This past weekend had been anticipated since May - UFC 88 in Atlanta, Phillips Arena - the fight - Liddell vs. Evans.
The adventure began on Saturday morning as a motley crue headed down to Atlanta. The trip down consisted of a gas station stop, that was the first of many sugar overloads that would occur in less than twenty-four hours, fight predictions being discussed and the need for Krystal Burger. Having missed the exit to Krystal a much needed stop was made to the Golden Arches, I think I heard the Hallelujah Chorus singing out as the bags of purchases were opened and consumed. Quarter pounders with cheese, fries, chicken strips, cheeseburgers and a caramel sundae were all eaten as though it were fine dining.
The music selection was random as stories of childhood memories, adult occurrences, G-Man and the knowledge that Joe Burke's name fits in any song's lyrics perfectly were shared. (You should try it, it really does work!)
As we proceeded on our trek to the fight, our next stop would be the hotel. Dear God! Thank goodness we were only there to crash for the night not a good choice for an extended stay, but one perk was that there was continental breakfast, which ended at 8 or 9. The other perk was that the hotel was conventiently located by a gas station that sold $2 40 oz. Miller Lite. The beds were tested out for "spring-abilility" by jumping on them. The five of us re-loaded, re-couped and returned to the xterra to continue the journey to Phillips Arena and to get a peek at Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell and whoever else we could see.
The trip was an eventful one as we got lost in Atlanta, but who doesn't, the roads are always under construction, detours and lanes that are too small. DON'T DRIVE A WINNEBAGO THROUGH ATLANTA! Thanks to GPS we got back on track. We finally arrived, Hallelujah Chorus, again I swear! We were uncertain where the arena was so we just decided to follow all the other people wearing Tapout, Throwdown, Fairtex, Affliction and any other fight tee shirt.
There were a sea of tattooes, Chuck-style mohawks, scantilly clad women, beer guts, MULLETS, and a plethera of bad hair and no teeth. YES WE HAVE STEPPED BACK INTO THE DAY OF WRASTLING, I KNOW IS WRESTLING BUT IF YOU ARE FROM THE SOUTH, IT'S WRASTLING! UFC fans are crazy and that's an understatement.
Upon arrival, we decide that we are starving. Golden Buddha, a Thai restuarant, is spotted. (I swear two people on the trip should have slanted eyes and sprout wings, but they shall remain nameless.) Apparently as we are seated, the five of us became either transparent or invisible as we could not get serviced. We exited the Golden Buddha disgruntled, sadly without any food in our bellies which is not good especially for me. Next stop some Mexican restuarant where we just strolled our way right through, from the back and guess what, NO SEATS! We finally settled on Chick-fil-a which I ate in two bites while sitting on the floor straight out of the bags. I think that was probably the best food we have ever eaten, sitting on the floor.
Time to line up for entrance into, Hallelujah chorus again, the arena, almost fight time, woohoo. 18000 seats all sold! We even watched the undercard fights. Just so you all know the blood on the mats at the UFC fights that you pay-per-view at home, come from the undercard fights not the main events.
Time was fastly approaching for the Main Event. As we took our seats, lo and behold, an action sized Chuck Liddell sat in front of us. I don't think I can convey appropriately how much this guy looked like a pint-sized Iceman. Mini Chuck as he was loving nicknamed by all of us, had the chuck hawk, the Iceman teeshirt and the yell and poking out of the chest down to a science. He is probably Chuck's biggest fan. We all laughed at and with Mini Chuck as he provided us free entertainment all night long.
Finally, after much anticipation the Main Event, the last Hallelujah Chorus! Round one of the Liddell/Evans fight was pretty low key. But in the second round and much to our shock and amazement, Evans knocked Chuck out. COLD! The arena went completely silent.
It only left me wondering one thing...what would become of Mini Chuck?
Now you have to realize that food consumption had not occurred again for about 7 hours, a gas station was very appetizing! Ice cream, reeses pieces, poppycock, and pretzel combos were on the menu for the late night dinner buffet. I ate so much sugar that I went into crash mode and fell asleep so hard that I woke up at 9:30 which is unheard of. For those who know me, the consumption of that type food is not something that I do, EVER. Disbelief was on the face of those around me!
The next morning, we all decide that we are starving literally to death, and hit up Cracker Barrel, which was delicious and odd being surrounded by over-all wearing people, who are shocked and amused by the way that we look. The waitresses are staring in the direction of the table and come over to ask if the guys fight for the UFC. We all had a great laugh and filed our bellies. The store out front as you all know is filled to overflowing with candy and games and other stuff that impulse buyers crave. Travel Bingo was purchsed and played on the way home as well as Big League Chew, which resulted in bubbles the size of the guys faces being blown.
A great time was had by all, with discussions of attending the next fight that is near by.
My only question, what will become of Mini Chuck?