Made it all the way to Abu Dhabi for MMAFighting.com and after a day of wandering about the city’s mall in search of mosquito repellant and electrical adapters, I got to shoot today. UFC held a media workout for Anderson Silva, BJ Penn, Frankie Edgar, Renzo Gracie, and Terry Etim showed up too.
There were lots of local media, someone even called me Delores, and I had the feeling I was the only one who made the trek out from America (so far, everyone gets in tomorrow I think) and very likely the only MMA centered website. It was mostly local papers and television, which is exciting for me. A whole new crew. It was also hotter indoors than out with all the lights, fighters, and media squished into a little hotel meeting room.
The Gulf News reporter brought gifts and soon everyone in Silva’s camp was posing for pictures with him, calling him “Sheik” or really, “Shake” and at one point, I heard a few of them say “Milkshake!” Noguiera and Feijao were present as well. As you can see, Silva sported an amusing, “Trust Me I’m a Jedi” shirt that amused the media and made everyone laugh. He also pulled his usual “interview the reporter” deal.
Penn stopped in shortly, though every visit is brief if you aren’t Silva marching in with twenty Brazilians, all working out together. Frankie Edgar kicked off the day and local favorite Renzo Gracie, whom the media was very familiar with, also worked out and gave lots of interviews.
Can’t believe I almost forgot to mention, Anderson Silva shoved his cell phone/fake microphone up Ed Soares nose while Soares tried to translate. No joke. Well, I mean, it was a joke. He really did it. I missed the moment photographically though. Bummer.