Underground Blogger DeLeon DeMicoli reflects on the end of Strikeforce. deleon demicoli writes and trains in San Francisco, CA. He is currently writing a novel on Mixed Martial Arts.
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I’m sad to see Strikeforce go. Being from the Bay Area I had the opportunity to attend several live events at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA. Tickets were inexpensive, even floor-seats. Getting to the venue early was essential to meet fighters like Randy Couture outside of the arena, Royce Gracie by the concession stands, and Uriah Faber and Bas Rutten down by the cage, as well as several others. Besides that, nothing was more fulfilling than hanging out with like-minded individuals that were just as excited as I was to see Gilbert Melendez unify the lightweight championship belt after defeating Josh Thomson, Fedor tapping when Werdum trapped him. in a triangle choke or the sheer fear of hearing Cung Le’s kicks snap into Scott Smith’s midsection.
Seeing these events live brought an appreciation for the sport that went well beyond fandom. I began training and competing as a result, read books on the history of the sport and attended expos. I was immersed; still am. I look at it like this: when I was younger and my friend, Shawn, and I went to see a Tribe Called Quest in concert. We were huge fans, knew every lyric from Midnight Marauders to Beats, Rhymes & Life. We rap’d with them when they came out on stage, mimicked how they moved and danced with other fans. That concert alone inspired Shawn to practice his rhyming and start a group, The Starving Artist Crew, and later release an album, Up Pops the SAC, as well as a solo project.
Thinking back, if we never attended that concert, who knows if Shawn would’ve ever picked up the mic and made a go at it, giving him the opportunity to perform on stage all over the world. I guess what I’m trying to say is there’s a big difference when experiencing an artist perform his or her craft on TV and radio and seeing an artist perform live. There’s energy, an excitement that simply cannot be seized from the comfort of your couch or in the soft leather seats of your ride. Knowing the people at the event feel the same way you do, for the most part, brings a tantalizing sensation and energy high that cannot be duplicated no matter how many Red Bulls you drink in a row. There’s no feeling like it. And that’s what I’ll miss most about Strikeforce. They have a warm spot in my heart since, after all, it was the first and last live event I attended.
What Strikeforce memories do you have?
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