Friday Night: Revolution Fight Club at Gusman Center
December 19, 2008
Gusman Center for the Performing Arts
Better Than: Who knows?
Forgive me, but I don't have any photos of Friday night's Revolution Fight Club. No, I didn't lose my camera. And no, it didn't break. And I wasn't shirking my assignment, either. I don't have a snap because right after I bent down to shoot, some man in a lilac shirt grabbed me by the scruff of my collar, yanked me to my feet, and kicked me off the Olympia Theater stage.
And you know what? I still have no idea why he did it.
Here's how it went down:
I hit Revolution Fight Club fully expecting some good, dirty-clean fun. Sure I had reservations about the organization choosing to use the ornate Olympia as a makeshift sandlot, and, yes, now that EliteXC has shuttered its doors, I'm a little weary over all the various strains of MMA competing to make their name the name in the sport. But I'm willing to give cage-fighting a chance to find its place in the wild world. After all, professional boxing wasn't built in a day.
So like I said, I went looking for some fun: a little bit of bloodshed and a whole lotta black-and-blue. I don't hit events to knock 'em; hell, if I don't dig something, I just don't go. I certainly don't pitch an editor, secure credentials, and then endeavor to write it all down.
I got to the theater during the first round of the second fight. Josh Walton had Allton Barbosa on his back and was trying to twist him into a pretzel. The fighters happen to be near the front of the cage, so I immediately rushed onstage, bent down cage-side, and tried to start snapping.
That's when I got scruffed.
"Get the fuck out of here!" said the man in lilac.
"What? I'm press!" I replied.
"You're not press! I know who you are!"
Do you? Well, clue me in, because apparently I don't. I guess those credentials I had wrapped around my neck were forgeries. And the dozen of articles I wrote over the past six or seven days were just a figment of my wicked imagination. Come to think of it, maybe that really wasn't me who interviewed Mickey Rourke on Tuesday, Cheech and Chong on Thursday, and wrote about David Byrne right here just last week. Could it be that all of those bylines of mine are a mirage? If so, I'd like to know. 'Cause I've really been fooling myself.
Listen, Mr. Lilac. I don't know who you are or why you think I'm not who I am. But I can assure you that I am indeed press. I'm a lot of other things too, not all of them good, but first and foremost I'm a journalist. I byline for a living. Just ask any one of my 10 editors. Or any number of the who-knows-how-many who regularly read me.
Furthermore, if I've done something to you or your organization, let me know and I'll undo it. I'm a big boy, and I always face the consequences of my actions. I'm also really good at making amends. There was no need for you to have me summarily tossed from the stage. All you had to do was say something; I would've gladly moved along. I might have asked you why. And I might have even dispelled the notion you have about me not being who I am. But in the end, I would have honored your request.
So sorry, folks, I don't have the lowdown on Friday night's Revolution Fight Club. Too bad, too, because the sport could really use all the good words it can get. Hey, I was willing to spill 'em. And I was willing to spread 'em. Unfortunately someone else had other plans for me.
You can bet I won't be nearly as eager next time.
Personal Bias: I'm not too keen on being manhandled, even by the women in my life.
Random Detail: Unfortunately for the fighters, and the crowd, the Olympia was only about two-thirds full -- and half-silent. Cage-fighting needs the noise of a full house to really make it rumble.
By the Way: Revolution Fight Club returns to Gusman on February 20, 2009. Go ahead and check it out if you want. Me? I'm pretty sure I have other plans that night.
-- John Hood