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5.17.2008

Barnett vows to win by break dancing, Jeff "Teddy Bear" Monson to counter with karatay


Sengoku press conference
Proud For a Chance to be at the Sengoku 2 Press Conference

Unfortunately there is no Sengoku lambrogini

But there is a Sengoku palanquin

Today was a jam packed day of sight seeing both as tourists and as mixed-martial arts enthusiasts. As we left the hotel we thought we had found the Sengoku equivalent of the UFC Hummer...a lambroghini. Only later did we learn that Dan's contract only had provisions for a palanquin, which he took for a test drive.

Monks at pray inside Sensoji Temple
Team Handler started the day by going to Asakusa and visiting the Sensoji Temple on what was apparently a festival day. The temple grounds and surrounding market streets were jam packed with teams carrying portable shrines and playing drums. It was a neat sight to behold as fantastic, gold plated shrines were hoisted or pushed through the streets while supporters chanted and strained to move their sacred items.
Ancient bridge within the Sensoji Temple groundsWe toured the Sensoji Temple, cleansing our hands at the spring of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. We placed an offering of incense, too. We then wandered the small shops surrounding the temple. I picked myself up some super comfortable tabi. At about 1100 we headed back toward the hotel so Dan could finish dropping weight.

Joker cleanses his hands in anticipation of May 18

Dirk and Dan in front of a (big) pagoda

Joker makes an offering


The Handler Sandwich Special

Despite the hotel not allowing people with tattoos in their sauna, Dan prevailed through a combination of a sweat suit, jump rope, and hot water. Weigh-ins were interesting, the super heavies strolled onto the scale, while the the lighter fighters were stripped to their skivvies and less (I saw a whole lot more Kevin Randleman than I wanted to see). Dan made the 76 kg weight class at 75 kg and change. His opponent, Mike Pyle, did not weighing 76.25 kg even after stripping to his birthday suit. Pyle was the only fighter not to make weight. He goes into tomorrow's fight with a 1 point deduction and a pay cut on his purse. Immediately after weigh-ins the Handler did his thing on a peanut butter and jelly bagel and we then trooped out to Queen Isetan for more binging...er...strategic refueling. Despite not cutting weight I participated in this exercise as only a good team mate should.
The Teddy BearAt 1400 the Sengoku press conference was held to present the fighters. I had flashback to Bloodsport as a disturbing techno mix was used to introduce the fighters. This was followed by the most idiotic reporter Q & A ever. Reporters from various hardcopy and virtualcopy sports publications asked a series of the most ill-prepared, poorly researched, and just plain stupid questions ever:
"Kevin Randleman in an interview you said you were afraid to fight" "Afraid to fight, I love to fight, did you write that about me?" The reporter nearly fainted.
"[Fighter X] what is your game plan?" To which Josh Barnett eloquently ripped said reporter a figuratively new excretory orifice.
"[Fighter X] what have you been training" The results of which became paraphrased in the title after Monson and Barnett were asked this question

Mssrs. Barnett, Monson, and Randleman are gentlemen with keen wits, much to the detriment of the media present.

Josh Barnett, Erik Paulson, and Stitch

Hornbuckle v. Pyle

Gracie v. Kondo
I have no idea why all of the largest fighters are looking at me like I said I had carnal knowledge of their mothers (which I absolutely, positively have never done). These guys are intimidating enough individually let alone when measured in tonnage.

What did I say?
I got a chance to get a picture with two of my combat sports heros, Stitch (on the left), and Erik Paulson (on the right). Stitch is the best cut man and corner in the business period. Erik Paulson in hands down one of the icons of MMA not only as a fighter but a coach. Maybe some of their knowledge and experience will diffuse...
Between two of the greatest fighting minds today

Dan finds an exhibit about himself at the Tokyo-Edo museum

After the press conference we toured the Edo-Tokyo museum. This museum documents the engineering and cultural history of the grand city that would become Tokyo, we came across this plaque describing the tea ceremony. The city of Edo was filled with high-ranking warriors, then, just as the city of Tokyo is filled with high-ranking warriors, now.

A look into a Japanese rowhouse

Kabuki theatre

The Handler trains to pick-up an old school fight purse

Joker uses the implements of an Edo era corner man

The Handler trains to pick-up an old school fight purse

Joker uses the implements of an Edo era corner man

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Pictures are awesome! Sounds like a pretty sweet experience. What's it like being the biggest guys in Japan? I can see you running up to someone trying to get them to take a picture and them running away! Good luck out there!

Best,
Kelly