We’re here in Vancouver covering UFC 115 for MMAfighting.com / AOL Fanhouse. So far, Vancouver is lovely. I have to say, I’ve been to Canada twice this year and I’m smitten. Casey’s been here four times this year! He took me to a nice little resto-bar (gastropub?) over in Gastown called Six Acres where we dined on amazing mac n’ cheese with a smooth porter from Saskatchewan, served by a smokin’ hot librarian-type waitress with a cute heavy Canadian accent, surrounded by fashionably dressed Vancouverites with nice glasses. I knew it would be good when we sat down and Spoon was playing softly through the brick-lined bar.
So yeah, it’s great. I am really liking this town. Also, I adore how easy it was to hop on the train from the airport to the city. Good public transport is the key to my heart.
Onto UFC 115 fight week events!
On the opposite side of that photo above, photographer Darryl Dyck shooting for Canadian press is clicking at the same moment, lit by my flash, and I have to say, I like his picture better. I saw the photo on the ESPN MMA page and was amused by my kneeling figure in the corner, flash lighting the scene.
Then it made me sad because my remote flash battery died, it’s this CR2450 battery and the button gets depressed in travel sometimes and drains my battery. BOO. One day I’ll get this right. So unprofessional.
I do my best and as always enjoy my time immensely, listening in on the scrum interviews while shooting. I couldn’t stay in the interview scrums because a few local cameramen were very pushy about “still shooters” taking up all the space. One guy even shoved me and bumped my head and shoulders with his betacam (or HDCam, I didn’t care). But I wish I stayed because Cro Cop said some amazing stuff. The scrums were long but fascinating.
Thursday’s presser was hilarious. I was bored of all the new market questions, is this safe, blah blah blah, but I get it, so that’s fine. Pat Barry was delighting everyone with his childhood dreams of ninjahood when Cro Cop won the crowd back with his answering of a “delicate question” regarding the cut on his head. He said he was training late. With ladies. When Ariel Helwani asked if Cro Cop was all right, the Pride legend replied, “Yes, but they are not.”
The tiny press room was packed to the gills with local press and us traveling folk and the energy was great (not to mention lovely, super-bright lighting that made everyone’s eyes glisten). I even spoke to Pat Barry after who was laughing over MMAJunkie writing that his trainer Duke Roufus and Barry became close when Roufus stayed with Barry and his wife after he lost his home due to Hurricane Katrina. Barry sat there on the Arri lighting case, “My wife? I don’t have a wife! Ha!” They’ve since corrected the story.
Then Barry looked around and looked up at me from his low makeshift seat, “I’m nervous.” And he should be. It’s healthy.
Finished out the day with more work & a quick dinner around the corner with the Heavy.com guys.
Here’s a few of my favorites and check out the whole gallery at mmafighting.com. I threw in a few extras of Japadog & a very fun handwritten sign protesting (?) the UFC here in Vancouver placed in a block of newspaper vending boxes.