(Sorry about the crazy formatting, having issues with the page not loading the HTML I entered — hence beta I guess — but it’s cross posted at Fightlinker in a slightly less cluttered format)
We’re here in Tokyo, covering Sengoku 7 and Mo Lawal. And while we arrived last night, we got in too late and everything was closed so I bought some karaage and rice for us to dine on in our hotel room. The nearly twelve hour flight exhausted me, as my stomach didn’t enjoy it so much, so after only a few bites, I was ready to pass out. As expected, I pop awake before 7 am, wide awake. We go for breakfast and because I’m Asian, it’s assumed I’m Japanese until I mutter a few words that make no sense, then it looks like I’m just a really dumb Japanese person. After a coffee and lots of catching up on yesterday’s MMA news, I meet up with Mo Lawal, Dean Lister, and Ryan Parsons, who wanted to go to a sauna to drop a little weight.
We walk over to another hotel nearby to find the “relaxation floor” and this is where I sit in the lounge and wait because I can’t go in the sauna with a bunch of boys. While I’m waiting, I wonder if Casey will have to be naked, operating a video camera. Later, I find out, he did indeed grudgingly sport only a towel. But it was all for naught because the lens kept fogging up in the sauna. Shooting a sauna looks so much easier on TUF, the camera never steams up. I wander around the hotel and ask about the swimming pool and spy a sign that says no tattoos allowed.
I guess I am not going to swim any laps like I’d hoped. It always helps me to get a workout in while on the road but oh well, I’m walking a whole lot, that should count for something.
We head back to the hotel so Mo can do some interviews with Japanese media. Mo asks a reporter if he’d like to judge the future “King Mo’s Queen” contest where they will conduct a model search for the next Mo dancer. The reporter blushes and is speechless, begins to stutter a little and changes the subject. The translator tells Mo, “He changed the subject,” giggling. The questions and answers I’ve heard already, in the interviews we’ve conducted, in the interviews I’ve read on Mo, but as I’m about to tune it all out,
Mo says, “I’m taking this fight as an attack on my kingdom. I’m King Mo, he’s the King of Pancrase, but he’s a false king because there can only be one. I have to beat him.”
Then the reporter asks Mo for a photo, and Mo being the nerdy fan he is, poses like Ricardo Arona, from an old Pride photograph. We all break and I take a few snaps of Jim York working out for the media and then spend some time staring at all the pretty food in the supermarket under Shinagawa Station. I buy myself an apple and some orange juice and see York and his cornermen buying groceries as well.
Casey and I meet up with Mo, Dean, and Ryan after dinner to head to a bath house in Roppongi so Mo can drop more weight. Casey and I wander around Roppongi shooting, as we’re not allowed to shoot inside this sauna. But instead I get a photo of a giant spider sculpture, complete with egg sacs. Gross. But very awesome.
We meet back up with the guys and head back to the hotel, Mo and I discussing who in the world can beat Fedor now. Mo is a devout MMA fan and I always feel like such a newb around him because he remembers names, fights, everything. The day ends with us in front of the guys’ hotel rooms, four big American dudes blocking a very narrow hallway while guests try to politely walk around them. Mo and the guys are so eager to see a particular shot Casey got, they huddle around him, staring at the little LCD screen, faces lit up. I’ll keep the shot a secret, because it will make more sense in the video to come.
O yasumi nasai (it’s 4 am here, so maybe I should be saying ohaiyo gozaimasu).