The last time I was this close to a ring was 30 years ago when Andre The Giant was tossed over the ropes and landed on a ringside folding table where I was seated.
I lived to tell the story.
As we know, Andre is dead and so is my interest in fake wrestling while growing up in Columbus, Ohio.
Back then, I liked the drama, the action and blood — real and fake.
Tonight, I’m being introduced to my first live mixed martial arts event, and what better way to start than with a major card in the Ultimate Fighting Championships at the MGM Grand Garden.
This is my "quadruple crown" of sports reporting from the MGM. I helped cover a Mike Tyson fight in 1999, covered several Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association events and Supercross motorcycle races.
My expertise — so I claim — is in motor sports, rodeo and bowling.
So don’t expect any in-depth critique of talent or tactics, that’s what my co-worker at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Adam Hill, will provide at lvrj.com
The best part so far is that I’m within 10 feet of the ring girls. I hope I get to meet their mothers or grandmothers. …
On to the fights …
BOUT 1 — Welterweight: Matt Arroyo of Hackensack, N.J., vs. Dan Cramer of Bethel, Conn.
It’s not even 5 p.m. and the arena is nearly full. The crowd booed in the second round due to a lack of action.
With about four minutes left in the third round, Cramer got Arroyo with a ground-and-pound before the ref stood the fighters up at 1:10.
Cramer wins a split decision in his first UFC fight, while Arroyo fell to 1-2.
Up next: Hungary’s Christian Willisch and Jake O’Brien of Indianapolis in a light heavyweight fight.