We got a chance to check out UFC 114 live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas — and, man, there’s nothing like seeing a UFC fight in the flesh. When you’re in the stands for a live event, there is this energy in the air that you just can’t get through the flat screen in your basement. But it’s more than just mysticism. Here are three reasons why it’s always better in person:
Forrest Griffin arrives at the UFC 114 post after party at Studio 54 inside the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo by David Becker/ZUMA Press)
You can chill with your favorite fighters
NOTE: This is especially true in Vegas. At a UFC fight weekend, you’ll spot pros everywhere, from the casino elevators to the blackjack tables. On the day of UFC 114, in the middle of the afternoon, I spotted Chael Sonnen posing for photos with a bunch of fans outside the fan expo. By the time I walked past the group, you could hear people whispering, “who is that guy?” He’s only the second-best middleweight in the world — and he’s taking on Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight title in August. So keep your eyes open because great fighters are everywhere on those weekends. The fan expos are worth checking out, too — especially if you’re a fan of free supplement samples and girls in short shorts and heels.
You won’t miss a thing
Spike TV does a great job of airing under-card bouts for free before the PPV broadcasts, but most of the time you’re still going to miss out on 4-5 fights. If you’re at the event, you see everyone, which ensures you don’t miss an instant classic — and it also lets you ride the wave of excitement from the bottom of the card to the top. As each fight finishes, more and more people fill the seats in anticipation of the main event. The crowd gets slightly louder—and the stakes, obviously, get higher—as you move through the fight card. Plus, the entrances are 10 times more awesome when you hear the music through the massive speakers. Rashad Evans came out to Mobb Deep’s “Shook Ones Part II” for his fight with Rampage Jackson, with thousands of people singing along to each punch line. You minor. We major. Toughest intro ever.
You can bask in the wonder of Bruce Buffer
At some point, you could argue that Bruce surpassed his brother Michael in the category of “best fight announcer.” When you’re at a UFC event, you get to see his pre-fight ritual. Buffer hops from foot to foot like a striker, shaking his arms out. He’ll whip his neck around to loosen up his muscles. And he’s even been known to slap himself in the face before the fight starts. And this is all in a suit and tie. It’s a sight to behold — and something you definitely don’t get to see on television.
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|UFC Undisputed 2010 (Playstation 3)|