Showing posts with label UFC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UFC. Show all posts

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Celebrity Encounters in 2013 and an Update

Yes, I'm alive. It's been a very long time since my last post, and it'll probably be a very long time before my next post... if I post again. I've debated on whether or not I would do a Fan Expo Canada 2013 post, and as you can see, I never wrote one.

The short of it, Fan Expo Canada 2013 was good, except that I missed out on meeting Nathan Fillion. I did get to meet Hulk Hogan, so that was my highlight. That photo is somewhere in the photo collage above (in the centre, right above the "LE" in "CELEBS"). I also went through that entire con, without a single sketch or piece of original art. Didn't have that desire, like I did in the past.

2013 was a different year for me. New beginnings. I quit my old job in December 2012. For those that didn't know, I was a "Senior Game Technician" at Dave and Buster's, in Vaughan. I was employed there for over 10 years. My last two years there, was pretty much the beginning of the end. I won't get into any details, but I just got insanely fed up everything going on there. I handed in my two-weeks notice. They responded by taking me off the schedule, and finding others to take over my shifts for the next week (second week schedule wasn't up). So that day ended up being my last day there. I will say, I do miss working with many of my former co-workers. Glad that I keep in touch with them (the power of Social Media), and see some of them from time to time.

I also got a new job near the end of 2012. The hiring process actually started in July 2012, and I didn't start until late October 2012. This was a part time contract position, so I was working this new job, while working at D&B (won't mention the new employer, for privacy reasons... but if you know me, ask me in person). I was in training for 7 weeks (was supposed to be 8, but I had to start a week later), then moved to the rotational schedule (it's a 24/7/365 business... with the exception of Christmas Eve/Day, where they close for 16-18hrs). The plan was to work both jobs on a part time basis, because the new one was only part time. That obviously changed. Thus, began my new life in 2013, finally away from D&B (mentally, my two weeks notice, would have brought me into 2013... if they kept me on the schedule).

The new job has been treating me well. I am no longer under contract, as I have been hired in a permanent position. I'll admit, I don't particularly enjoy working overnight hours, but I have been able to adjust to that type of schedule. My shifts for the past year, have mainly been the midnight-8:30am shifts. In that 52 week year, 40 of those weeks have been overnights. Eight weeks in days, and four weeks in the afternoon/evening. Also, anywhere from 3-5 shifts a week.

This schedule has at times, worked in my favour, when it comes to the celebrity encounters. As you can see above, there are a lot of them. Granted, many groups of photos were taken at the same events, so it's not like I spent my entire year going after celebs. Met a bunch at the 2013 Canadian Tire Home and Auto Show, many at Fan Expo Canada 2013, many at TIFF 2013, many during fight week for UFC 165, and some at the Everything to do with Sex Show.

I leave you with the list of celebrities I have met during the year 2013. It's in the order of when I met them (unless I met them multiple times this year, so I only mentioned it once (and tried to combine the photos into one spot in the collage).

List of celebs, from left to right, top to bottom:
Nigella Lawson, Laura Vandervoort, Mike Holmes, Tito Ortiz, Rosie MacLennan, Bill Goldberg, Joffrey Lupul, John-Michael Liles, Jake Gardiner, Tito Santana, Ed Boon, Ken Shamrock, Vince Offer, Hayley Wickenheiser, Tessa Bonhomme, Meghan Agosta-Marciano, Jon Montgomery, Nick Kypreos, Glenn Healy, Mike Palmateer, Rob Rainford, Paul Coffey, Chris Del Bosco, Edwin Encarnacion, Kat Von D, John Cho, Frankie Edgar, Brandon Morrow, Cris "Cyborg" Santos, Brett Lawrie, J.P. Arencibia, Johnny Bower, Eddie Shack, Munenori Kawasaki, Jason David Frank, Jeremy Bulloch, Corey Feldman, Gregg Zaun, Guillermo Del Toro, George Takei, Billy Crystal, Laura Prepon, Johny Hendricks, Alexander Gustafsson, Jon "Bones" Jones, Tom Wright, Jason Sudeikis, Neil Gaiman, David Draiman, Hulk Hogan, Steven Yeun, Laurie Holden, Norman Reedus, Amber Goldfarb, Kate Drummond, Eric Johnson, David Reale, Gavin Hood, Michael Rooker, James Hong, Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Ivan Reitman, Megan Parks, Adam Driver, David Paetkau, Zoe Kazan, Daryl Sabara, Ariel Levy, Magda Apanowicz, Lorenza Izzo, Ignacia Allamand, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Katee Sackhoff, James Lafferty, Patrick Cote, Glover Teixeira, Burt Watson, TJ Grant, Stephen Thompson, Greg Jackson, Chris Weidman, Mike Goldberg, "Showdown" Joe Ferraro, Ariel Helwani, Mike Dolce, Arianny Celeste, Brittney Palmer, Chris Lytle, John McCarthy, Alex Caceres, Michael McDonald, Yves Lavigne, Jacob "Stitch" Duran, Roland Delorme, Pat Healy, Matt Serra, Phil Davis, Ivan Menjivar, John Makdessi, Bruce Buffer, Phil Nurse, Dan Miragliotta, Chris Clements, Wilson Reis, Francis Carmont, Renan Barao, Costa Philippou, Dustin Kimura, Jim Carrey, Kristin Kreuk, Ashley Fires, Karlie Montana, Voodoo, Missy Rhodes, Sunny Lane, Claire Robbins, Breanne Benson, Eila Adams, Charmane Star, Mitch Gagnon, Roberto Alomar, Jonathan Bernier, James Van Riemsdyk, Mason Raymond, Bruce Croxon, Jim Treliving, Firas Zahabi, David Clarkson, Nazem Kadri, Rashad Evans

Friday, November 11, 2011

Well I've disappeared for a while...

No blog posts since September 1st, 2011?!?!? I know I've been cutting back on the blog posts, but damn, that was a long time. Since then, Blogger seemed to changed the format that I was normally accustomed to, when it comes to writing the blog posts. I'm not used to this... I'm switching back, until Blogger decides to just force the change over (like Facebook does).

So what the hell have I been up to since then? Well, those that follow me on Facebook, or even Twitter (not as updated as Facebook), you would know. The blog, as you can see, I have been neglecting. It does seem to be more troublesome to update this blog, so who knows how often I'll be posting from here on out. Hell, I've even pondered just ending it. But, part of me wants to blog every so often. So, here goes...

The day after the last day of Fan Expo Canada, Danny and I went down to the CNE. This was my second trip down to the CNE, this year... I actually haven't been down to the CNE, since sometime in the late 90s.

The main reasoning for heading down to the CNE that day (August 29th, 2011), was to meet UFC fighters, Rich "Ace" Franklin, and Mark "The Machine" Hominick (for the 3rd time, since UFC 129).

Rich Franklin & Me, Rich Franklin WOMMA series 2 figure signed, Me & Mark Hominick, UFC 129 DVD signed

We also ate unhealthy food...

Krispy Kreme Burger, Behemoth, Deep Fried Joe Louis, Deep Fried Twinkie

For those that don't know, the Krispy Kreme burger is a cheeseburger, with two whole Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnuts, that replaces the standard hamburger bun. It's delicious! Recently, I bought some of those doughnuts, and made these burgers at work, with some of my co-workers.

The Behemoth, is the same concept, but with two full Texas toast grilled cheese sandwiches, that replaces the hamburger buns. It wasn't as good.

The deep fried Joe Louis, and Twinkie, weren't anything special.

About a week after (on September 7th, 2011), I got a call from Ryan A, about the Doug Gilmour signing at Real Sports Apparel. His friend, Dexter, had wristbands for the signing, which would guarantee an autograph. Long story short, the wristband was offered to me, and I hauled ass downtown, for this signing.

Me & Doug Gilmour, Leafs Jersey signed by Doug Gilmour, close-up of the Jersey

TIFF rolled around again, from September 8th-18th, 2011. I was down there from September 9th-13th. I did manage to get photos with a couple of celebrities.

Tom Hiddleston & Me, Me & Justin Long

I also got some sweet autographs. Most of them, I haven't posted, mainly because I don't have them back yet. But the ones I have shown (on Facebook), will still remain off this blog. I just don't want anyone taking those photos, and using them on eBay or wherever, to sell... and I'm too lazy to watermark or shrink them, so the printing would be terrible.

The ones I did post on Facebook, are photos signed by: Tilda Swinton, Jon Hamm, Rachel Weisz, Max Minghella & Kate Mara, Kirsten Dunst & Bryce Dallas Howard, Anna Kendrick, Jenna Dewan-Tatum.

The ones I haven't gotten back (but should be getting back within the next couple of weeks, are signed by Megan Fox (x2), Willem Dafoe, Geoffrey Rush, Ewan McGregor, Tom Hiddleston, Antonio Banderas, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, and Jennifer Garner.

TIFF was definitely a tiring event, but fairly successful, in my opinion.

On September 18th, 2011, Toronto Blue Jays sluggers, Brett Lawrie & J.P. Arencibia, were signing at Frozen Pond.

I had already gotten J.P. Arencibia's autograph, so I only went for Brett Lawrie.

Brett Lawrie & Me, Brett Lawrie signed baseball

The following Saturday was a fairly packed with signings. In Markham, UFC fighter, Wanderlei Silva, and UFC Ring Girl, Brittney Palmer, were signing at the Popeye's Supplements store. Then, in Aurora, there was a signing, featuring former UFC fighter, Nate Marquardt. After that, at Real Sports Bar & Grill, was the Coke Zero Ambush Party, that I won an invite to (through Twitter), and brought Danny along as my guest.

The Coke Zero Ambush Party, was set up for those invited, to watch the pre-season Leafs game at Real Sports Bar & Grill, with a whole bunch of Leafs Alumni. It was a meet & great/signing/dinner.

Brittney Palmer

Wanderlei Silva

Nate Marquardt (Danny got me the autograph, because I didn't want to spend $10 to meet Marquardt)

Danny & I at the Coke Zero Ambush Party, Me & Johnny Bower, Johnny Bower signed figure

Wendel Clark & Me, Wendel Clark signed figure, Mike Johnson & Me

Leafs Jersey signed by Doug Gilmour, Darcy Tucker, Mike Johnson, Red Kelly, Wendel Clark, and Johnny Bower

At the end of the month, I popped down to the Toronto Cartoonists Workshop, for the Flash #1 DC New Universe launch party. It was a pretty packed turnout for the event. I didn't take any photos, but Danny did.

On October 12th, 2011, the UFC held a press conference at the Air Canada Centre, for UFC 140 (December 10th, 2011, at the ACC), with tickets going on sale that weekend.

The main event for that card, Jon "Bones" Jones vs. Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida, for the UFC Light Heavyweight Title. Both of those fighters, along with UFC President, Dana White, and CDN fighters, Mark Hominick, Rory MacDonald, and Mark Bocek, were in attendance for the presser.

There was a signing that was taking place at Real Sports Apparel, a few hours after the press conference. I figured I should be there early, to line up for the signing. My cousin was 1st in line, I was 2nd... I showed up a little over an hour after him.

UFC Press Conference, Mark Bocek & Me, Dana White & Me

UFC 129 Program signed by Rory MacDonald, Mark Bocek, Dana White, Mark Hominick, Sean Pierson, and Brittney Palmer; Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida UFC Series 1 figure signed; Jon "Bones" Jones UFC Series 7 Limited Edition figure signed

Oh yeah, Danny and I got tickets to UFC 140.

The following Friday, I checked out the Everything To Do With Sex Show. It was a fun experience last year, since I've never been. This year, wasn't as good. I went down to see Lexi Belle.

For those that remembered my post last year, I did pick up the Batman XXX: A Porn Parody, for Alexis Texas to sign. Well, Lexi Belle played Batgirl in that movie, so I wanted to get that DVD signed. I never scanned it, so I'll just end that note with my photo with her.

Lexi Belle & Me

The last of the recent events, took place on October 29th, 2011. Danny and I drove up to Newmarket, for a signing with UFC Fighter (and The Ultimate Fighter 12 winner), Jonathan Brookins.

Jonathan Brookins & Me, Jonathan Brookins signed photo

So that's what I've been up to, since the Fan Expo Canada 2011 Report post. I do have a bunch of upcoming events, in November and December. Unfortunately, I won't be attending the Toronto ComiCON on November 20th.

Everything coming up, looks to be an expensive time of year (and that's not including Christmas). I can't really afford to take a day off of work, for the con, so I will be skipping this one. I'll try to make the one in February.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Been a long time...

Once again, I've been away from this blog for quite some time. Not as long as Danny has been away, but still feels like quite a while. Hell, I even click onto the bookmark I have saved for this blog, hoping that it's been updated, even though I know it hasn't (because it's my blog). I'm not going to lie, I'm lazy.

But, I figured this could use an update, since the Mark Hominick signing on June 4th.

My work had it's annual recognition party, on the 8th. I wasn't recognized with any awards, but it was still some fun times. I made out like a bandit, with the raffle prizes. Retail, my three prizes totaled to roughly $575 (Mitchell & Ness Authentic Cooperstown Collection Joe Carter Toronto Blue Jays Jersey, Danby beer fridge, and a blender). Sadly, the fridge didn't work, but it is getting replaced. I should have it back at home, sometime within the next week or two. I dropped off the Joe Carter jersey, so it could be signed by Joe Carter at his annual golf tournament. Blender, still in the box.

I was asked to do the powerpoint presentation, for the party, with all the employee recognitions. My help didn't go unrewarded. I was given inFAMOUS 2 Hero Edition, for my work. Just completely finished the game, Monday night/Tuesday morning.

The following week, on the 15th, I went down to the Jays Shop, inside Sears at Eaton Centre, to meet J.P. Arencibia.

Ball signed by J.P. Arencibia

Boston Bruins beat Vancouver Canucks, in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Congrats to the Bruins. They deserved the Cup, even though I'm not really a fan of them. Wanted Vancouver to win, but they just didn't seem to want it as much as Boston.

On the 18th, our family held a garage sale in the morning. It went okay, but I wished we sold more. Oh well. In the afternoon, Danny and I went to Vaughan Mills, to the Mark Hominick signing at Ecko Unlimited.

Me & Mark Hominick, signed 8x10 photo (from The Octagon signing)

That evening, my family and I went to Red Lobster for dinner. Though, the food was good (nothing special, but still good), the service was horrible. I was sitting there, pretty pissed at the terrible service provided by our server. Granted, it was busy, but this guy did not try with our table. I don't go to Red Lobster often (second time, in about 10-15 years), and I don't think I'll be going back for a lot longer than that.

Also going on, on Saturday June 18th, in Calgary, was the Joe Shuster Awards. You can read the full results here. Congrats to all the winners!

The following Saturday, on the 25th, we celebrated Peter's birthday (of All New Comics), with a surprise party. We, Danny and I, were quite surprised to be invited, since we didn't know the person who contacted us, or how she got our numbers and email addresses. Either way, we were glad, cause it was a fun time.

Tuesday evening, I made my way down to AOD Collectables. This was my third trip to the shop (it's in Mississauga... I'm in Vaughan... not necessarily close, but I'll take the trip every so often). This is a great place for UFC fans, to pick up the Round 5 UFC figures.

The UFC figures have been a new hobby of mine, in addition to the very few comics I do buy, these days. I don't have a huge collection at the moment, but I'm working my way at it.

The first trip to the store, was to pre-order the UFC Ultimate Collector Series 7. Second, was to buy figures from the UFC Ultimate Collector Series 6. This trip, was to drop a little gift off.

Those in the area, should check it out. The UFC fans, and UFC figures collectors, should also give the store a visit.

That's it from me, for now. Not sure when I'll be back.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Mark Hominick signing at The Octagon

Saturday June 4th, 2011 - Danny and I headed down to The Octagon, down in St. Catharines, today, for the Grand Opening of the store, and more specifically, for the Mark Hominick signing.

For those that don't know, Mark Hominick was the guy that faced Jose Aldo at UFC 129, for the Featherweight title. He loss the fight, but dammit, it was a great fight! He was also the guy with the huge hematoma on his head, during that fight.

I did wake up a little late, as we were planning on leaving the house at 9am, to make the drive down to St. Catharines, for the signing. I actually woke up at 9am, when Danny walked into my room, and woke me up. Oops.

Got up, changed, and ready by 9:30, and made the drive down. The rain came down really hard, as we reached the Hamilton area. It looked like we were driving through a hurricane, which was kinda scary... especially in my car.

Also, while heading along the QEW, going with the directions, it says to get off at Ontario St., as the shop is at 318 Ontario St. I know they were in different cities, but there were THREE Ontario St. along the QEW. If Danny didn't tell me we were still pretty far away (using the GPS on his phone), I would have gotten off at the first one. Good thing he had it.

Stopped off at the McDonald's on Ontario St., for a little restroom break, before heading to the store. Little disturbing, but when I walked in, there was a guy, with his pants down to his ankles, standing in front of the sink, washing his mouth. I will flat out admit, this was the first time I have walked out of a restroom, without washing my hands (and I'm the type that will always wash my hands, even if I just lift up the seat). Thank god it was raining hard, cause I feel wrong not washing my hands, but under the circumstances... yeah. Oh yeah, and hand sanitizer!

The Octagon was a small store, but I do like that cage in the middle of the store. The only item that I picked up at the store, was an octagon-shaped UFC mug (too bad the interior part of the mug, wasn't octagon-shaped).

Mark Hominick arrived on time (if not early), and got to signing and taking pictures with fans. I would say there were between 20-30 people at the signing, for the start of it. I'm not sure about later, as we were pretty much done.

UFC Canadian Fist Shirt - Signed by Mark Hominick

UFC 129 Program - Signed by Mark Hominick

UFC 129 Poster - Signed by Mark Hominick

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


UFC 129I'm not going to do a full report, but I'll give a breakdown as to what happened this past week, leading up to the UFC 129.

Tuesday April 26th, 2011
- Chandella Powell (UFC Octagon Girl) and Dominick Cruz (UFC Bantamweight Champion) appeared at Athletes World: Vaughan Mills.
- I went to start off "FIGHT WEEK", by meeting these two, getting their autographs, and photos with them.

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Chandella Powell

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Dominick Cruz

Wednesday April 27th, 2011
- Went to the UFC Pre-Fight Press Conference, which featured Dana White, Tom Wright, Georges St-Pierre (UFC Welterweight Champion), Jake Shields, Jose Aldo (UFC Featherweight Champion), Mark Hominick, Randy Couture, Lyoto Machida.
- Got there early (about 8:40am), and was first in line, for the press conference.
- Went, in hopes of getting stuff signed, and to win UFC 129 tickets.
- Unsuccessful

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UFC Pre-Fight Press Conference

- Went to Athletes World: Square One, for the Rashad "Suga" Evans signing.

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Rashad "Suga" Evans

Thursday April 28th, 2011
- Worked during the day, so I missed all the UFC Festivities, down at Yonge-Dundas Square, and surrounding areas.
- Regretted not taking the day off.
- Went back to Athletes World: Vaughan Mills, for the Mauricio "Shogun" Rua signing.

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Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (not sure who the guy on the left is, in the photo)

Friday April 29th, 2011
- UFC Fan Expo: Day 1
- Arrived at UFC Fan Expo, around 8am (or a little after).
- Picked up the 2-day pass, within minutes... no large line to get tickets... their system processed everything really quickly.
- Got in the line to get in, which moved quick, even though it was packed, once the doors opened... on time, too!

Line to get inside, after getting your pass

- Went straight to the Round 5 booth, to pick up the UFC Fan Expo Exclusive, Georges St-Pierre figure.

UFC Fan Expo Toronto Exclusive, Georges St-Pierre figure

- Met Arianny Celeste at the Hayabusa booth.

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Arianny Celeste

- Noticed how insane the lines were for autographs.
- Decided to line up for Royce Gracie at the HMV booth (saw him fight on UFC 1, back in the days).
- Two hours early, for the signing, and there was still some people before me... not including the 4 people that cut the line, right in front of me.
Was still near the front, so I didn't care too much.

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Royce Gracie

- After that signing, walked by the HEADRUSH booth, and saw almost no line. Lined up to see Chandella Powell and Eddie Wineland.

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Chandella Powell

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Eddie Wineland

- Decided to line up for Cain Velasquez at the Dethrone Royalty booth, but Phil Davis was signing.
- Went to line up for him, but line was cut off, four people before me.
- Stayed in line, and kept my spot for Cain Velasquez and Josh Koscheck

Phil "Mr. Wonderful" Davis

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Josh Koscheck

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UFC Heavyweight Champion, Cain Velasquez

- No real plan at this point. It was more walking around, and finding stuff to do, or people to see/meet.

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Kenda Perez

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Me vs. Danny, in the OCTAGON!

Xyience Models: Amber Nichole-Miller (L) and Amanda Corey (R) with Me

UFC Title

Saturday April 30th, 2011
- Arrived into UFC Fan Expo line by 8am
- Goals for the day, Jon "Bones" Jones and Anderson Silva autographs.
- Got in line for Jon "Bones" Jones, once doors opened.
- He arrived 20 minutes late, and the lines were long for him.

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Jon "Bones" Jones

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UFC 128 Poster, signed by Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Jon "Bones" Jones

- After that line, got in line for Anderson Silva, at the Muscle Pharm booth.
- Line was one giant clusterfuck... or like 4 clusterfucks...
- Luckily, Danny won a line-bypass for the booth.

UFC Banner, signed by Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Anderson Silva and Cain Velasquez

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Closer look at the signatures

- Little bit of a break, since I didn't know what else to do, or who to see.
- Ended up at the Rogers Sportsnet/MMA Connected/UFC Connected booth, going for Shane Carwin's autograph.
- Got there early, and were doing free photos ops with a UFC title.

Jason Truong, UFC Champ?

- Then got back in line, for the Shane Carwin signing... on Danny's item.

Shane Carwin

- After, quickly headed over to the Xyience booth, to find Amanda Corey, as she does appear in the latest UFC Magazine.

Amanda Corey

- Ended up at the Ecko Canada booth, for the Kurt "Batman" Pellegrino signing.

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Kurt "Batman" Pellegrino

- Found our way over to the Anthony "Showtime" Pettis signing line. This would cap off the signings at UFC Fan Expo, for us.

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Anthony "Showtime" Pettis

Muscle Pharm Models, with Me

Me vs. Popeye

Joe Lauzon

- Called it a day at UFC Fan Expo Day 2, and headed over to the Rogers Centre, for UFC 129... while Danny went home.

Saturday April 30th, 2011: FIGHT NIGHT!

- Got to the Rogers Centre, picked up a program. Found that I still have some time, and didn't want to carry the programs, so I dropped them off in my car.

UFC 129 Official Program

- Then went inside, grabbed a beer, then went to my seat.

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Views from my seat

- The building was electric, with all the energy from the fans in attendance.
- Cell phone reception sucked ass
- I was pumped for this, and I'm not even a big UFC fan.
- But this event, made me even more of one.
- Won't get into detail about the UFC Fight Card, but you should check it out on replays of the PPV, or buy the DVD/Blu-Ray, whenever it comes out. I know I will.

Panoramic view of the Rogers Centre, from my seat

I bought a shirt, while at the fight

- Some autographs that I got, but didn't obtain myself.

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Frank Mir, Cung Le, Phil "Mr. Wonderful" Davis, Jon "Bones" Jones

Helluva great week, that I enjoyed. I'm looking forward to the next UFC event in Canada. And if they have another UFC Fan Expo in Toronto, I'll be there.