Published on May 1, 2006 By Sturgee In Misc. Sports
Sorry I've been away so long. Circumstances have conspired against me, and prevented me from being more active here (that's an excuse...I've just been lazy). At least I'm doing better than Greywar...not sure which side of the Earth he fell off of...

Anyway, my wife and I went up to Atlantic City this past weekend. It was a first time for both of us. We didn't really get out of the casino/hotel much, so we are both excited about going back. We stayed at the Trump Taj Mahal, and it was a pretty good time. We did some casino time on Saturday afternoon, and I actually went up a few hundred on the blackjack table (I gave it all back with interest on Sunday....). My wife learned the glory of video poker, and can't wait to get back up there.

But, that wasn't the reason we went up there. For those that don't know, I am a big fan of MMA (mixed martial arts for the uninitiated). Greywar and I share this interest. Unlike Greywar, (who enjoys WATCHING ass-kicking, but has never really done it), I was a competitve Tae Kwon Do fighter for several years. While it was full contact, it was with pads, and was very limited in types of attacks allowed. In other words, it was like diet fighting, and I can't imagine ever getting in the ring with mixed martial arts fighters. Those guys are awesome in their skills. We got to see it first hand.

There is a new league, called the IFL, which stands for the International Fight League. This is a new concept in the fight industry, as it is a team event. The fighters compete one-on-one, the same as traditional fighting. However, there are teams, consisting of 5-6 fighters, and each team will field 5 fighters in a given match against another team. The team that wins the most fights wins the match. It is an interesting format. Another really ground-breaking concept with this league, is the idea of employment. The fighters will all be essentially employees, drawing a salary, getting health benefits, and working for the organization. They will get performance bonuses for ending fights early (KO, TKO, or submission), as well as exciting action. It is an effort to give professional fighters an opportunity to truly be professionals, and not have to have a "day job".

Thanks to a friend who happens to be a VIP guest at the Taj, we were able to obtain front row seats to the event. We both loved the action, and had an opportunity to meet some celebs. Here are some of our pics from the night:

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Here I am with current UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim "The Maine-iac" Sylvia

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Me with Renzo Gracie from the world famous Gracie Jiu-Jitsu family.

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Mrs. Sturgee with "The Specimen" Mark Kerr, who was the subject of the HBO documentary, "The Smashing Machine".

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As usual, where there's an MMA event, you can usually find Fear Factor's Joe Rogan...

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Me with jiu-jitsu champion and King of the Cage commentator, Eddie Bravo.

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And the highlight of my night, meeting "El Guapo", Bas Rutten - fighting legend and Pride Fighting Championships commentator.

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Here's a pic of Jens "Little Evil" Pulver coming out of the ring, after his first round knockout of Cole Escovedo.

Enjoy the pics, and I'll try to write again before too long...

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on May 02, 2006
Great pics! Looks like you guys had a lot of fun!