UFC Fan Expo – The Experience

As we stepped into Earls Court, where the Fan Expo was held, I felt a sort of satisfaction that I’ve never really felt before. The sort of satisfaction that you get when you know that all the work you’ve done has paid off. However, my lack of organisation and lack of experience as a journalist meant that I wasn’t smart enough to attempt to get a media pass for the expo. This meant that any filming or interviews that my crew (Kris Mentor and Darren Johnson) and I did was completely guerrilla style. However, we weren’t going to let a little thing like that stop us.

We didn’t have a specific plan, although I’d gotten in touch with some fighter’s publicists and spoken to them about interviewing their guys. In hindsight, I should’ve definitely prepared the whole experience a lot better. For the first few hours, we spent a lot of time walking around the venue, absorbing this historic moment in MMA history that we were a part of and interviewing a lot of the British fans.

The first time I got to speak to someone who was important in the MMA world was one of my favourite comedians and MMA commentators, Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg. It was a proper interview per se, as it was part of the Q&A. However, it didn’t stop me from being pretty scared as I waited in line to ask a question in front of about 200 people. I’d already seen Rogan tear through one guy and I certainly didn’t want to make a fool of myself like he did.  So I asked the question “What fights are you looking forward most to calling in the future” which they seemed pretty happy to answer, as they spoke for what seemed like forever about all the fights that they were looking forward too.

Realizing that I didn’t have to screw this up completely, I went in search of my next interview. It took a while, but finally I met Duane Ludwig, the owner of the unofficial fastest knockout in the UFC (4 Seconds). He was an awesome guy and allowed us to do a video interview whilst he was helping promote his sponsors.

 

Meeting Ariel Helwani was a pretty big deal as he’s like the MMA journalist guru at the moment, probably the best in the business. The poor guy seemed incredibly tired and was sweating like crazy, so I gave him my last energy drink. He seemed pretty thankful for it and even remembered me when he saw me at UFC 120.

Once the weigh-ins began, I let the rest of the crew go and watch it, whilst I roamed the venue searching for interviews. I refused to go home without something to show for my time. That’s when I met lots of awesome people such as British MMA fighter Tom “Kong” Watson, Cole Miller, Kendall Grove and BJJ ace Eddie Bravo. I literally felt like I just hit the jackpot.

After meeting all those cool people and interviewing two of them, I met Dan Mirgliotta. I was feeling incredibly confident after having such incredible success and meeting a lot of great people. However, my 100% record of great interviews was gone, as I screwed up by asking stupid questions. The good news was that Kris managed to save me from embarrassment by asking an awesome question. The really bad news was that my embarrassing interview was caught on tape. It’s all part of a growth period though I suppose.

Finally, I managed to interview Kenda Perez. Kenda was awesome as we’d been arranging this for a couple of weeks and she kept me updated via twitter as to when she’d arrive. When we first got to her she was really welcoming and nice, and she wanted to do the interview right away, but it didn’t seem right as there were about 50 people waiting to get something signed by her. We waited for an hour to interview Kenda and bided our time by interviewing some fans and putting them the ringer with some funny banter, between myself and them.

 

Finally, the interview with Kenda got under the way (even though there were some threats by security to throw us out due to a lack of a media pass…oops!). However, she was a great interview and an incredibly classy lady.

The next day, the crew and I went to UFC 120 to watch the fights. Although it was a bad night for UK fighters as we went 2-6 in our fights, it was still one of the best experiences of my life.

I guess the best way to link the beginning of this story to the end of the article is that I came into this crazy MMA world with a goal of making my site big by UFC 120. It was at first a university project, which became a summer project and is now something I’m known for. Although, I get burnout sometimes, if I get more weekends like the weekend I just had, then I think I might stay around this MMA media world a little while longer.

Advertisements

1 Comment

  1. Loved it, such an epic day! Good article dude, should have the video finished tomorrow 🙂


Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s