When a UFC comes to a major market, there are sometimes extra events for the fans beyond just the weigh-in and fight night itself. Obviously, the open workouts are an example, but because this is the UFC’s first real foray into the Big Apple, there are meet-and-greets and “fan experiences” thrown into the mix, and they’re staggered so there’s something for the fans every day of fight week.
Last night the menu offered up a meet-and-greet in Union Square, so I headed down there after the media day.
Unfortunately, Union Square is New York City’s nexus of all things to do with politics and unhappy people, and since there were a lot of unhappy people after it was determined that Donald Trump was to be our next president…
Ten thousand people screaming that they hated Trump meant the poor girl offering up a chance to win free UFC tickets wasn’t going to be heard – no matter how big the UFC letters were she was standing in front of.
(At least she didn’t get tear gassed, am I right?)
The fan experience set up in Midtown today was far more subdued – empty even, since very few investment bankers and lawyers (who inhibit the area during the day) care less about hitting a punching machine than they do about getting a good steak for lunch. Again, at least the ladies working this particular event didn’t get tear gassed.
The UFC has been shelling out the dough for a billboard in Times Square for years, but it is especially poignant that they have one there this weekend. Note: there were quite a few other people taking pics of it.
Next stop on the journey was the press conference at Madison Square Garden. There were, of course, a couple thousand fans waiting to get in, but what really spoke volumes was the press entrance. Never before have I seen so many media members keen on covering a UFC.
What do you think that bodes for Saturday night?