free beers for me that someone paid for but didn’t take. I guess it was buy 20 get 2 free? He must have felt bad for me spending all that money on beer (and now I am thinking of the children of Haiti and I am feeling selfish). If I melted down all the aluminum bottles I went through watching this show I could build a shelter for them.
Some guy just stopped me in the sardine hall to comment on my shirt. I know this face… Oh crap, it’s Matt Riddle! He is much bigger in real life than I thought! Not many people seem to recognize him. Strange. I pose for a picture and my camera battery quits at that very moment. This is perfect timing to lose a camera. This is a side effect of drinking. Camera batteries die. We never recharge cameras when drunk. This is why you cannot be a successful tourist when drinking. No Riddle picture.
Damn, Amir Sadollah pops up out of nowhere, Riddle wants me to show him my shirt. Amir loves it and offers to pose for a picture. GRRRR no camera. I am too drunk to think of a solution. Riddle offers to try turning on the camera and trying to take a picture fast before it dies again. The photographic capture of this exact moment rests in the hands of Matthew Riddle. I pose, he turns on the camera and clicks and VOILA, a flash. Matt Riddle pulls it off and gets a picture of Amir and me. The camera died with the lens still open. I won’t find out until later if it worked.
We keep packing tighter in this meat funnel until we ejaculate out the arena doors and spill into the Mandalay Bay casino. Here from a distance I see the shiny head of my friend from the day before. He is the guy that organized the Fight Club after party. We discuss the hits and misses of the event. As I am talking to him his face lights up like a Christmas tree while he is looking over my shoulder. I turn around and basically have a chest in my face. Not a babe’s chest but Josh Barnett’s of all people! Very awkward! I hope he doesn’t think my lip blister is a herpes because it made contact with what I think was his nipple.
My friend asks me if I would take a picture of him and Mr. Affliction Killer. They pose and I snap. This guy didn’t drink as much the night before because he has a charged camera battery. I tell him about my drunken battery incident and he offers to snap a pic of me and Josh with his camera. We pose and voila, another picture! Josh loves the shirt and we talk for a minute about Newfoundland. The shirt is working. I wish I had a Fightlinker shirt. I’m sure I could have gotten him to pose holding it up. [FL note: ARGH!]
Others started to swarm Barnett and I assume they are looking for steroids so we had to leave him to it. I don’t even have time to thank my friend for taking the picture when I spot the Three Amigos walking up. The Three Amigos are comprised of Jacob ’Stitch’ Duran, Leon ‘Cutman’ Tabbs and that third UFC cutman who’s name nobody knows. I say hello to test the waters. They are happy to be getting a little lime light I can tell.
I ask them if they are employed by the UFC or the Athletic Commission. They tell me they are licensed by the commission but hired by the UFC and randomly assigned to a corner, not to a fighter. Now that I picked their brain with the only relevant question I could think of. My friend offered to take a picture of me with them. They agree and voila, a second picture!
Turns out Leon Tabbs was looking at this really hot babe (who looked like she followed the airplane safety instructions for the inflatable safety devices perfectly) and not at the camera so we snapped a second picture with the attention of the Three Amigos focused to the proper vector. They commented on the shirt which led again to discussions about Newfoundland. The shirt is working and I find myself again wishing I had a Fightlinker shirt! After a few minutes the Three Amigos trot off into the horizon with throngs of tumbleweed like fans at their heels.
My friend had a proposition for me. He asked me if I would like to join him on a Safari. He mentions about having tons of beer cans in his room and a well charged camera with lots of memory. I have a shirt that draws conversation. He proposes that we hunt down fighters and slay them for their pose. I find this to be a perfectly acceptable proposition since it includes free beer and access to a functioning camera. We go back to his room, find his wife (family event) and go downstairs equipped with a duffle bag full of beer and a camera. Turns out going on a fighter hunting safari is a very dehydrating affair because those beers were going down more often than the call girls on those cards that give away on every street corner in Vegas.
The next little bit is very blurry. I remember Gonzaga being overly excited about posing. He kept pumping his fist very close to my face while tucking me under his armpit. His damn fists were the size of my head! Mike Goldberg I don’t even remember posing with but that is probably because of the ‘situation’ I got myself into later on that evening. I remember trying to get a picture with Herb Dean and this guy kept trying to get into the picture and I kept pushing him away repeatedly until I realized it was Josh Rosenthal. He was way too excited about picture taking.
Herb Dean loved the shirt. I told him he was one of the best and to keep it up. I remember feeling the welt on Damian Maia’s ribs when posing. Eddie Bravo I think was looking for the nearest exit because he had a weed pouch in his hand when we posed. I told him I was the impostor Rogan and he laughed saying he heard Joe talk about that a few times (that creepy stalker feeling kind of started coming back).
Renzo Gracie shook me around like a little kid during the pose and we talked about GSP and Rolles Gracie. He was proud to show off his French with me (although I could tell someone has been showing him French slang and French swearwords…). I ran into Brandon Vera again and this time got a picture with his wife, Kerry Vera. There were many more pics but much of it is a drunken blur. With the end of the safari having arrived, I parted ways with my ‘FC’ friend and the other ‘FC’ members that had joined us. I went back to my watering hole I had found the first night I had arrived at the Mandalay Bay.
There was now a 25$ cover charge because they had a DJ on Saturdays. I hate paying for cover charges (I am originally from Montreal and I never pay cover anywhere there). I payed and got in. I slumped at the bar and continued drinking. A group sat down next to me and ordered drinks. I recognized one of their voices. I looked over and there was Mike Goldberg. I introduced myself and he introduced me to his wife (a Pretty Canadian Asian), his brother and 2 of their friends.
Mike continued to order drinks and his brother started to talk to me. He shook my hand and would not let go. He was talking to me very slowly and making these faces as if he was talking to a 2 month old baby. I thought he was probably making fun of me. I started to feel that sensation again that I should keep my mouth shut and just go sit somewhere else. I felt myself lean towards him. My mouth opened and out came words I tried to avoid saying. “You know I’m not a retard. You don’t have to talk to me like I am a retard”. He let go of my hand and turned his back without saying a word. BINGO, now I DO look like a retard. Mikes wife came over and continued to talk to me. I mentioned the Rogan poker thing and got a few laughs out of Goldberg. I payed them a round of drinks and moved a few seats away to avoid any more situations with the brother.
I was about to leave when in walked Bruce Buffer! I talked with him for a while and got into conversation about show business. He gave me his private business card with his contact info on it but I can’t remember why. These really young looking petite girls popped up out of nowhere (I have my theories) and scooted him away in a romantic embrace. I vaguely remember stumbling up to my room. This time they door key card went back in my pocket and I plugged in my camera. I checked the camera memory and there was a decent picture of me and Amir Sadollah. Chug water, 2 Advils and sleep….
It’s Sunday morning. Wicked hangover. Nothing to do today, no reason to drink…….. CRAP, SUPERBOWL!