Last week I returned from New York were I had been for one week on holiday with my wife to watch UFC 111 at Newark New Jersey. Whilst in New York we were staying at the Hotel Pennsylvania which for the price we paid was a fantastic hotel in a fantastic location, we even managed to blag a free upgrade to the Penn 5000 suite. Which usually costs anywhere from $50 to $100 per night. The hotel was across the road from Madison Square Garden and New York Penn Station which was excellent has we had to use this train station to get to Newark New Jersey to watch UFC 111.
The main reason we traveled over from the UK to watch UFC 111 was to support our fellow brit Dan Hardy, he is the first brit to ever compete for a UFC belt. Me and my wife are huge UFC fans so we had to be there. We got the impression that not many Americans like him, because these fans thinks he likes to run his mouth off. He does, but so does Frank Mir and most Americans love him to pieces, I just don't get this, this is the same man who said he wants Brock Lesnar to die in the ring of Octogan related injuries. How do you love a guy like that it baffles me.
On the Wednesday before UFC 111, we went to the Radio City music
hall to witness the press conference, what a fantastic turn out. I'm a UFC fight club member and I still had to queue up for over 45 minutes. Once inside, we watched the UFC primetime shows whilst waiting for the fighters and Dana White the UFC President to come out to answer questions from the media and fans. Overall it was fantastic except for a couple of guys who booed Dan Hardy every time he got to the microphone so loud that almost everyone around could not hear what he was saying. In the end these guys went quite, when they quickly realized that the real fans of the sport wanted to hear what Dan had to say.
Friday was the day of the weigh in's for UFC 111 at the event location the Prudential Center in Newark New Jersey. This was one thing that was worrying me a little, how easy was it going to be to get to New Jersey from New York. It was so easy, all we had to do was leave our hotel, cross the road and jump on the train to New jersey. Which we waited about five minutes for, it cost us 7 dollars each for a round trip. Once we landed at Newark Penn Station it was about a ten minute walk to the stadium.
Once we arrived at the Prudential Center, first thing we did was go to the box office to collect out UFC 111 tickets. This was so quick and easy, there wasn't one person in the queue. These people
were in the queue for the weigh in's. Again as a fight club member you get priority at the queues, but the queue was massive and it took us well over an hour before we got into the stadium.
Once we were in, we got seated and watched the UFC 111 countdown show whilst we waited for Matt Serra to come out for the Questions and Answers part, after that the fighters came out to be weighed. When it was time for the main event, Georges St-Pierre or GSP as he is more widely know. A French Canadian fighter who Dan Hardy was fighting for the UFC Welterweight Belt, got the biggest cheers of the day. Guess who got the biggest boo's you guessed it the Brit Dan Hardy. Dan came out with red contact lenses in his eyes with a t shirt that said I hate Dan Hardy. He looked really up for the fight, but he always does. The weigh's in were fantastic and it looked like we were going to be in for a good night of fights.
The next day, Saturday March 27th it was UFC 111 event day. The first fight was penciled in to start at 7.15 pm. So we caught the 6pm train to Newark New Jersey. The train was full, luckily my wife got a seat but I had to stand up all the way there. Which wasn't too bad because its only a 15 to 20 minute train ride. We arrived at the stadium at around 6.30pm and got in just in time to watch the first fight. I always like to watch the undercard fights because you pay good money for your tickets, so why not get as much value for money out of them as you can.
After the undercard fights it was time for the Frank Mir and Shane Carwin fight, I had feeling this fight was going to end fast and it did. Shane Carwin, finished off Frank in the first round, which I was extremely pleased about.
After this fight it was time for the main event GSP vs Dan Hardy. Because Dan was the challenger he came out first to a barrage of boo's which was to be expected the guy is British after all. To be honest I wasn't that confident of Dan winning the fight, but I didn't want the fight to be 5 rounds of boring lay n pray, which GSP is renowned for. The first round started and within seconds Dan was on his back, he survived the round and managed to roll out of an armbar which looked nasty. The next four rounds to be honest were a blur, Dan was on his back doing nothing and GSP was trying for submissions and doing some weak ground and pound which wasn't that successive. GSP is fantastic at holding guys down, because of his superior wrestling skills. But he's not finishing guys like the old GSP use to, since the Serra loss he's seems to be playing it safe and going for the win without taking risks. If he wants to cement his legacy like he has stated many times, he needs to start mixing it up a bit like the other great fighters Anderson Silva and BJ Penn do.
Overall we had a fantastic time at UFC 111 and it was worth every penny. Did we enjoy it has much as we did at UFC 100 at Las Vegas, no we didn't but in Vegas we had the weather, the fan expo and a swimming pool were we could relax in each day.