Chapter 3: UFC 135, Sunglasses found, and Bubba Gumps
Saturday started about 9am when Boomtown took off to go see Matt. Once Matt get's into the fight process only his licensed cornermen will be able to move about with him, so Boomer goes over early to help with tickets and see his buddy once more before the fight.
So I got ready and watched a little cable TV and not long after I got a text from Boomer "Heading over to get yea"! So I got ready, looked all over the room for my sunglasses, and finally went downstairs and waited for Boomer Duke to show up in his Orange Charger (not kidding).
He showed up in a couple minutes and as soon as I got into the car I looked aroudn for my shade, but couldn't finad them. Oh well another UFC trip, another lost pair of shades. secretly I was bummed cause I'd had those for almost a year and that was a record.
Boomer and I headed down to Bubba Gumps to make the final arrangements with the manager for the after party. We met with the day manager Liz and she took us upstairs to the private party room where we went over all the setup stuff and access control. Boomer had gotten a copy of Ultimate Matt Hughes DVD for us to play on the big screen during that party/One new addition was that we wanted to see about setting up karaoke. Apparrently Matt heard about our good time the night before and wanted to see if we could get it.
Once everything was set Boomer and I headed to grab lunch. It jsut so happened that there was a hard Rock Cafe close by and that sounded like the best thing. We had a good time talking about different projects we were both interested in doing as far as film and theatre and prety much caught up on life. The thing about me and Boomer is that we could go a year without seeing eachother and we always seem to just pick right back up where we left off. I've always said thats a sign of a good buddy.
After lunch we headed up into the mountains to pick up Boomers brother. It wasn't too bad of a drive but the change in altitude sure was felt. His brother has a beautiful home up on the mountain with several acres around him. Once there I got to meet Aaron (Boomers brother) and his two boys Drew and Gabriel both super cool kids who leave no doubt in your mind that they think their uncle is about the best thing in the world! We sat and talked for a while and then Boomer's Sister-in-law showed up with a karaoke machine for us to use at Matt's after party. We were getting sort of tight on time so it was time to load up and head back to Denver.
We decided to park in the Bubba Gump's lot and walk to the Pepsi Center so that once the event was over we wouldn't get stuck in traffic and could hoof it over real quick to get the party going. Not a bad walk and once we arrived we split off to our seats to watch the fights.
I was up by myself at one end of the arena and actually really liked my seats. the jumbo screen was right in front and slightly above me. It didn't block my view and I could see right down into the cage. Once i got my bearings I started exchanging texts with my forum buddies. I also was able to locate where Boomer and his brother were sitting by spotting Aaron's blue shirt.
The night of fights was sort of weird. The usher by my seat let me move around and we talked off and on throughout the evening. At the end of the evening right before Matt fought he asked if he could have my ticket stub as a souveigner. He had been such good company that I handed it over to him. For Matt's fight I stood against the wall in the back of my section. I get tunnel vision when Matt's fighting and almost always stand if possible. I was pacing and yelling. after the fight ended my usher buddy patted me on the shoulder and said sorry.
The fights happened and Boomer and I had discussed bolting as soon as the Jones fight ended. I went down to their section to watch the final fight from the top of the stairs. on my way down I passed Danny who was obviously upset about the outcome from Matt's fight and was not sticking around. I totally understood and we agreed to talk more at the after party.
The usher in Boomer's section allowed me to watch Jones/Rampage from top of the section. going into the final round I saw Mark Hughes and his gang heading up to beat traffic and we greeted eachother. as soon as Rampage tapped out I ran out into the hall and waited for Boomer and Aaron.
The three of us walked back to Buba's and got set for the party. We had 4 dedicated servers and a manager at our disposal. Let me tell ya I think they did a great job of keepign everyone happy. Matt and hsi team ended up walking over too, and before we knew it the room was full of people having a good time despite the outcome of the fight. We were all there to support Matt regardless.
Not long into the party Chuck Liddell showed up with his lady and there was definitely a look around the room like "oh my gosh there's Chuck Liddell"! Boomer and I waited for things to settle in a bit before starting our own karake show. I believe it was Mrs. Hughes that said "Get it started Boomtown!" to which he obliged with an awesome version of Mr. Saturday Night Special! I then sang "Folsom Prison Blues" and we did a duet of "Friends in Low Places". Abotu that time Jens and Tony Fryklund and a whole lot of other folks showed up. Matt seemed to be haveing a great time and all were in good spirits.
At one point not too long into the evening we were talking to Matt and he says "hey Llama, I got your sunglasses!" to which I replied something like "whaaaaaaaaaa?????" ."Yeah I found them on the floor and I knew they were yours so I'll have to mail them to ya or something". I was in disbelief that of all the people to come across my sunglasses was Matt Hughes. I was embarrased to have lost them after Matt had pointed out to me that I'd dropped them on the floor the night before. Now here I find out that he spotted them again and took care ofthem for me.
The party went on into the evening and by the end it was me and Boomer loading the karaoke stuff back into the General Boomtown. Boomer drove me back to the Ramada and we bid eachother farewell with a hug and a handshake. I went and finished packing to be ready for my 4:00am ride to the airport. I sat downstairs and at 4:00am Zucca pulled up in the van. I jumped in and I hear "Hey Llama". Mark Hughes and his wife Emily along with their two friends were also taking early flights. We talked a bit on the way and next thing I new I was sitting on a jet towards New York by way of Atlanta. Another amazing Matt Hughes Forum weekend in the books.
Matt, I know you're not retiring and I'm glad. "Sitting on the shelf" I think you called it. Well, we'll all be sitting on the shelf too until the horn sounds and calls us to some distant city to root you on, sing karaoke, and enjoy eachother's company!
"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear."