Monday, May 26, 2014

MMAJunkie Radio Gathering 2014: You don't know us, you don't know what we've done

You'd think after going through this three times previously, there would be no way I'd come home speechless. Yet, here I am looking for the words to aptly describe the laughs and joyous memories I've just experienced. Where do I begin? I guess day one, which was Tuesday for me, would be the way to go.

As I sit here typing, my memory instantly flashes to how I felt as I walked the corridor last Tuesday at The Hotel @ Mandalay Bay towards the studio, knowing that in seconds I was going to be back in the mix with my Junkie family old and new. From that point forward the next five days were nothing more than a blur. The hugs from my brothers and sisters that were already there before me brought about the Kool-Aid smile that I would not lose for the rest of the week. People such as Gali from Toronto, Victor from West Virginia, Cupcake Katie from Boston, Bad Mo Jack from Seattle and Buffalo Blue to name but a few.

However, there was also an all-star rookie cast there this year as well. That Tuesday I met Darius from New York, my vote for rookie of the year, along with Dalzino from Australia. 'Man' after seeing how Dalzino can throw down one thing's for sure; I'll never try to drink a brother from down under "under the table." Some other rookie standouts included names such as Jason Lackey, Jeff AKA Huggy Bear, Erika 'The female Keith Hackney', Marco from Waco AKA 'The Waffle Maker', Doncho AKA Mr. Nice Guy and "Fuck the fuckin' Diaz brothers," we got the Sanchez brothers James and Mike.

Hanging with these people and so many others the rest of the week just drinking and laughing would have been more than enough; however, there were also the events. The Michael Jackson 'One' show, Mini-Golf, Guns 'n' Roses and the Bachanal Buffet. There was also the MMA Trivia with no less than 10 fighters in the room including such names as King Mo, Joseph Benavidez, Larenz Larkin, Luke Rockhold, Phil Baroni and the original Junkie Frank Trigg. Phew, are we done yet? Just getting started; this was just through Thursday.

Friday brought the Vegas Fight Tour, the UFC 173 weigh-ins, our own exclusive meet and greet with UFC President Dana White (photo above) and the first ever ICFC Championship @ Inserts Coins between Buffalo Blue and the eventual winner Jacob 'The Gentleman' Dowell. Props to Justin Bernard, Burt Watson and 'Stitch' Duran for their time in making it official. Then of course Saturday was highlighted by UFC 173 @ Diablo's Cantina and the after party gathering at the studio and beyond.

After reading this, one would probably think there wasn't much time for anything else. However, it is during those down times in between that the most laughs and memorable moments occur. Everyone has their own, as what happens in Vegas/stays in Vegas, but here are just a few of my own that most of you may not know about.

Wednesday after checking into our room with Goze and Victoria, it was on. She came strapped with two coolers of various beers and a two-liter bottle of 'Nicaraguan Rum'; thus the reason I was slurring words at mini-golf if anyone was wondering. Thursday afternoon chillin' with my road dawgs DJ Zoo, Ray in ya Face, and Steve AKA Lex Luther in their room groovin' to sounds Zoo was bumpin' on his laptop and Thursday night, the annual party @ Dante's Inferno.

Then there was Friday late night in our room with Goze, Victoria, Blue, 'Spider Rico', Dante and Joe from Odessa. This is where the infamous 'Blue in the closet' and 'Doncho emergency phone call' stories came from; sorry, but you had to be there to get it. There were also all the laughs in between. Anyone that sat near me at the weigh-ins knows what I'm talkin' about with tears literally rolling down my face more than once. I laughed so hard this week; I think the abdominal hernias that I just had repaired came back. :)

To get serious for a moment, before I finish I want to shout out a few people that I feel deserve it in a big way. First up were two guys I had the pleasure of meeting this week, which were Mike from Afghanistan and Big Jim. For two guys who have laid it on the line for us on the front line, these were two of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet. Another Mike who deserves major props is ‘Northern Lights’, the unofficial photographer/videographer of the Junkie Gathering. This brother sacrificed his own good time to capture moments, such as the one in the photo above.

Of course, it wouldn't be right if I wouldn't acknowledge Gorgeous George and Goze, the hosts of this whole thing. Because of you brothers, so many others and I wouldn't even know each other, let alone experience what we have. As for Goze, being his roommate for all of the gatherings, I know the stress this guy puts himself through just for the sake of making everyone happy, including me because he won't tell me shit before it happens. Thank you brothers for being you!

To be able to sum up this past week and this thing of ours in a few words is virtually impossible. Sure adjectives such as great, epic, fun, amazing and memorable all apply, but for some reason, they just don't seem like enough. I always say, "Memories are good, but good memories are great!" So, I guess the most important thing is that this is definitely one of those good memories that are great! My only regret is that it's over; however that said, the anticipation for next year has already begun.

Special shout out to the MMA Trivia Champions, my squad, 'You don't know us, you don't know what we've done!'

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