(Photo Credit; Crowd eagerly anticipating Diaz brothers arrival, UFC 100 Fan Expo, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.)
Posted: by T.F.M. Staff / Written: by N. Brooks. March 14, 2013.
Posted: by T.F.M. Staff / Written: by N. Brooks. March 14, 2013.
(Continued from Part 1...) Day 2 of the Fan Expo began at 9am, Nick and Nate Diaz volunteered to appear at TFM’s booth at 10am, so I wanted to make sure I advertised their appearance appropriately. I made a little computer generated sign that stated Nick and Nate Diaz would be appearing at TFM’s booth at 10am. A lineup began to form as early as 9:15am. Because of all the attention this tiny brand (The Fight Mafia) that not many people even heard of had lineups around the corner and was having a better showing than most multi-million dollar brands, I was paid a visit by a UFC Fan Expo administrator. The UFC administrator told me that I can’t have Nick Diaz appear in TFM’s booth because he fought (at the time) for a competing promotion. I kind of took what the Expo administrator had said with a grain of salt and pretty much left it at that. I knew there was no way in hell I was going to decline Nick from his appearance after all he had done for me. I basically said “screw that” and went about my business.
Day 2 was as busy as you could imagine. A reported 30,000 fans came through the Convention Center doors that day and hundreds if not thousands of people wanted to see Nick Diaz (and of course his brother Nate Diaz). And the only spot to see Nick Diaz or the Diaz brothers together was in TFM’s booth. The next four hours proved to be a roller coaster. At 11am the Diaz brothers had yet to show up. At 12-noon the Diaz brothers had yet to show up. Fans were beginning to grow very impatient and some wondered if they would even show up at all. At 1pm, I got a phone call from Cesar Gracie stating he couldn’t get a hold of either Nick or Nate and that they had gone M.I.A. At that time I actually found the situation somewhat humorous and once the fans saw my conversation with Cesar, I would say around 40% of them found the situation humorous as well. My staff and I tried our best to keep everyone calm. One of my friends who was working for me that day had the idea that he would go track down Dan Hardy and see if he could move-up his appearance to give the fans at least one bonafide star to take pictures with and sign autographs. To my astonishment, we found Dan Hardy in the basement of the Convention Center doing an interview and he was more than willing to help calm the patiently waiting crowd. Did I mention how great Dan Hardy is? So we scurried Dan quickly to TFM’s booth, trying to make sure that all who recognized him wouldn’t slow our pace to the booth. As soon as we got there, the crowd instantly lost focus on who was NOT there and rather changed their focus to the fact Dan Hardy WAS there. Shortly after, Sam Stout showed up at TFM’s booth and we finally had control of the crowd. At 2:15pm, both Nick and Nate Diaz showed up at the booth and the crowd couldn’t have been happier! I actually had a hard time making space for everyone. All at the same time, Dan Hardy, Sam Stout, Nate Diaz, and Nick Diaz were signing autographs and taking pictures with fans in TFM’s booth. Did I care the Diaz brothers were over four hours late for their appearance? Hell no! Did the fans care? Not really. Fans who had asked for refunds on Diaz brothers t-shirts, re-bought those same t-shirts. At one point, Nate Diaz himself handed me approximately $160.00. I asked him, “What’s this?” He replied, “I sold a few shirts…” At that moment (among others) I was overcome with appreciation. I was in appreciation of Dan Hardy and Sam Stout, but I was extremely appreciative for both Nick and Nate Diaz (not to mention Cesar Gracie for being so helpful). For the rest of Day 2, both Nick and Nate Diaz stayed for at least 4 hours signing autographs and taking pictures with fans on behalf of my $200 brand. The compensation they requested for doing that for me, approximately $3.00… The price of 3 or 4 bottles of water they drank. The Fight Mafia (TFM) outsold, outshined, and had a better showing at the first ever UFC Fan Expo than 85% of the exhibitors who participated (some of which were multi-million dollar companies). The majority of that accomplishment I have Nick and Nate Diaz to thank for that (not to mention Dan Hardy, Sam Stout, Cesar Gracie and my staff Christine, Kris, Kristin, and Jenna).
So as you can see, I will always be down with DIAZ! I honestly believe Nick Diaz is a person who would give the shirt off his back to a stranger. For me, he practically did. He is one of the world’s top Mixed Martial Artists and on March 16th, 2013, I believe he will be the new UFC Welterweight Champion. This is not a knock against Georges St. Pierre, so please don’t send me hate-mail. I just feel that Nick is the better fighter and is more durable for what most expect this fight to be – a bloodbath. He may not say all the right things nor do all the right things but when push comes to shove, he always brings it. Nick Diaz is a man who has overcome many obstacles to achieve success. I for one relate to most of what Nick Diaz is. It’s a shitty feeling to be villainized just because you won’t back down from anything nor anyone. It’s hard to not lash out and act crazy sometimes when it feels like the world’s “Silver-Spooners” are always laughing at you, and unjustly they are. I recently read an article on MMASucka.com (great website) where the author ended his article by stating, “We laugh at Diaz.” Well I don’t think many people will be laughing come Saturday night when MMA’s “Golden Boy” is in the fight of his life with a volatile warrior like Nick Diaz (again, no hate-mail please). He’s not articulate, you may refer to him as an “uneducated fool,” but he is human and even “The Baddest Man on the Planet” has tipping points. Social anxiety, panic attacks, hyper-tension disorder are all forms of mental illness which is a disease. Cannabis is a common medication for this and many other illnesses. Imagine if other disease sufferers couldn’t take their medication for weeks if not months before they had to go to work? How good of employees would they be? Not to mention Nick’s job entails a trained killer trying to punch his face off. This is just my opinion, I may be right, I may be wrong? However, Nick Diaz speaks my language and I understand him just fine and so do thousands if not millions of others. It’s a demographic of people who make mistakes, take the hard route, but at the same time never give-up no matter how many “Silver-Spooners,” “Golden-Boys,” “Ivy-Leagues,” or “Pedigree-type” people laugh at us or point their fingers at us and say “There’s the Bad-Guy!” To take a quote from the famed movie “Scarface,” “You’ll never see another Bad-Guy like Nick Diaz again…” “So say goodnight to the Bad-Guy!” Nick Diaz – the new UFC Welterweight Champion! He’s not what you think… But then again, f*ck what you think. #209
(Photo Credit; Dan Hardy scurrying to booth to help calm fans, UFC 100 Fan Expo, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.)
(Photo Credit; Fans lined-up around the corner to see Diaz brothers, UFC 100 Fan Expo, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.)
(Photo Credit; Diaz brothers take photo with happy fan, UFC 100 Fan Expo, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.)
(Photo Credit; Nick Diaz posing with young fan, Combat Lifestyle, UFC 100 Fan Expo, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.)