UFC 79: Weigh-in hijinx
Just got back from the UFC 79 weigh-ins. Most importantly, all the fighters made weight. Here are some other interesting things I noticed throughout the day:
- The Chuck Liddell-Wanderlei Silva fight is clearly the fight everyone is here to see. The weigh-in crowd stood when the two fighters were introduced and cheered loudly. Liddell received the largest ovation of the weigh-ins, but Silva got his share of cheers as well. While the betting line is close for this fight, Liddell appears to be the heavy sentimental favorite.
- When Liddell and Silva posed after weighing in, Silva was very intense and seemed agitated by something Liddell did or said because he had to be held back as Liddell walked away. Was it just one last attempt to sell the fight or is there some real bad blood between the two? Both fighters are confident going into the fight, but I hadn't heard anything to indicate there was some sort of deep hatred between the two.
- In the interim welterweight title match, Matt Hughes drew loud boos from the crowd. Georges St. Pierre is the fan favorite in this match. GSP and Hughes shook hands after the weigh-ins and appear to deeply respect each other even as they prepare to go to battle for a third time.
- Fans love their UFC. I would say the seats were 90 percent full for the weigh-ins and earlier in the afternoon there was a fairly long line for an autograph signing session by Tim Sylvia, Quinton Jackson and Mac Danzig.
- It's not unusual to see fighters and their camps walking around and eating in Mandalay Bay. It's that sort of fan-friendly approach by the UFC and its fighters that has helped the promotion and the sport grow.