Blogging the IFL Grand Prix Finals

It’s been a busy couple of days in lovely Groton, Connecticut.  Yesterday we spent about twelve hours interviewing fighters for web footage, and it was a journey, to say the least.

We started out with big dreams about the array of topics we’d get the fighters to talk about.  That lasted about ten minutes.  It’s harder than you might think to get starving fighters to talk about anything other than how hungry they are and how much they hate doing interviews and photo shoots all day.

One of my colleagues suggested we get the fighters to talk about whether their fame has made it easier to meet women.  That sounded like a good idea, until Chris Horodecki responded by saying it was the stupidest question he had ever heard.  He might have a point.

By the end of the day we were an interviewing machine.  Ken Shamrock, who is a real pro at turning on the energy when the cameras start rolling, gave us some great stuff about his brother Frank and the rumors of a bout between them.  Jay Hieron had a few choice words for Floyd Mayweather, and Ryan Schultz really came alive talking about how much he wants this title fight with Horodecki.

My favorite interview experience on the day, however, was when we sat down with Tim Kennedy.  This is a guy who has a full-time military career as an Army Ranger, a burgeoning pro fighting career, and he agreed to this fight with Elias Rivera a mere two weeks after his three-round battle with “Mayhem” Miller.  But all that aside, he has a great sense of humor and a great attitude.  He entertained us all with his responses to stock questions (his strengths: good striking and looking great in jeans that are much too tight) and he demonstrated for us his special move: the Spinning Tiger Claw, which involves a Bruce Lee-like eye rake.

“Is that legal?” one of our employees asked, following the demonstration.

“Oh no,” Kennedy responded.  “I just made it up right now.”

Any guy who can be that much fun while dealing with starvation and the pressure of an upcoming pro fight is okay by me.  Even when our promo people tried to get him to look menacing for pictures he couldn’t completely erase the smile from his face.  I say MMA needs more guys like Tim Kennedy.  He’s tough enough to know that he doesn’t need to act like a hard-ass all the time.

After the weigh-in earlier today, one of the fights I’m really looking forward to is Benji Radach and Matt Horwich.  Radach is one of the hardest hitters I’ve ever watched from ringside (right behind Robbie Lawler) and Horwich is a deceptively good submissions artist.  In addition to his ground skills, though, Horwich is also, well, weird.  Not in a bad way, mind you.  He seems totally sincere, but when you talk to him you get the sense that one of you is seeing things that the other is not.

I don’t know who I’d like to see win in that fight tomorrow night, but I’m really excited to watch it.

That’s all for now.  Tomorrow is fight day, which means a lot of nervous anticipation for a lot of people in this hotel.  And if you don’t think it’s totally awkward to see two guys who are going to fight in twelve hours rubbing elbows at the breakfast buffet, think again.  Just one more reason I love this job.


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Filed under Benji Radach, IFL, Matt Horwich, MMA, Sports, Tim Kennedy

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