My arrival at the airport introduced me to the diversity of Montreal.
Different pieces of various languages flew past my ears as I made my way through a microcosm of the world. Montreal is an interesting blend of a contemporary urban setting with some old world history present in its architecture and native culture.
And the women are hot!
"Are you in Montreal for business or for pleasure ?" - Customs agent.
"For the UFC fight this weekend." - OJR.
"Business or pleasure, sir ?" - Customs agent.
"Pleasure. Actually, I am hoping to get GSP's picture. He is a great champion." - OJR.
He immediately relaxed, chatted me up about GSP's greatness and warmly wished me a good time in his native city.
I had arrived for the Second Annual MMAmania.com Fan Trip.
Meeting the Maniacs
Bigger Zino, Mac, Jay, Yan117 and myself met up for the first time and made our way to a local bar.
During the trip to the bar I managed to debate the Chicago Bulls franchise with Mac, discuss organization as a foundation for success with BZ, ask Yan cultural questions about MTL and pointed out all the beautiful French Canadian ass to Jay. It was like a typical Mania thread in person.
During our bar conversation I noticed that Mac is a sports nut who loves his son and will not be shy about that fact. Yan is courteous, humble and proud of his heritage. BZ is an interesting talker who can engage you in a variety of topics without missing a beat.
Jay is soft spoken, quiet and unassuming. Being a Brock fan I expected Jay to communicate with grunts while drool ran down his chin. I noticed myself staring down the shirt of a blonde bartender with a huge rack. What can I say, I am a shallow bastard.
UFC 113 Fight Night
Our seats were elevated with an almost dead center view of the cage. It was a great location. Credit goes to Jay for suggesting that section. It definitely enhanced the experience of being there live. Absolutely no binoculars were needed. A huge screen hanging from the roof gave us an alternate view if the fighters positioned themselves in an obstructed view.
Jason MacDonald vs. John Salter
The MacDonald fight injury was the most horrible thing that I have ever seen in person. I have to give credit to MacDonald for having an unbelievable pain threshold. If that was me I would have blacked out like a little girl. The fans were stunned silent when the ref waved off the fight.
After the TKO announcement the Canadian fans showed their class by applauding and cheering for MacDonald as he was carried out. I think his MMA career is done. I really hope that I am wrong.
Mike Guymon vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida
This fight was very entertaining. Both fighters displayed alot of endurance, skilled grappling and mixed striking. When the fight was over Guymon was overcome with emotion and began to cry. Rogan interviewed him with a big shit eating grin on his face.
I could not help but feel that Rogan was somehow mocking this guy. Guymon admitted that it took him 10 years to break into the UFC. I will give anyone a pass for being emotional after dedicating a decade to achieve a dream. I hope to see Guymon fight again soon.
Joey Beltran vs. Tim Hague
The only interesting thing about this fight was that the Mexicutioner had a goatee that looked like it was glued on with stray dog hairs. Poor Hague was doing his best imitation of a punching bag as "Boobies" Beltran peppered him with jabs while riding his bicycle. Worst fight I have ever seen in the UFC.
Jonathan Goulet vs. Marcus Davis
Goulet looked good for a bit and then got KO'ed. Same old story. As Jay said, "Goulet looks good until he gets punched." Sorry, Goulet fans. Um...who am I kidding? What fans?
YouTube Star vs. Matt Mitrione
As compassionate and classy as the Canadian fans tend to be, they are no better than American fans when it comes to Kimbo Slice. Apparently, idiocy is a world wide condition. The arena erupted when Kimbo was introduced. It was so loud I thought that GSP was an active member of Kimbo's entourage. People were exclaiming what a good MMA'ist Kimbo was and how he would take Mitrione apart.
As soon as Kimbo lost I jumped up to my feet, clapped my hands in an obnoxious manner and screamed -
"Go back to Youtube and take your fucking fans with you!"
You could hear a pin drop in my half of the section after that. No one challenged me. I am an intimidating mofo.
Alan Belcher vs. Patrick Cote
BZ started a chant for the hometown guy as soon as RD 1 started...
"COTE! COTE! COTE! COTE! COOOTEEE! COOOTEEE!" Rinse and repeat.
The entire section soon followed his lead...
"COTE! COTE! COTE! COTE! COOOTEEE! COOOTEEE!" "COTE! COTE! COTE! COTE! COOOTEEE! COOOTEEE!" "COTE! COTE! COTE! COTE! COOOTEEE! COOOTEEE!"
I hoped for a spectacular Cote KO because I really dislike riots. Plus I had a nice shirt on.
After Cote lost, the combination of disbelief and pain was obvious on BZ and Jay's faces. I offered my condolences and nodded in sympathy as I listened to theories about illegal pile drivers (I thought Belcher won fair and square).
Discretion was definitely the better part of valor.
Josh Koscheck vs. Paul Daley
After Kos was done milking the illegal knee from Daley, one fan in particular decided to start a 'FUCK YOU KOSCHECK' chant. It caught on like wildfire. Canadian fans are rowdy, eh? After the Daley sucker punch Kos kept his cool and lip synched a very funny 'Fuck You' to Daley.
I saw Dana White come into the Octagon and read Daley the riot act. Daley's body language conveyed anything but humility or embarrassment at his actions. I immediately commented to Jay that Daley's UFC stint was over at that moment. Kos' post fight speech was very amusing. I think he enjoys wearing the black hat.
"Shogun" Rua vs. Lyoto Machida
Shogun was clearly the fan favorite. His cheers were louder and more sustained. I can confirm that bandwagon morons who pay $50.00 for a cheesy Shogun shirt have a talent for making alot of noise. Machida was winning the 1st round until he decided to become the aggressor and threw that high knee to the body. A major mistake as Shogun countered and got the impressive KO.
Despite being a Machida fan I stood up and applauded for Shogun. It was a challenge avoiding all the boners from the "Shogun fans" sitting behind me. No bitterness here, though. Losing to a badass like Shogun is acceptable. Machida will be back. No doubt.
Meeting Matt Hamill
After the fights were over BZ and myself decided to do a bit of carousing. We made our way to a deli and we saw Matt Hamill having a friendly conversation with a table full of customers. Matt accepted all autograph requests and pictures with a smile on his face. He also invited people to head over to a pub. BZ and I joked about how much of a kickback Matt would get for constantly mentioning the pub's name.
BZ managed to ask Matt a question : "So Matt you going to have any problems with Jardine?" - BZ.
"Don't even worry about it...I got this." - Matt.
Hilarious. Matt left the deli about 20 minutes later to a round of applause. BZ and I left and made our way to the strip clubs. Word of advice...do not attempt to go to a strip club in MTL after a UFC event. BZ and I waited in line for 10 -15 minutes in 2 separate locations.
Between watching guys cutting the line, the doorman arguing with customers and observing a drunken "Shogun fan" almost fall backward down a flight of stairs, BZ and I had enough and left. We headed for the pub that Matt mentioned earlier in order to drown our sorrows. We sat next to a group of rocket scientists who decided to throw their sunglasses in the large tub of beer that they were drinking from.
They spotted Matt and invited him over for some drinks. Matt accomodated them and even posed for a group picture. And then this little gem from out of the blue: "And Matt I just want to tell you that Jon Jones is a fucking faggot. Fuck Jon Jones. And that's all I'm gonna say, that's all I've got to say." - random drunk guy. "Ugh...okay dude... WHOA !!!!" - Matt.
Despite the drunk guy's crush on Jon Jones, Matt stayed with the group and joked around with them. BZ and I finished our drinks and began to head out. Matt stopped me before I got to the exit and thanked me for stopping by the pub. He then offered his hand. I shook it in disbelief. He did the same with BZ. He remembered us from the deli earlier that night and went out of his way to be polite. Unbelievable. I was actually moved by his gesture.
Until Next Time, eh?
So I woke up to the sound of a knock on my hotel door on Sunday morning. Mac, BZ and Jay wanted to stop by and say goodbye before they left. I sighed in relief because I thought they wanted to check me out in my underwear. I don't blame them though because I am a sexy man.
We analyzed the previous night's fights and decided that we should post our collective experience for our fellow Maniacs. They are a cool bunch of guys and I would be happy to hang out with them again. Special thanks to Yan for also taking time out of his schedule and hanging out with us.
Thanks for reading!