I went to the Strikeforce press conference for their April 11th fight, the first since they acquired a few EliteXC contracts and items. Like all press conferences, it was the usual I’m-ready-to-fight, I-want-my-belt, We’re-psyched-for-this, yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah. But, these aren’t to entertain me. I’m here to shoot. And consume the amazingly delicious chocolate “chip” cookies. I say “chip” because it was more like thin slices of melted chocolate between layers of cookie. Mmmm. Cookie.
Oh right, Strikeforce and Showtime.
Two things perked my ears.
1. Ken Hershman took the time to jab EliteXC and ProElite many times. I’m fine with the MMA 2.0 comment but he was clearly trying to place the entirety of the blame on EliteXC/ProElite. I thought Hershman and Gary Shaw were friends? No longer, I suppose, since Hershman kicked that dead horse over and over.
2. Nick Diaz’ usual awesome antics with anyone he fights, in this case, his superfrown and middle finger directed at Frank Shamrock.
Otherwise, it was pretty standard…
Oh. How could I forget.
It was also lit purposefully. Showtime laid down dolly track. And brought in a hydraulic dolly with the RED camera strapped to it. And one of their camera assistants/ops was sporting a new 5D MkII, shooting side video on that. And they had some other HD cameras around shooting other stuff, on other fancy camera supports. The whole crew came out.
They even staged the press conference again, just for the camera, to make it fancier, cleaner sound, more control, no pesky press to get in the way of the moving shots. Sticking around longer than everyone else, I was treated to Scott Coker reading a speech about the future of MMA, Strikeforce, and Showtime, for several takes. It was a big production.
Even with the Orwellian mood, the press conference went just dandy. Josh Thomson and Gilbert Melendez had their face off, Melendez planting a blown kiss on the belt as they parted. Nick Diaz and Frank Shamrock I mentioned, there’s so much more but my recapping it won’t do it justice, so just watch the video we cut of the highlights.
And Strikeforce announced that Jake Shields would instead be fighting on the May card against EliteXC Middleweight Champ, Robbie Lawler. Robbie looked so bored throughout the press conference, at times it looked as if he were napping. He was so over the presser, that during his face off, he could barely hold his pose fists up. That’s why I love him. You could see Lawler’s eyes, clearly staring a thousand miles away, probably thinking about his fantasy draft picks.
The Cyborgs showed up together and Babalu asked to fight Tito Ortiz, offering him a ticket “to hell.”
I won’t fuss this post up with any more dumb recollections, just watch this highlight video and check out some of the photos — I included quite a few of the elaborate setup, including highlights on the back wall of cameramen. Casey even got his own personal Mole-Richardson lighting his ass. Enjoy.