Battle "Bruce Buffer" Fields
Tonight was the amateur MMA fight card I was meant to appear on but due to a rib injury I received two weeks ago, I had to pull out. If you are a sadist and/ or really want to read about me being hurt because you have something against me personally, check out my training log to find out the details of this injury and the devastation I felt from having to pull the plug on something to which I had been so dedicated. I'd also suggest seeing a psychiatrist or something, 'cause that **** is fucked up, I'm a dude on the Internet, why you hating so bad? Some of you may be aware of the sacrifices I made for this program, the daily circuits, sparring and strict dietary habits. Never before have I been so disciplined.
But this thread isn't about that part of the experience. This is about something else.
Despite being injured, I still went to training every day. I was there to support the team, I was there to help out where I could and although I couldn't work out with them physically, I hoped I was there for them mentally. They were my team mates, I had bled and sweated with them through some gruelling workouts and punishing sparring sessions, we had bonded and there was no way I could in good conscience not be there for them. Every night I watched from the sidelines, listening to coach and offering my limited advice where I could. Often I would just provide a sounding board, or a calming tone when I saw frustration that wasn't going to help come fight night.
It allowed me the chance to indulge in my hobby of filming the fight game, doco style, behind the scenes in my own gym, something I had been neglecting since the hard core training had intensified. I was able to film the final sessions, the motivation speeches, the coaches adamant demands of the fighters. I began to prepare all my recording devices for the night, hoping to be a part of it, if only to record everything for my team mates.
I arrived several hours early, did several errands to make sure the show ran smoothly then began to mentally map out my camera positions; when, where and how I could use them all to make as professional a piece as I could being one man with three cameras and no special platform from which to film. Then coach threw a bit of a curveball.
"Hey, just wondering what you'd think about MCing the show? Nothing major, just introducing the fighters and things like that."
Now, I've MC'd before, I hosted my sisters wedding and I was front man for a few bands, but I hadn't touched a mic outside of a studio for nearly five years. And when I was on the mic, I had "assistance" from my friends, Mr. Al Cohol and Dr. Ugs. It was an hour before start time and I was now hosting an event with hundreds of people in attendance, many that I didn't know. At least I was well known at my sisters wedding. ****, even the bands I fronted only ever played in venues that were lucky to crack the triple digit mark, at absolute best I think I performed in front of 120 people, mostly friends and friends of friends. As the time for the start of the event neared, I started to wish I was fighting. At least they only had to be centre stage for 3x3.
In order to gain some sort of control of the situation, considering it felt like I'd been thrown in the deep end, I liaised with the ref, the DJ and even the timekeeper. I knew some of the judges, having trained with them and also knew some of the opposing teams fighters and coaches. Again, to gain some control I made sure to ask the proper pronunciation of the fighters names. Small things, but in the long run I figured if I was confident I knew what I was saying, I'd be good. I already started to feel better about the role.
I was asked to inform the crowd that there was fifteen minutes to start time and suddenly I was reminded of a school play in which I had one line. It was an odd thing to remember. I began rehearsing the welcome speech I would say after telling them of the estimated start time, but I discarded it as I seemed to be muddling up my words. **** it, I thought, just wing the whole night.
"LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, FIGHTS WILL BEGIN IN FIFTEEN MINUTES."
That felt good. I began to improvise, informing the crowd of certain requirements for the evening, including keeping a path free for the fighter entrances. It was all coming together.
I'm not sure of the exact moment of the realisation, but suddenly it dawned on me that I had seen and heard fight announcers thousands of times before, live and on TV. I knew what needed to be done and said, hell, I'd been preparing for this for years, I just didn't know it. This was going to be fucking fun. I went from standing to the side and having people wonder whose voice was booming through the PA, to centre stage, adding a bit of battlefields flavour to the mix, careful not to take the limelight from the fighters, but ensuring I was heard and seen.
I introduced the night, the fighters, a charity fundraiser who shaved her head in front of everyone before she goes into chemo next week and had the crowd cheering when I said she looked beautiful with a shaved head; I had the crowd making "some noise" on command "in this third and final round", announced the winners of the fights (which was, when my team mates lost, the hardest part of the job) and wrapped it up nicely by thanking everyone for coming out.
Throughout it all I still managed to film every fight. Fucking multitasking, yo.
I had people coming up to me afterwards saying I am "a natural" and did "a great job". I was pleased.
At least I know if I suck at fighting I can still pursue a career in the cage.