Who are those handsome devils? None other than MMAmania.com readers OJR, TripPilch, Deuce, Joben, Dlocc and Roy1, among others, representing their favorite mixed martial arts (MMA) blog at UFC 162 -- and A.K. has the logo to prove it.
Enjoy, fellas, but it may be time to upgrade from Bud Light after that Tim Kennedy fight.
Thanks for the kind introduction, JH! Now, onto the play-by-play ... and more pics!
(Joben - Left, Deuce - Right)
Deuce - "I liked Joben ... I think he is an asshole, which he is, but my kind of asshole."
Before the UFC 162 PPV :
Deuce, Roy1 and I meet up at a Paris-themed mall with too many long lines for lunch. We then decide to make a pit stop at our hotel before heading straight for the MGM.
Roy1 is a native of Palm Springs, California, who has met Cub Swanson. Turns out that Swanson is also a native of the same town. Roy1 also told us his story about being stabbed by members of the Mongols Motorcycle Gang in a casino sponsored "MMA event."
Roy1 then invites us into his hotel room while he ducks in to get his ticket. I follow right behind him.
Only one problem...his wife is changing.
I see some skin, hear his wife say something polite
seductive? in my direction and then I run out of there.
Meanwhile, Deuce hid out in the hallway because he apparently dislikes spontaneous orgies.
Roy1 (smiling at me): "First peep show was free. Next time I am gonna charge you."
Straight pimping. Literally.
The three of us eventually meet up with Joben and his friend at an overpriced restaurant.
Joben talks about his liquid diet and that he does not sleep when he comes to Vegas. I offer Joben a pizza slice three separate times. He just points to his beer. Joben also admits to pissing off a 50 year-old waitress while ordering some drinks and then getting banned as a result. I assumed that was just an uneventful day for him.
Not to be outdone, Joben's friend shared stories about watching MMA events in Atlantic City, N.J., before MMA became popular. He also met a current UFC Hall-of-Famer.
Joben's Friend: "So here I am sitting next to Mark Coleman. I put my arm around him and say, 'Hey Marko!'..."
Mark Coleman: "My name is Mark..."
Joben's Friend: "Ok, Marko..."
Mark Coleman: "No, really. It's Mark. My name is Mark..."
Joben's Friend: "Relax, Marko..."
After that story, I had no doubt that he was Joben's friend.
Right after lunch, we meet up with Dlocc and he hands me a beer (he really is a very nice guy).
Dlocc: "Hey OJ. I brought you a beer with a raspberry flavor to it. I figured it was something you would like."
That was by far the nicest way I have ever been called a pussy for not drinking beer. Awesome.
Finally, one of Mania's badasses makes his way over to our group. His outfit confirmed he was ready for pictures...
We take our seats. Let the games begin!
Bottom Row - Seat 1 (invisible OJR), Seat 2 (Deuce), Seat 3 (AK), Seat 4 (Dlocc)
Top Row - Seat 1 (Joben), Seat 2 (Joben's Friend), Seat 3 (Roy1)
Deuce and AK start to log into Mania. Dlocc is leaning over and talking to me about how great this card looks on paper.
"I will kick a motherfucker in the nuts and that's all I have to say about that, except for that I will choke you out."
"Only pussies boo!"
When Mike Pierce won via KO: "Suck on that unambig, you fucking pussy!"
A Mania thread definitely came to life on that night.
In between fights :
Deuce, AK, Dlocc and I decide to walk around. We end up next to a section right by the Fox Sports table with Glazer, Stann, Sonnen and Cormier being filmed. We found a sweet spot that had a center view of the cage and decided to watch the next match from there (Gonzaga vs. Herman).
Overheard RIGHT BEFORE the KO.
DLocc - "Man, Gonzaga had one of the best KO's in history when he got Cro Cop."
What a great card so far. Nothing but a majority of finishes, including that highlight.
Dlocc then notices that he lost his phone. We look for it without any success.
AK and I then head back to our seats while Deuce and Dlocc go somewhere to smoke. The row in front of us ended up finding Dlocc's phone. Turns out that he dropped it before heading out with us to go walk around.
Joben: "Dlocc will be so grateful that you found his cell phone. His whole life probably felt like it was over."
5 minutes later...
Joben: "I am telling you, you saved that kid's life by finding his cell phone. I felt like someone ripped out my life when I lost mine."
5 minutes later...
Joben: "He owes you his life. I am telling you...his life!!!"
Dlocc and Deuce make it back to their seats.
Joben - "Dlocc, I found your phone, man! I know your entire world was falling apart without it, so I'm fucking happy I found it! Your welcome!"
No story needed for this next picture. Just enjoy.
(OJR caught photobombing): Dlocc, Scott Jorgensen and AK.
Social Assassin :
A cute model girl was walking through the crowd trying to chat everybody up and make a sale. Apparently, AK bumped into her while we made our way to our seats. I chased her down and told her that AK would apologize. Cute model girl was very down to earth and played along like a champ. She playfully bumped into me to demonstrate what happened to her. I pretended to be astonished at AK's rudeness. AK did his part and "apologized." We were all enjoying some harmless flirting.
Then Mr. Smooth made his move...
Deuce: "Yeah, that's great. So can I have your number?"
Model girl stops talking, AK gets quiet and I do an inner face palm.
Model girl regains her composure, smiles and says: "I am very much taken."
Fun conversation with the pretty model girl was over.
Joben - "Edgar just needs to win a fucking fight so Mania will shut the fuck up! I HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO DEFEND HIM!"
Before the fight :
"Ask anyone, I used to push in Edgar's shit in high school. Joben was a bad mofo." (Yes, a third person reference).
"I used to wrestle against Edgar but I lost 6-2."
"Hey, just so you know, I used to wrestle against Edgar in high school."
"That's my boy, OJ. I used to wrestle against him in high school."
During the fight :
"I hate posters who talk shit about my boy and say he is a fucking point fighter."
30 seconds later...
"Stop fucking point fighting, Edgar! Fuck!!!"
Joben - "There is no fucking way Weidman wins..."
Before the fight :
"OJ, I will bet you 20 bucks that Weidman does not get a TD!"
"OJ, you are going to feel so stupid when Weidman loses!"
"I love Edgar and Serra but I can't stand Weidman."
After the fight :
"I feel like one of my heroes has let me down." (Note: Joben is an American from New Jersey).
After the PPV :
2013 Maniac Trip - Las Vegas
We all went to Deuce's room to hang out and his neighbor was nice enough to take a group picture. Afterwards, most of us went back to the MGM for some gambling.
Dlocc and Deuce were snubbed by Bisping for a picture.
Dlocc strikes up a conversation with a guy dressed up as Bumblebee from The Transformers movie.
Dlocc gets drunk and expertly sways from side to side like a Capoeira Master without falling down once.
Dlocc tries to make his way to the bathroom, somehow exits the MGM on an isolated side road and does not get back to his hotel for another two hours. Deuce and I looked for him for about 45 minutes once we realized he was missing.
Dlocc was okay, he just lost his cell phone...again.
I had a great time with these Maniacs - and I hope some of you can make it to next year's trip.
***Dedicated to Scotti. You are missed, big guy.***