In London ONT with “The Count”


picture-346This past weekend, I had the opportunity to jet down to London Ontario and hang out with U.K’s own Michael “The Count” Bisping. It was quite an adventure to London let me tell you.

I spent the week before watching fight footage of Bisping, reading articles and I made sure I watched his most recent fight with Chris Leben (which I for sure I thought he would win).

I’ll be honest, I’m not much of a Bisping fan, not because I don’t like the guy, just because I was never one to really enjoy watching middleweight, light heavy, or heavy weight bouts. I find them usually slow unless someone gets a knock out but even then the light weights and welter weights are a lot more exciting to watch. So I really had to do my homework.

The drive to London wasn’t that bad, it wasn’t to cold but it was a damp ride down there. I got there, pretty tired because I stayed up until three or four in the morning the night before getting my things ready, and printing up my weekend artinary (which I was pretty proud of). It included all the stops I had to make in London, the people I needed to interview, the questions I wanted to ask, and sort of an idea of what I wanted to video tape.

I reserved a room at the Delta Armouries which is apparently one of the best hotels in London, and let me say it was. It was really beautiful and cozy inside. When you pull up to the hotel the outside looks like an old school castle, then you walk in and its just amazing. The rooms were very spacious and the bed was quite comfortable not to mention I slept with a good number of pillows for my neck!

I unpacked somethings, and then freshened up and got ready to attend a VIP party with Bisping and the promoters to get to know the people I would be working with. The club “Up on Carling” was only about a five minute walk from the hotel.

Upon arriving like everyone else I passed over my ID to this 6’5 bouncer, who was balding. He took one look at my “horrible” drivers licence picture and then looked at me, then again at the picture and said “do you have anything else” SO like I do everytime in these situations I whipped out my birth certificate that is a “LEGAL” document that will verify my age. He looked at me and said “I can’t take this do you have a credit card.”

 I could feel my blood boil, and I gritted my teeth and said “no, I don’t, I’m not going to carry my credit card with me when I’m walking the streets of apicture-531 town that I’m unfamiliar with.”

He told me he was sorry but he couldn’t give me back my ID because he felt it was fake and wasn’t me, about 5 or 6 other people looked at my ID and some shared his opinion others probably thought the bouncer was high! One drunkin idiot asked me how I can say that licence is mine when the picture doesn’t even look like me and I snapped back at him saying “it is me…” but I was pretty rude in the way I answered. But at that point I was quite irritated.

Ryan Thompson from Octagon Fan and Fight ware tried talking to the manager about his “tool” door person, and the manager simply said that he can’t over rule the bouncer’s decision. SO not really thinking I could call the police and they can 100% verify my age, I went back to the hotel and grabbed literally every piece of id with my name on it and gave him all of it back at the club. He gave me my ID back and I got in (FINALLY).

I just want to say anyone… who isn’t dressed like a “club whore” be fully warned you wont get in unless you pay off the bouncers (which usually people do) OR be warned you must be dressed with the least amount of clothing because the girls that looked younger then me were dressed like that and the bouncers didn’t even blink an eye.

UP ON CARLING ISN’T THE CLUB YOU WANT TO BE AT IN LONDON ONTARIO I GIVE IT A -100 FOR SURE!

Moving on… once I got in there, I met up with Ryan and everyone else in the VIP section we were in. The count was there with his fiancé enjoying a few Coors light beers, looking on the tired side. I was introduced to Bisping, and some of the guys I will be working with this weekend, they were all a pleasure to meet. I also met TKO’s Chris Clements, who is apparently the number one contender for the welter weight title. AND for those of you who don’t know Chris Clements holds maybe the fastest knock out in MMA (26 seconds)!

Around one, I decided to head back to the hotel, I was pretty beat getting no sleep the night before really and then rushing around getting everything ready, going to the gym doing a pretty decent work out then driving to London and then sitting in the hotel for a bit and then off to the club…. It was pretty crazy…

So I snuggled into my cozy bed with my billion pillows and went to sleep.

*MMA Seminar in London Ontario*

The next morning, was the Seminar I got there at around 10am, and there were already participants there getting on their gear and getting ready to train. A lot of them looked like they are new to the MMA scene so I figured it would be a lot of basic stuff (which I didn’t mind). Octagon Fan and Fight ware left a pair of black and white sprawl shorts for me at the front table for when I get there. I mentioned to Ryan at the club that I had forgotten my shorts and he said he had a nice pair waiting for me. I really appreciated the shorts and for him and the other people running it to allow me to do the seminar. I really only did some of the grappling, the rest of the time I was watching and working.

**Christina Sears 1 on 1 with Bisping**

While everyone was training, I had a chance to talk to Ryan about Octagon Fan and fight ware, and also API. API is like Crossfit only a bit different, and they are opening up a gym in London. The guys running that are pretty cool too. I also met the folks who own Redemption Fight ware, they are really great people who just have a passion for the sport and are trying to make a name for themselves.

After the Seminar, I killed some time at the mall before heading out to the Boston Pizza in Woodstock. I almost had a problem getting in there too; the guy at the door was kind of arrogant. I had mentioned that Court told me to ask for him at the door and he’s like “well I’m with Court, what’s it for” and I said “I’m taking pictures for MMA Canada” and he didn’t seem to believe me. Which was fine I’m sure Court wasn’t to far, he finally stopped hassling me and let me in, I grabbed a seat and was starving so I ordered an app and 2 pounds of wings. Not really a fan of Boston Pizza food but I was starving, so hungry in fact I ended up getting dessert at the end. Court is a great guy, very down to earth I hope to attend a lot of his fight nights at that location, and its only an hour or so away so anyone who wants to meet some fighters, it’s a good place to go and they usually have some great guys there.

I wasn’t impressed with the Lesnar Couture fight, I know everyone is commenting on how amazing Lesnar was, but quite frankly he won because he’s a pretty huge dude. He cuts to 265… and Randy weighed in at natural weight which was 220….. NOW by the time Lesnar gets in that cage he weight a hell of a lot more then 265, I mean I wouldn’t want to get in there with a dude that big. I think randy held is own stuffing the take downs, and when he hit him he connected well… but unfortunately he just got grazed by a punch and ended up on the losing end of that bout. Regardless I don’t think the fight between them should have happened like I’ve said before TECHNICALLY it should have been Nog who should have face couture!

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~ by Christina Sears on November 16, 2008.

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