It seems many readers here are deciding whether or not to watch the latest offering from EliteXC and CBS (and Showtime too), and I hope more of you will look at it from Jackal Cyph’s point-of-view, “Free is free, bitches!” No, it’s not Affliction’s massively overloaded card, but it’s a solid show and promises to be much less offensive to those of you who dislike pyrotechnics and shaking booties (I’m somewhat surprised at the number of men who are repulsed by scantily clad women bouncing their asses but that’s another issue).
After listening to fighter interviews all day and attending the Lawler vs Smith II press conference, I am happily anticipating these fights and not just because I won’t be shooting from beyond the jumbotron for this one. Baszler assured the press that her bout with Cris ‘Cyborg’ Evangelista is going to be great, and I don’t doubt it for a second. I’m also really excited for Wilson Reis’ fight being televised on Showtime and everyone should take note of this fireball.
Videos of the press conference will be up eventually, but until then, these quotes I gathered with my awe-inspiring shooting and reporting prowess should suffice.
When asked about Stockton being a great place for MMA and fighting, Nick Diaz answered “It’s huge, if you drive around long enough you might see a fight on the side of the road.”
Nick Thompson ended his brief speech smiling, “I’m excited to be the new Welterweight Champion.” I giggled and looked around but it seemed to go over everyone’s heads. Well, everyone except the dressed up Jake Shields, who raised his eyebrows at “The Goat.”
Robbie Lawler was his usual succinct self saying only, “I’m just happy to be here. Thanks to EliteXC. Weigh ins are tomorrow. That’s it.” He should have added in where to buy tickets as well.
After the press conference, I showed off my two-page spread of Nick Diaz in Fighters Only Magazine to him since he spoke at length about the absence of the Diaz Brothers in MMA publications. Diaz smiled and pointed at the image, “Oh, I’ve seen that, that’s a good photo.” It never gets old to hear compliments since it pads my very fragile self-confidence. I wandered around the arena while they were setting up the lighting truss. Watching the lighting crew work always gets me pumped.
Later I stepped across the street to the fighter hotel where I snapped this gem of Mauro Ranallo across Josh Barnett and Frank Shamrock.
If all those tidbits were not enough to convince you to watch the fights, help me repair my hurt photographer’s ego after Affliction stuck me in the press box by trying to spot me on national television, eh? No? Okay, fine. But you’ll miss out on some good fights. You guys that are burnt out from last week and can’t take any more fights, and free fights at that, do you complain about free porn on the internet, pussies?
All I have to say is, I shot the Affliction pre-presser, weigh-ins, the fights (after driving two hours to the venue) from 2 pm to 10 pm, the post fight presser, the official afterparty and then at 1 am, Josh Barnett’s afterparty, drove an hour and a half home (no more traffic), watched Anderson Silva destroy James Irvin, then watched Affliction to compare the TV production to the live show, watched all of DREAM 5 the next evening, and I still have room for more MMA. There. I finally included pussies and porn in my fightlinker post. Yay me.
Check out more photos from the press conference here.