Las Vegas & UFC International Fight Week Face off in the Octagon
By Andre’ Haynes
Endeavor Media Group
Last weekend was one big adrenaline rush. UFC International Fight Week may have attracted more tourists and locals then July 4th did. For the second time the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino hosted the UFC Fan Expo inside the convention center and UFC 148 was fought at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. MGM Resorts International owns both properties and they have hosted several UFC fights including UFC 146, 143, 141, 137, 179, 130, 126, 125 and the list goes on. The UFC Fan Expo featured Grace Jiu-Jitsu seminars taught by World-renowned instructor and MMA fighter, Ralek Gracie; a grappling tournament in conjunction with Grapplers Quest, informative and interactive training and development sessions with UFC fighters and coaches, a UFC Gym Challenge, and Q&A sessions with Bruce Buffer, Randy Couture, Jon Anik, Joe Rogan, Mike Goldberg, Ronda Rousey and the Tito Ortiz Hall of Fame Induction. The UFC fans dominated both casinos as valet was full, parking was non-existent, restaurants were filled to capacity, retail stores were rushing to restock inventory and the hallways were packed with men, women, boys and girls. No matter what anybody says the UFC definitely contributed to the Las Vegas economy including tourism, gaming and retail and fight junkies in desperate need of a fix got a pure dose of MMA at its best compliments of UFC.
I entered the UFC Fan Expo early and it was already packed with fighters, models and vendors. You’d think that I ate a hearty breakfast and took vitamins considering that I planned to battle UFC fans today but I did not. Thank God that the Xyience booth was located near the entrance that I entered. I darted right over to the Xyience booth and started downing free drinks to help boost my energy level. While pounding back energy drinks I almost choked to death because the beautiful Amber Nichole and Amanda Corey walked right past me into the Xyience booth. If these are the type of ladies who MMA fighters are privileged enough to hang around or train inside the same gym with then sign me up because a few punches to the dome don’t sound so bad. Several fighters were scheduled to sign autographs and meet fans at the Xyience booth including Dan Hardy, Frank Mir, Mike Escamilla, Krzysztof Soszynsk, Jon Jones, Anthony Pettis, Sam Stout, and Matt Serra.
Fans brought their digital cameras and camcorders to capture their favorite fighters at the UFC sponsored autograph sessions featuring: Alan Belcher, Amir Sadollah, Arianny Celeste, BJ Penn, Brittney Palmer, Carlos Condit, Chan Sung Jung, Chrissy Hubbard, Chuck Liddell, Clay Guida, Daniel Carmier, Dominick Cruz, Donald Cerrone,Frank Mir, Roy Nelson, Gilbert Melendez, Jake Ellenberger, Johny Hendricks, Jon Anik, Jon Dodson, Joseph Benavidez, Junior Dos Santos, Kenda Perez, Matt Serra, Mike Pyle, Pat Barry, Rashad Evans, Ronda Rousey, Rory MacDonald, Shane Carwin,Stephan Bonnar, Vanessa Hanson and Wanderlei Silva.
The UFC Fan Expo made good use of all the convention floor space provided to them. Everything that made the UFC and MMA what they are today was well represented including vendors mouth guards, promoting face masks, apparel, gloves, punching bags, food and beverage, supplements, media (television, radio, magazines, and blogs), ring girls, models, cell. phone cases, vitamins, gym equipment, coaches and trainers, shoes, tanning salons and products and much more. Vendors came from far and near to promote their products and services. I had the privilege of meeting some energetic and exciting vendors including Dr. Adam Persky from Fight Dentist (www.fightdentist.com), Aslim and Natalia from Vitazen (www.myvitazen.com), Dean from Head Case (www.mmacases.com), Ski from Impact Syndicate (www.impactsyndicate.com), Casey from Elevation (www.trainingmask.com) and Selena from Haute Chix (www.hautechixfashionboutique.com). At the conclusion of this expo the UFC presented exhibitor booth awards to the following: Round 5 (Best Product), Badass Nutrition (Best Company Debut), Affliction (Best Booth Design), Hayabusa (Best Fan Interactive Booth) and Headrush (Best Overall Booth).
One of my favorite things about the UFC Fan Expo was seeing the families, thousands of husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, grandparents and kids. I expected the majority of attendees to be men and fight fans and I was pleasantly surprised. The UFC Fan Expo turned out to be a family affair and MMA is picking up where boxing left off.
About UFC Fan Expo
UFC Fan Expo® is the world’s premier Ultimate Fighting Championship® event where millions of fans of the fastest-growing sport have the opportunity to celebrate their passion for MMA through the experience of exhibitions, Training & Development, Special Events, Competitions, Meet & Greets, Fighter Demos, The Octagon™, Autograph Sessions, and so much more!
For more information visit www.ufcfanexpo.com.
About Andre’ Haynes
Andre’ Haynes, an acclaimed entertainment mogul, is Founder and Principal of Endeavor Media Group. Since the 90’s his career has transitioned from artist development to national concert promoter to major record company executive. In the concert industry he has worked with such prodigious talents as Aaron Neville, Brooks & Dunn, Clint Black, Destiny’s Child, and Too Short. In the record industry, Andre’ has worked with Persona Records helping several songs earn placement on the Billboard Top 100 Albums and Top 100 Singles charts, and also helped Next Era Music secure major national distribution with Fontana/Universal. He has won awards, sits on panels, speaks at conferences, and has been interviewed in national media. Currently Andre’ serves as the Marketing & Communication Co-Chairmen for the Community Leadership Board of the American Diabetes Association.
For interview opportunities contact Andre’ Haynes by calling Endeavor Media Group at 702-330-3878 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.emgnv.com for more information.