Today I'm gonna talk about the experience I had attending UFC RIo, an experience that was quite an impressive and emotional one
I had been planning to watch the fights at a barbecue with a bunch of people from GFTeam, but at the last minute my friend Paulo Cesar (black belt from GFTeam who until recently was living with me and my family in Santa Cruz, CA) and his brother Iury Melo were able to get me a ticket to go to the event itself, and I almost didn't believe it was true until I was actually there. Our seats were in the VIP area with free food and drinks for the whole event, watching from above and looking down into the octagon.
The atmosphere of the event was insane. The whole stadium was 100% heart and soul behind the brazilian fighters. You could feel the emotion. Everyone chanting together, waving brazilian flags and cheering on the athletes from their homeland.
I can't imagine what it must have been like to be one of the athletes in this event. For the gringos it must have been an intimidating experience but I was impressed that all of them rose to the challenge despite the disrespectful boos of the crowd that was caught up so much in the emotion of the moment that they forgot the heart that it must have taken for these athletes from other countries to fight in this event. For the Brazilian athletes who won their fights it must have been an unexplainable sensation. Hearing the crowd erupt in support of their champions almost brought a tear to my eye.
I was most happy for Minotauro who throughout his long career had never had a chance to fight in his home country amongst the support of his people. After he won in impressive fashion the first thing he did was speak in portuguese to the brazilians in the crowd and those watching on tv to tell them that though this fight came at a bad time for him and under difficult conditions, he took this fight for them, to represent for them in their homeland. The emotion in the stadium at that moment was tremendous. It was quite an experience and I have to thank a million times Paulo Cesar and Iury Melo for taking me there.
On another note, I'm back to training! My shoulder still isn't 100% but today I went to GFTeam in Meier and trained full out!! I'll still be here another three weeks so that gives me a good amount of time to train hard and improve my game before I go back home to fight the US Nationals!!
Stay tuned and I'll keep you posted!!
Nathan Mendelsohn's American Jiu-Jitsu Player in Brazil Blog, Entry #5: UFC Rio
Mon, 2011-08-29 15:51 — Nathan Mendelsohn