I had a FANTASTIC time. The seats were well worth the price I paid. With cheap binoculars, it was quite easy to see everything. And if I couldn't see with the aided eye, there were giant screens everywhere.
What a night. The Rogers Centre was packed to the gills with a record +55,000 in attendance. The fights were entertaining for the most part, surprising at times even. Muscles gleamed, heads were busted, people sweat a lot.
Without going into the play-by-play of each fight, I'll say that my favorite match was 21-year-old Rory MacDonald vs. 26-year-old Nate Diaz. When I saw how young the 6-foot MacDonald was, I nearly said "Get that kid out of the ring!" Diaz taunted him a lot, and threw what I felt were a few cheap shots. But in the third round, MacDonald picked him up and body slammed him three times. He had the crowd in a roar, on their feet. And I when I joined them, I realized, Omigod, I am LOVING this.
There's nothing quite like the energy at a live event. I've watched UFC events on TV before, but when you're focused on what's going on, with no other distractions (including Twitter due to poor reception which is why I couldn't live Tweet) you actually pay attention to the moves, the style, the skill. I was amazed by how much I picked up just watching.
It was thrilling, harrowing, cringeworthy at times. I found myself gasping at some of the god-awful injuries sustained, but it wasn't much worse than what you'd see in a hockey game, quite frankly. Still, I reminded myself frequently: this is what these guys train for. No one made them get in that ring. Which makes them all the more respectable in my eyes.
The headliner match—my boy, Georges St-Pierre versus Jake Shields—was only a tad disappointing because GSP couldn't finish the fight, but he got some good hits in...and took a few good licks himself. I haven't seen him this challenged (or bloodied) in a while, so maybe we'll see some interesting match ups in the future.
Whatever your thoughts about mixed martial arts are—love it or hate it—I hope you'll check out my post about the UFC and Romance on the Harlequin blog.
CONTEST TIME!: Comment on this blog post and you could win this T-shirt and a Georges St-Pierre-style headband (not official, but still awesome). Draw will take place Monday, May 9 at 9 p.m. EST.
See the contest page for details.