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UFC 94 Pep Rally

The UFC held its first Hawaii event tonight at the Blaisdell Concert Hall. Entry was free. UFC 94 shirts were given out free to the first 2000 attendees. Mr Pikko and I got there around 4:00 and the line was snaking all the way around the Hall into the back parking lot and soon made its way down to the entrance of the Exhibition Hall. People handed out Xyience stickers and BJ Penn cards in the line. We got in and were offered a choice between L and XL shirts. It’s a pretty nice shirt!

A local band performed. No offense to the band, but both me and Mr. Pikko nodded off. Friday and all that.

They played a highlight reel for UFC in general and then Dana White was introduced first. He gave a speech about how big the fight is and what it means for both BJ and GSP. He introduced Ariani (who got a loud reception), Georges St-Pierre, and then BJ Penn, then the two fighters and Dana answered questions from the press and then from fans.

There were serious questions like, “Will you ever have an event in Hawaii?” and the audience started bust laughing when the emcee said that “we just need a kama’aina rate!” There were funny ones like, “Boxers or briefs?” BJ was his usual self. When someone asked who the fighter’s felt was the best pound for pound fighter, GSP graciously suggested that BJ may be the best. BJ simply agreed with GSP. lulz At the end the two faced off for photos.

All in all it was a very entertaining press conference and both fighters were cool to see. I mean, I’ve never been to one but still, it was awesome. Especially since we got to meet Dana White outside in the hallway!! The fighters had gone backstage and they were playing the first fight between GSP and BJ. We watched that and then got up to leave. People were gathered in the hallway and the usher lady (who had told me earlier NOT to ask for a shirt size, even though the people giving them out asked me what size) told me that was only for VIP people. Lo and behold, we go anyway and Dana is out there talking to everyone, signing stuff, and taking pictures. We waited a quick 10 minutes and I shook his hand and got my picture taken with him. Mr. Pikko got to shake his hand and told him what a great job he’s doing.

That picture is so the highlight of my month. I’m just sad the pinky part of my shaka isn’t in there. Dana White was extremely nice to everyone and really friendly with kids. One woman ahead of us got really excited and actually mounted his waist for a photo… I had a lot of fun, got a free UFC shirt, got to see two of my favorite fighters in person, and got a pic with the president of the UFC. All for $5 parking! What a super way to kick off the weekend! ^_^

All 13 pictures can be viewed on my Flickr photostream, set UFC Pep Rally.

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    Aloha,
    Keahi