I briefly stopped by the UFC Fan Expo and was quickly blown away by the MMA Disney Land that laid before me. Unfortunately, I could not stay very long, but here are the quick impressions that I was left with during my short time there.
1.) Bas Rutten bobbleheads and autographs. You have to wait in a long line and shake hands with Guy Mezger (very nice dude) before meeting the man, but its so worth it. Bas is one of the coolest guys going in MMA and a quality ambassador to the sport.
2.) You never know who you will run into outside, as I saw at least one Lauzon and James Toney both outside the Convention Center. Mr. Toney was literally just hanging out, taking pictures with fans, and signing whatever was put in front of him. There was no crowd, which was nice, so I got my credential signed before running away in fear.
3.) More free stuff than you’ll know what to do with. T-shirts, wrist bands, Spike TV cups, bumper stickers…the list goes on and on. My complimentary Hayabusa tote bag is filled with a plethora of garbage. Mostly good garbage, but Im still trying to figure out what I am going to do with my official UFC/Stub Hub Sharpie. Do I use it? Do I save it? Ugh.
4.) If you are an autograph junkie, this is the place to be. The lines are long, but in the little time I spent there, Randy Couture, Joe Stevenson, Jon Jones, Stephen Bonnar, Tito Ortiz, Bruce Buffer, Urijah Faber, Jorge Rivera, Bas Rutten, Matt Hamill, Benson Henderson…ugh you get the idea. I saw at least 40 fighters signing, and according to the program they gave me, damn near everyone short of Brock Lesnar will be there.
5.) Workshops. Im not a fighter or a wrestler, and I never will be. But how can you go wrong with an intimate training session with Tito Ortiz or Clay Guida? Tickets were limited, but Id imagine you can’t get that kind of thing anywhere.
6.) Where else can you see a confused Wes Sims walking around and no one paying much attention to him? Come to think of it…when doesn’t Wes Sims look confused?
7.) UFC Action Figures. Now I know you can get these online or in toy stores, but the amount of badass action figures on sale blew me away. Thank god I left my debit card at home, or else I wouldve probably spent all my savings. With the 15 dollars in my wallet though, I was very close to purchasing a Quinton Rampage Jackson.
8.) Jorge Rivera. Easily one of the funniest and nicest guys in the UFC. Make it a point to meet this man, and while youre at his booth, watch some of his YouTube videos on the TV thats set up. He even signed a picture for my boy Josh letting us know what he really thinks of the oboe.
9.) Go step foot in the Octagon. They have a full on cage set-up, so your inner MMA geek can know what it feels like to be inside the cage. No shoes, though, so make sure you wear some socks.
10.) If you are an MMA fan, this is an opportunity that you cant pass up. It has everything, and by everything, I mean everything. Dana White has done an amazing job at creating the UFC brad, and the Fan Expo is a way to give back. Some might shy away because you need to purchase tickets, but it is well worth it. Check it out because chances are it wont be coming back to Boston anytime soon.