Japan trip part 4: UFC Fight week – fight night!

It’s UFC Japan fight day! (September 20th)
brittany ufc toast

Breakfast with Brittany!

Actually, we were getting on the elevator to GO to breakfast. The doors opened and Shogun Rua was there! 😀 We chatted a bit. Mainly, he chatted to Brittany. “oh, are you a fighter?” etc etc. Haha! I’m the veteran fighter, but of course he’d want to chat with the beautiful Brittany. (who is also a fighter, though) 😛 I was standing there trying not to chuckle as he totally ignored me.

But I got a pic after breakfast. XD

rua and roxy

The Fighter Relations Team met at 8:30 AM to put wrist bands on the undercard fighters. It was that early because the event started at 1 PM, and it took an hour to get to the Saitama Super Arena by bus. If their names were on the list, they got one. If not, they didn’t get one. There was only one problem with Shu being listed twice under Noripi’s name- once as a cornerman, once as a translator, and another cornerman wasn’t registered. So my colleague Ricky had to make a few phone calls to straighten it out. Ricky has been like a big brother to me this whole time.

Mark Hunt and son.
mark hunt and roxy

Noripi (Michinori Tanaka) signing posters! This pic is actually from a few days before. He’s my former training partners! I hope it made him feel more at ease me being there…..

noripi signing posters

So after we loaded the first bunch onto the bus, I was free for like two hours. Half of us Fighter Relations Team staff went, a few of us stayed behind. I went back to the room, chatted with Brittany, and then ate lunch. Then at 12:15 I went back and did the main card. Then Burt told me, “Get on that bus!”

When we arrived, the undercard fighter’s hands were all wrapped up and the first fight (Maximo Blanco and somebody) was walking out.

I never saw the audience ONCE. But yeah. I didn’t care too much. I’ve been to tons of shows. I was just curious how filled up it was.

kanehara walk out1

This is backstage in the locker rooms just before Masanori Kanehara (yellow sandals) walked out.

Everyone were giving me instructions on how I would be assigned a room to watch, and I had to make sure everyone has water and towels and ice, and nobody is eating in the room. They eat outside. And then when I walk out with a fighter, I lead them and don’t get in the way of the camera guy. I was like, WHOA, there is NO WAY in Hell I’m walking a fighter out. I don’t know where to go! What if I lead them to the wrong place!? When I walk out myself, I never know where to go myself, I just follow some guy. So I am not ready to be ‘that guy,’ with no dry-run or explanation? Forget it! But it was Burt to lead them out, for the most part. And I didn’t get a room. I was told to float around and just be useful. Thank goodness.

I was mostly useful, except when it came time to translate Horiguchi’s interview, I tried to get someone else. :/ I didn’t have confidence in myself to do a good job.

Talking to Dad this morning and telling him that I was embarrased at not not knowing some words, he said, “You have limitations.” That’s true. :/ People kept asking me how I was and if I was having fun. Well, I was stressed and it wasn’t really ‘fun.’ But it was super interesting. I enjoyed the experience, but I wouldn’t say “fun.” In reply, I just said, “I’m okay” and “yes.”

I ran into the awesome translator with the fluffy pens! I forget her real name, but her twitter is “The Mizutama” haha. She actually recognized ME first!
roxy the mizutama translator

It was so good to unload everything that happened on Brittany after getting home. Like a good sister.

I got to watch some of the fights on the TVs set up in the lockerrooms. I wasn’t supposed to because I was working, but when like Noripi, Kanehara and Miesha/Rin were on, I snuck in someone’s locker room and inconspicuously watched. lol Or walking by in the hall, I would pause and take a long look.

After Mark Hunt knocked out Roy, we got the fighters on two buses at 7 PM. Another bus would come at 8 PM….the last one….! So we all RUSHED AROUND LIKE MAD PEOPLE cleaning and stuff, to be able to get on that bus. We scurried around packing up the mats and buckets and all our stuff. Someone else would clean the locker rooms and get trash. We didn’t keep the towels. Kind of a waste?

We thought all the fighters had left, but they hadn’t! Suddenly, there were not enough seats on the buss for all the staff! I was just about to leave to take the train, when people started pulling down all the aisle seats, which I didn’t know existed, which was hilarious. And a few people sat on people’s laps.

bus pic 1

bus pic 2

Once we got back, I hung out with Julianna and Rick. It was fun. 😉 I took them to the restaurant Tofuro!
julianna rick tofuro