Weekend off coming up?
It's crazy to think that this Saturday I won't be driving up and down the great motorways of this fair isle and working at an event. I think, subconsciously, that's why I bought XCOM for the PS3 last night. It's good by the way, very good.
Last Saturday was the biggest commute that I do at present, not counting shows abroad, as I drove down to Portsmouth for Shock N Awe 12. As always you can read an official report of what went down here.
I set off at 11:30 am and got there at just after 3pm. I lost count of the number of times I sang along to Still of the Night but that somehow, just got me more excited for the day at hand. I walked in the venue as the final touches were being administered. It reminded me of the end of Teenwolf but without the guy in the stands flashing.
The fights were crazy, the food was awesome and the drive home was a piece of cake. Big thanks to all the crew who made it a great night as always. I left Portsmouth at 10:30 PM and was home for 1:45 AM. Just in time to catch up with the UFC prelims, put the kettle on, and not go to bed till 6.
Sunday, however, was even more epic as me and my longest serving friend Tran went to Manchester for the Replay Expo. Imagine a warehouse full of old videogames, arcades on freeplay, pinball machines on freeplay, stands, racist pandas and people dressed up as Dan from Street Fighter Alpha.
Arguably the best Sunday I've had in a very long time.
Anyhow it's time for a few rye observations about Shock N Awe 12.
- It's weird seeing Jack Mason fight with a height advantage. Welter suits him. Now he's got the cut right there's every chance he can do something. He's undoubtedly got all the tools. A clinical performance from the Stone.
- Stu Tyrie's a gamer. That guy always brings it. Back to back stoppages by cuts probably mean he should take a little time away to train and give his body a chance to bounce back but there's no shortage of good fights for him.
- Mike Ling's elbows are so sharp you could slice Honey roast ham with them. Nobody wants to be anywhere near those when they start landing.
- That armbar from Brett Caswell looked horrible. I could feel the bursa sacs popping from the other side of the booth as he locked that on.
- Matt Hughes needs to, at least once, walk out to A Country Boy can Survive
- Owain Parry's a bit of a savage. Him and Timur Mercanoglu both looked very impressive.
- There's never a bad time for a Samosa.
- Also it was nice to see the usual GYM 01 crew in attendance supporting team mates and helping out.
- The UNIT of the night award went to James Brum who, despite facing stern competition, looked every part the unit as he took the buffet to task in the interval.
PARAPPA THE RAPPER
This may seem niche and ridiculous but then you wouldn't be reading if you didn't already realise that.
Ever play Parappa the Rapper?
It was overlooked as one of the forefathers of the rhythm action explosion that would happen later on. You played what looked like a dog in a hat as you went through a typical day trying to impress a girl you liked. The problem was that you didn't believe you could do any of it so it was all much more difficult than it should have been.
Here's the deal.
One thing I've learned over the past few months is that, as more and more fighters are given amazing opportunities to train and get better, the mental game becomes even more important. It's frustrating as a fan to watch a fighter with all the physical tools break mentally and lose. That sounds selfish. Maybe it is a bit.
Jack Mason and Mike Ling are two good examples of guys who have all the tools to do very big things in this sport. This Saturday it was great to see both of them put on the kind of performances they're capable of and take home title belts in the process. The difference? They both believed in their own abilities and worked hard to get the right results.
What you gotta do?
You gotta believe people.
You gotta believe.