It is not too often that I get the opportunity to go to a live MMA event 100% as a fan. Not fighting, in the corner, judging, refereeing, or any other role in the show. At UFC 91 in Las Vegas I got that opportunity, and it was definitely an experience. First of, going to ANY live MMA event is a great experience for a new or old fan of the sport, but going to Las Vegas to watch a live UFC event with the headline of Randy Couture and Brock Lesner is even more crazy. I was sitting with my friends and training partners Sam Stout and Chris Horodecki who had the same mentality as myself. Although we had friends on the card we were sitting, watching, cheering, booing, jumping out of our seats… and drinking draft beer like every other fan in the crowd.
It was nice to be taken out of my element inside the cage and watch from the outside looking in. As most fans do, I became the “arm chair quarterback” making comments like “he should have done this, or went for that”. The comments that make me frustrated after a fight about people saying I should have done this, or that I was making throughout. You soon learn that things move a lot slower on the outside as opposed to inside the cage and I can understand why people make the comments they do. I had a bit more respect for the fans perspective and understand where they come from.
I also understood why the fans respect and cheer for certain fighters more than others. There is something special about certain fighters, sometimes they don’t have to be fighting there is just a certain characteristic or fighting style that makes them stand out. In the main event as they were announcing Brock Lesner I looked over and say Sam doing the same thing as myself…. standing on our seats with two thumbs down booing him! I couldn’t believe it, we both just started laughing. As a fan, you still could see the hours of training that went into the fight and see the fighters hearts being poured out into the ring. It made me realize once again why I do what I do and want to win so bad. You can understand the passion that drives them and makes people want to step in there and do it thereself. Many times throughout the night I wanted to be in there, without question or hesitation.
Finally, being a fan live in Las Vegas for the UFC I understood why people love this sport so much. The fights were exciting, the outcomes unpredictable and everybody left wanting more, me included…… just maybe not the draft beer!