(You’ve seen the pictures, now experience the story of jackal Letibleu’s adventures in Vegas during UFC 109. Part one takes us through his arrival, the weigh ins, and Vegas shenanigans)
It is Thursday, 5am. It’s snowing and windy, typical St John’s Newfoundland weather and also typical weather that grounds airplanes. Still no Fightlinker shirt in the mail. [Editor’s note: I blame Newfoundland being such a far away and desolate place]. Oh well, I will have to make due with my other shirt that refers to killing baby seals.
Plane to Newark is on time and can take off as scheduled. 14 hours of air travel ahead of me. Why do they play happy music during the video explaining what to do in case the plane smashes back to earth dismembering everyone on board? Even the stewardess is making faces that acknowledge she knows this is a pointless and futile exercise.
The flight was long, someone in my immediate surroundings has to go see a doctor about that gas, I think a rat crawled up their ass and died there a few days ago. New Jersey is colder than Newfoundland! Airport security is very silly. It is so hard not to crack bomb jokes. The 3rd person in front of me is being led into a side room. I wonder if this is foreplay to Latex Glove Love… The flight from Newark to Los Angeles is on time. I brought my laptop and loaded it with the past fights from most of the fighters on the card. Time to review them.
There is one thing jumps out at me, Chael Sonnen is a very good wrestler and Nate Marquardt has not fought anyone I have on video that can wrestle like Sonnen. The other thing that jumps out at me is the damn smell coming from the lavatory right behind me. Maybe this is why I’m alone in this entire row. I can see Las Vegas below me. Wish I had a parachute; I could be there sooner instead of going to Los Angeles just to retrace my steps back.
The plane from Los Angeles to Las Vegas is on time. Everyone is already in party mode. The mood is quite different on this plane. Why are they explaining how to use the inflatable life vest and life rafts for a flight going only over desert? Would it not be more useful and efficient explaining the best way to neutralize a person with flaming underwear or wielding a really sharp pen?? This confirms again that airplane safety is all about the illusion.
Mandalay Bay hotel is AWESOME. I feel like a Saudi prince when in my room! Time to roam about. I immediately found the best bar to drink at in here. I also saw where we can access the arena where I am sure they are building the octo-cage right now. Not too many retarded chained pit-bull skull fucking shirts floating around. I was expecting a lot more of them than this. It is time to hit the poker tables and get drunk and not necessarily in that order. I don’t care if I win or lose, I want it to be tomorrow already. Weigh-ins and I get to meet actual MMA fans that don’t ‘train in UFC’.
Its Friday morning, I have more money in my pocket then I had when I landed. I also got ripped at that bar I spotted. I met this Asian guy who just put 4K on Sonnen! He doesn’t know anything about MMA, a friend told him it was a for sure bet. I told him that I thought he would get tooled but did mention I noticed Sonnen had a possible wrestling advantage. I’m thinking this guy just burned his money.
I don’t remember how I got to my room. These showers are NUTS! The water pressure could strip the whore out of a prostitute. I have some weird thing on my lip. Looks like I got punched… I remember now, I had fondue at a restaurant and burned my lip on a fork. Just the look I am looking for at a UFC event. I will tell everyone ‘I train UFC and hit my lip sparring’. Crap, my electronic door key card is still in my door. I should be more hung over than this. Do they pump oxygen into the ventilation to help stave off hangovers?
First person I see is Damian Maia. He looks like shit, all frail and he looks like he is limping. Should I change my picks?? There is Rachel Sutton, the UFC lady in charge of fan experience and the UFC Fight Club members. She is cute and talks to me like a human being. Nice! Wow, actual intellectual MMA fans all around me! This is so cool! Just met Joe Silva, he was hanging with the crowd and answering fan questions about future and present fighter matchups. I told him he had my condolences for UFC 108. He laughed, looked at the floor and shook his head.
I am having discussions about MMA with people I can see and not on a computer screen! Everyone is branding themselves with clothing. I really really wish I had my Fightlinker shirt. I am sure there may be a few jackals here that could have spotted me out of the crowd. Koscheck is walking by. He won’t even look at those calling his name for a picture. He seems like more of a dick in person than he does on the net. It’s ok though, I have the Fraggle Rock song in my head as his whifro head bobs by. Priceless.
I am second row at the weigh ins. First up is a question and answer period with Goldberg, Vera and Faber. Shit, an Asian female photographer. Could it be Esther? Can’t be, she is way too pretty. I never pictured her this cute. I called out her name and she looked at me puzzled. It’s her. She seems super surprised a fan is calling her out. I layed it on a bit much but I love her work and she deserves to be told. I got a picture of myself with her. I am sure my ugly face just ruined a perfect picture.
A beer found its way into my hands again. I don’t know how this always happens to me. I can’t get drunk before meeting the people I want to meet. It’s inevitable though, I know the pattern from here. The question answer period is dominated by some douche that keeps coming back for the mic and bantering the 3 on stage. He even comes back after 10 minutes and says that upon reflection he decided he is unhappy with an earlier answer to one of his retarded questions and he wants a different answer that better suits his demented sexual fantasy of Faber and Goldberg. I want to punch him. Maybe it’s for people like him they have useless plane safety instructions.
The only thing I learned from the question answer period is that Faber REALLY loves his fans and that Vera comes across as less of a dick then I thought. I spotted the Nevada Athletic commission head guy. He doesn’t seem to enjoy getting his picture taken. I’m up to 4 beers, uh oh.
Weigh ins are starting now. Joe is loud and pumped, Dana looks the same as on TV. Things are flying along. Who the hell is this black dude, he looks like he came right out of a comic book with that body. I didn’t have any video of him on the plane yesterday. He looks dangerous, very dangerous! Maia is still limping, He looks worse than he did earlier, he looks grey. The cut must have been rough. Sonnen is a showman. Coleman looks worried. The same look someone would have in a hospital waiting room when their loved one is going through dangerous surgery. He really doesn’t look like he wants to be here. Couture looks like he already won this fight. He is oozing confidence. Coleman looks like he just realized he is about to get very hurt.
I met up with UFC Fight Club members and headed to the ‘FC’ private party. 2$ a beer and 50% off food. Nice. Urijah Faber is there for pictures and questions. He is being swarmed but the crowd seems super respectful. Drank more beer and ate a little. Found out Joe was having a show next door to where we were eating. Sweet. I divulged my fake Joe Rogan identity to a few Fight Club members. I didn’t realize how popular I am, they all heard of me and some want pictures with me. Creepy but kind of cool. One couple pointed out that I am the only UFC fan to be mentioned in 2 separate broadcasts. Neat fact.
The opener for Rogan sucked. Some fat sweaty fifty some year old fake Italian New Yorker talking about sex stuff he probably only every experienced on the net. WTF is up with his camera in the girls anus bit about? It’s not even close to funny. I can see all the women in the room squirming in their seats and the guys getting pissed off at this fat fuck. Not even the potheads are laughing. Second opener is a no show. Rogan is next. He looks like he has been drinking as much as me. He is drinking Heineken, must make a mental note of this fact, I have a feeling it will be useful knowledge later. His show is good. He even has a bit about me using his name on UFC Poker. Sweet. I feel like a stalker now.
Show wraps up and I send drinks to his dressing room. Turns out he doesn’t accept drinks that way, he is not a fan of roofies. I caught up to him after the crowd dissipated. He seemed pissed at me at first, then surprised I was ‘that guy’. We had beers and talked about online poker strategy and how it different from in person poker. He is definitely not a poker player. We wrapped things up so he could tend to the other fans wanting pictures. He wants me to promise I’ll keep using his name as a way to laugh at those that are bothered by it. He said he will let everyone know this during the broadcast tomorrow. He is very drunk now, wonder if he will even remember!
Time to hit the poker tables again and then that bar. I also need to make a female friend. I spotted a few fighters walking around but I was at a poker table and couldn’t leave. More drinking… Who is that hottie in the lobby? Its Vera’s wife. There is something even sexier about a woman who could impose bodily harm at will. I am too drunk to approach them. I should really just walk past them. They are being haggled for pictures by nearby fans. They seem annoyed. Oh no, I am opening my mouth I can’t stop myself from speaking! “Excuse me, I don’t mean to be a dick but could I get a picture”. Did that just come out of my mouth? Brandon is looking at me and his wife is laughing. I am going to get slapped. Brandon just said sure, no problem.
“Not with you, just your wife.”
Shit, I am asking for it, I should just start running now before he decides which side of my head he wants to cave in. They are both laughing now. “I will only take a picture with you if you beat me over the head with this poster I’m holding”. Damn alcohol. Makes my mouth do things I don’t want it to. He just called me the coolest fan he met so far. I must really be coming off as a giant douche bag. He does the whole smacking over the head with the poster thing while his wife clicks away. We chit chat about annoying fans and next thing I know he gives me his private email and wants pics and updates from me. They like me? They must have been drinking too!