Oh man what a glorious fucking weekend for Anderson Silva fans. It isn't just that he wins, but how he does it that's so fucking gangster. It's not enough that his skill level is that of a legitimate, true master, he also just happens to be one of the baddest motherfuckers on the planet. Say what you will about Stephan Bonnar, but the fact is he is a top 20, maybe even top 10 Light-Heavyweight that not even Jon Jones could put away in 15 full minutes. Hell, MMA aside, Stephan could quite easily beat the fuck out of 90% of the male population on Planet Earth.
And Anderson Silva put his back against the wall, dropped his hands, and said "Free shots little girl! Go ahead, I'll wait."
So fucking Boss.
Pictured: Not Giving a Fuck.
Anyway, you may remember me from my previous excursion to the sinniest of sinny cities, in which I had some pretty cool encounters. "What the fuck dude. You just got back from UFC 137 and now you're going to UFC 148? Who the fuck do you think you are? Aren't you satisfied?" Well yea, I was satisfied, actually. Seeing Nick Diaz and B.J. Penn throw down in person was basically the highlight of my life, even with the horrifying Stockton beat-down and subsequent "retirement" (All good, BJ is gonna cold cock that Juiced-Up Hipster in 30 SECONDS FLAT OH THE GLORY OF IT). Not to mention being able to meet BJ in person, I could have not attended another UFC event in my life and have been cool with that.
But, you know when your Hot Brazilian Wife calls you at work and is all like "Eenstead of goeeng to the mountains thees summer what eef... We go to Vegas and see that motherfucker Chael get fucked een hees ass."
Oh, your wife doesn't call you at work to say things like that? She wants to talk about her feelings and the fact you haven't changed that fucking light bulb still? Shitty bro. Maybe time for an upgrade? New catalog is out, I'm just saying.
Anyhoo, it was thus decided that I would be attending UFC 148 and the UFC Fan Expo live, in the flesh, with my beautiful, crazy, Chael-hating wife driving me like cattle through a chute to get there.
So once I had indeed determined that my playfully psychotic wife wasn't playing the most heinously foul Lucy-Pulls-the-Football-at-the-last-second gag of all time (consequent homicide was mentioned) it was deemed to be fucking on like Donkey Kong. Flights and Hotels were secured with efficiency and alacrity. Fight Club membership was purchased with effervescent glee, pre-sale code secured. As any live UFC event attendee can relate to you, this step is critical to avoid having your ass pillaged by scumbag scalpers, may they and their bastard progeny suffer brain rotting syphilis and blue waffles for all eternity.
What a horror show it was trying to get these tickets. I was in front of my computer at 9:30 am, codes and cards and logged in, all lined up and shit. "I am getting face value you mother fuckers."
The clock hits 10:00. I refresh the page. "Find tickets" is available. I click on it. It lets me in. My heart pounds with the fury of a thousand PRIDE opening ceremonies. I agonize over the price sections, not knowing which seats they truly represent. I settle on $400 to $600, despite visions of Hotwife's anger. 2 tickets. Go. IT COMES BACK WITH 2 FRONT ROW LOWER BOWL SEATS. Oh. My. FUCKING. GOD.
"OH! OHHHH. OH YES! THOSE ARE MINE. THOSE ARE MINE YOU FUCKS! Ooooooo hooooooo hooo hahahahahah!" I was kind of excited.
I click "Buy."
It says I have to verify my card a little further. It needs the address, Full Name, and email address of my 70 YEAR OLD FATHER.
And the clock is ticking... Fucking Ticketmaster and their sadistic fucking time bomb ticket purchase clock. If you could rape and murder a piece of time telling software I would totally fantasize about that.
I spend the next four minutes and thirty-two seconds trying to extract eleven-year-old computer security information from a 70-year-old man. I'm sure you can imagine how that went.
I politely thank my father for his help, let him go, and unleash a perfect, brain-bursting torrent of verbal rage into the air of my living room. I learned that day I could murder anyone I want in my apartment and I wouldn't even need Huey Lewis and the News to cover up the noise, because if my neighbors won't call the cops about the things I was screaming that day then they would never call them about anything, ever. Consequently I charge $200/per for use of the "Murderdrome" if anyone is interested. Wives are 15% off.
Once I let the rage monster out I focused on who could provide a plucky yet credit-bereft young man to get his tickets to the fight of the fucking millennium, provided all the tickets hadn't already been snatched by those fucking vultures.
After numerous failed requests to my immediate family, my drug dealer gives me his credit card number.
I repeat steps one through three and am granted the same seats I had before, only like 19 rows back. This will actually work out to be better, as now we have a better angle with which to see into the cage rather than through it. Or so I tell myself. Fuck. Whatever, one hurdle down....
Also, as it turns out, the US of A is A-OK with a Brazilian visiting the country, and Canada is A-OK with my Wife being a Canadian, but not A-OK with her leaving and coming back without her Permanent Resident Card, which they have yet to send us because they are lazy bureaucratic cunt fucktards. The only way for her to get back into Canada is to get an "International Travel Document" which can only be procured outside of Canada.
So we send the lucky bitch to Brazil for two weeks before the fight so she can get said document, which, believe it or not, they don't give out for free. This trip is starting to get way too expensive for my night-time vigilante's salary, and I haven't even got to Vegas yet. Fuuuuuck. Whatever. I made hurdle number two my bitch. Now all there is left do do is wait...
It's a couple minutes short of 11 am on July 5th as the taxi drops me off in front of the Wynn, one of the most pimpenest-ass hotels in all of Vegas. I breath a sigh of relief as the mad rush of the flight, cab from the airport, cab to the Excalibur, and then cab to the Wynn had me exasperated. This place is fucking money. I usually spend my Vegas time in the more seedy areas of the Strip, so the opulence had me a little taken aback. There were literally no Filipino women badgering me for a time-share, it was kind of surreal. I find my way to Club XS, as this is where the UFC 148 Open Workouts are being conducted. I thought it was a little strange to conduct open workouts in a crunk ass club at 11 in the morning, but whatever, I'm gonna see Anderson Silva hit some fucking pads.
As I make way way into the club proper Jon Anik is on the mic making a long-winded intro to the days festivities. Golden, Ten-Foot tall naked female torsos line the walls, and they got some big ass titties.
Pictured: Two Assholes I don't know
I find a good spot for myself and get situated, and I was lucky to even get that spot as the place is packed and filling up with the quickness. By standing on top of one of the booths I was able to get a pretty good view of the action. I can see all the media bigwigs, Ariel, Karyn, Gareth, Showdown Joe's bald head gleamin'. I even recognize Ben Fowlkes chillin in the cut.
There is a lot of Brazilian Media as well, the atmosphere is quite electric. The weight of the historic moment begins to sink in for me, the feeling of being in a place where the world is watching has never been more prevalent in my life.
After a fucking painfully boring and pointless Q & A with Patrick Cote and Cung Le, Forrest and Tito are brought out. I am genuinely shocked at the love these two get, Tito especially. The crowd was literally going "TEE-To! TEE-TO! TEE-TO!" and shit. While the man seems to be reviled in general by the media and fans alike, that motherfucker has got some FANS, and they fucking love him. They love him so much that I was even catching Tito fever as the fights approached, their positive energy was infectious; it was so unlike the impotent malice projected by certain Nick Diaz fans that I had dealt with in the past. By the time I got to the fights I was fully aboard the Tito Train.
One of Tito's many bastard sons.
After a lengthy Q & A in which we are treated to what can only be described as a torrent of fractured inspirational phrases and cliches from Tito, the actual workouts begin. Seriously, it was like the fortune cookie printer got a fucking computer virus, and if you know some Tito like I know me some Tito, I'm sure you can guess what that was like. Forrest basically talked shit about himself the whole time, but he did seem pretty confident, sort of like "Well, I may be Forrest Griffin at this point and all that implies, but at least I can beat Tito." I find this to be acceptably entertaining, but welcome the clearing of the chairs and placing of the mats after the stare down. I decide at this point I need an alcoholic beverage. I extract a promise of me eating his firstborn and homeboy agrees to save my spot if I bring him a drink. I run for the hotel bar/gaming table I saw on the way in.
"FIFTY FUCKING DOLLARS FOR TWO DRINKS?!?" I cannot believe what Scrooge McDuck has just told me after pouring two double Vodka Redbulls.
"I'm sorry sir that is indeed the price. Please lower your voice."
"You have got to be fucking kidding me. This is Vegas. Give me cheap Vodka please."
"This is all we have here at the bar sir. You are welcome to try the Wynn proper." Like it will be cheaper in the swankier part of the fucking hotel. This is it for like a fucking mile radius. The people drinking at the bar whilst gambling on computer screens embedded in the bar itself stare at me with unabashed contempt. Whatever, fuck you Vegas yuppie degenerates.
"Fuck it. Gimme those." God damn Vegas fucking raping me already. I keep my 35 cents change.
Homeboy has kept his word, and seems not to notice the 2 heavy pulls I took out of his drink, so I get my spot back. I am working on a good buzz, and Tito is dazzling me on the pads. Well, he's hitting them and not missing for the most part at least. A Brazilian reporter chick sees my vintage Black Spider-Man White-Spider Venom Style-Dope T-Shirt and asks me a few questions about my fandom. I try to wow her by saying my wife is Brazilian, and when she asks me how much I speak in Portuguese, I say "Uhhh... Bread." Fucking shameful. We wrap it up as Chael comes out and begins warming up, and the many Brazilians present spit mad venom his way. Like, they were actually hissing and shit, Like cats. Say what you will about Chael Sonnen, but that mufucka knows how to market himself, and in this game, any attention is good attention.
And when Chael Patrick Sonnen came into that room, everyone was paying A-fucking-ttention.
Typical stuff from Chael, the ol' "Holding a basketball" stance, but I will say his speed and his hands looked pretty fucking amazing, especially when juxtaposed against what Tito and Forrest were putting on display. The difference between title contender and faded veteran is few places more apparent than the open workout. Chael's ability to change levels and shoot that double was looking sharp and powerful as ever, and all the Anderson fans were taking note. The haterade had subsided to a low murmur as we bore witness to Anderson's Kryptonite, memories of their first confrontation freshly imprinted on our minds. At this point Hotwife shows up from Brazil and surprises me from behind (with a hug) and we celebrate with numerous hugs and kisses.
Her eyes narrow as she lays eyes on her country's nemesis.
"YOU"RE GONNA FUCKEENG GET IT IN THE ASS MAN! ANDERSON EES GOEENG TO KEEL YOU!" Isn't she great folks?
She then screams something in Portuguese, to which the Brazilians seem to pick up on and repeat to Chael as he continues his workout. She has immediately bonded with all the Brazilians around us, as they all seem to know each other or wish to at some point. It's weird for me because I mostly fucking hate my fellow Canadians without reservation or even giving them a chance. Meh.
Chael is clearing the stage, and that can only mean one thing: It is time for the Greatest Martial Artist to ever live to grace the unworthy masses with a display of masterful technique.
As Anderson Silva and his crew file onto the stage they are met with the deafening cheers of their countrymen. I am again beset by the magnitude of events unfolding before me; Flashes of Ali, Tyson, and Don King pervade my mind. I feel like I am taking part in something truly special, something I had only previously experienced through a television, and always after the fact.
I know it's cliche, but it really did feel like I was in a fucking awesome movie. The fact I was 20 feet away from Steven Seagal was adding to this effect in a potent way. Let me explain something here, I am a child of the 1980's, and, as such, certain men will always carry with them a very specific god-like aura of martial invincibility and mystique. Men like Jean-Claude Van Damme. Men like Chuck Norris.
Men like Steven Frederic Seagal.
Say what you will about his zany ways and outlandish claims. But anyone that has a problem with Hard to Kill can suck my fucking dick yo.
Anderson and the crew put on a fucking wicked cool BJJ demonstration, apparently. I say apparently because BJJ happens on the fucking ground, so no one can fucking see it. Well, maybe the people in the first five rows could, but the other 980 people were shit out of luck. They could have been fucking playing Pog's for all we knew. At this point Hotwife notices some sort of Brazilian soccer god named Ronaldo.
He's back, in Pog form!
"Isn't there like fucking 8 Ronaldo's? Which one is he? The cool one?" The Brazilians are not impressed. It's very clear to me that this man's days of running the pitch are loooong behind him. I decide against seeing if "Oh, he's the fat one" will get any laughs.
The Spider Crew wraps up the BJJ, and gets onto some clinch grappling, which was a little cooler than the alleged BJJ demonstration that occured, but not by much. Anderson gets really sweaty, like pouring, which surprises me that he still has so much water in him the day before weigh-ins. The clinch work is mercifully short, and as the stage clears Anderson begins to lace up some gloves. Ehhhxcellent.
A hush falls over the room as Anderson plies his trade, and the camera flashes and clicks come in an uninterrupted stream.
Displayed here is casual lethality, a confident flow of smirking, smooth destruction as Anderson's Trainer tries to confound him with random combinations that would leave most other fighters frozen in their tracks for entire moments.
It is in these moments that a fighter's success or failure is decided, and somehow Anderson Silva languishes, and thrives in them.
Or, more succinctly, Anderson Silva can hit the fuck out of some fucking pads. It was truly a pleasure to witness.
Once the pad work had finished, the situation seemed to take a turn for the worse. Anderson decided that it would be a good idea to demonstrate some of his devastating Muay Thai technique on his own teenage son. The boy was obviously terrified, but acquiesced to the demands of his Father, although whimpering all the while. What followed was a humiliating gamut of embarrassing Game Techniques like Bolo Punches and Atomic Wedgies. The boy held up to the onslaught admirably, but was indeed only a boy, and eventually ran from the stage in tears, the catcalls of his Father and Team Spider hounding his footsteps the whole way.
Not cool man.
The Fat Ronaldo, who apparently had recently taken Spider Jr. under his wing, takes umbrage with this scene, and quietly asks Anderson in muffled Portuguese to take it easy on the lad. Anderson goes berserk and demands that Fatnaldo lace up some gloves! However the gloves turn out to be completely unnecessary as Anderson immediately front kicks a fucking snickers bar out of Ronaldo's chin! Game Over Man! Game Over! It was a dark turn of events that marred an otherwise lovely fucking afternoon.
His pig-like squeals made us all very uncomfortable.
Oh, and then Feijao let Sensei Steve slap him around for a little bit. I'm really not joking about that at all, it actually happened.
That pretty much capped off the festivities for the day, Anik thanks us all for coming, everyone bowed to each other and the crowd, with Anderson paying special attention to Sensei Steve for some reason, he got like 3 extra bows. Wifey manages to get Ronaldo's cheeseburger stained ham-print on her Brazilian Flag, she is super stoked.
"Did he fall over and scream while grabbing his leg when you handed him the pen?" Said the Vodka Redbull.
We decide to mill around the front of the hotel for a bit to see if we can get a closer glimpse of the Spider. There isn't anyone else out there besides a friendly hillbilly with an entire suitcase full of UFC memorabilia. He is missing teeth, and his IQ cannot be more than 60, but he is very nice so we attempt to discuss some MMA. Before I can bait him with a nice Chael Sonnen question Wifey runs up and says that this huge secret service looking mofo over there said Anderson will be coming out any second. Tight. We wait in giddy anticipation with our new hillbilly friend.
Anderson and crew come through the lobby of the hotel, preceded by a little gangster ass dude being all "No Pictures. No autographs. No Pictures. Get BACK MUTHA FUCKAS!" Well maybe not that last part, but he totally wanted to, I could see it in his eyes. Hotwife isn't having it, and begins rattling off Portuguese at Anderson, and just like with Shogun and Wand in the past, it fucking works, she gets his attention and Anderson Silva comes over to us to take a picture and sign some shit.
I was like "Quit smelling her hair bro. What the fuck?"
Fucking Brazilians really do love each other man, maybe I should try to be nicer to my fellow Canadians. Anderson clearly needs to bounce, and him stopping for even 5 seconds is already gathering a lot of attention. I do feel bad for taking up his valuable time on the eve of the biggest fight, if not the biggest moment of his entire life. But I am a man-child, and I want him to sign my shirt.
"Anderson, jescupa," I say, pen in hand, with puppy dog eyes. I found out later this is Portuguese for "Sorry" not "Please." Whatever.
Anderson makes the international sound of annoyance "Tssssk. AAAAAHHHHH!" Rolls his eyes and beckons to me impatiently. He spins me around and signs my shirt, badly (not like I give a fuck!) Wifey gets him to sign my "Fighter" book as well, which turned out beautifully. We thank Anderson profusely as he signs some more shit for the crowd that has come out of nowhere, then he gets in the Bat-mobile and speeds off. Awesome.
As we bask in the afterglow I notice that Steven Seagal is standing pretty much right beside me waiting for his car or whatever. Holy Fuck man.
"You're Steven Seagal."
Again he nods. I am at a loss for words.
".... Above the Law."
He nods again.
A random dude behind us blurts out "THAT MOVIE WAS THE SHIT YO!"
At this point it basically becomes me staring at Steven Seagal from two feet away not saying anything, so Wifey suggests a picture, with which the Sensei is more than happy to oblige. He was a little quiet, but all in all a pretty nice dude. He takes a few more pictures with the riff raff and walks off into the sunset while playing a Japanese flute.
It wasn't until we got back to the hotel that I realized both of my wrists were broken.
Thanks for reading Mainiacs. Be sure to watch out for the sequels, in which I attend weigh-ins front row, make friends with Mexicans, offer Cain Velasquez a banana, get extorted by Ken Shamrock, talk Ayahuasca with Dan Hardy, and go to the Strippers with Redban. Oh, and the fights too. I totally went to the fights.
Picprops: Fightlinker.com, IronforgesIron.com