As we walked towards the stadium we knew we were walking down streets we hadn’t been to yet. It was bar after bar after bar after bar, each with the hostesses standing outside, cat calling for you to come in. The stadium was in the heart of all this. Surrounding the ring were seven different bars/clubs, and just outside the stadium were dozens more, each with their own distinctive vibe yet selling the same beer and cocktails. We enter the stadium and are lead to our seats, which were excellent. We sit down, order a drink and wait for the fight to start. Next to us sits a guy with huge mutton chops and wearing headphones so we didn’t try to engage with him. After about 20 minutes, and after he’s sat with his full bottle of beer he leans over and asks if I, Cole, want it cause he has a headache. Spidey senses went up and I said before I take your drink I’d like to know who you are. Johnny was a very nice guy from Australia, vacationing with his Japanese wife and two kids, out having a night to himself, Dads night out. Good enough for me, I thanked him for the drink and we talked for the rest of the night. The fights themselves were exciting, many lasted the full five rounds and some fighters suffered some punishing blows. The Aussie next to me said that he only came to the fight because there was an Aussie on the ticket, which happened to be the most exciting fight of the night. The Aussie got a kick to the head early in the fight which left him wobbly but in the fourth round he caught his opponent with the knee and knocked him out! Awesome stuff.
Other highlights include a great fight that had a Thai woman on the ropes for most of the rounds by a Portuguese woman. The Thai woman was quite a bit larger than her smaller opponent but also gave her a huge reach advantage. Yet, even with the size advantage it wasn’t enough to stop the Portuguese fighter. She wanted it more, she didn’t stop advancing, and won the fight.
I don’t know if this was the best part of the fight night or not, but I do know I will never forget it. In between fights two and three they brought up three Thai fighters and I said, jokingly because I didn't think it was real, “Oh they’re going to be blindfolded.” Moments later the blindfolds come out and there are three dudes swinging as hard as they can at each other with a ref just trying to stay out of the way. It was a ridiculous yet incredible thing to witness.
Tessa: Cole almost forgot to mention that he ended up in the ring!?! Our friend Johnny was selected to go into the ring, he wasn't sure for what and he really didn't want to have to speak up there. Well, he found out Cole was an actor and marched up to the guy and got him to switch the job from him to Cole.... I got it all on video... so I'll let it speak for itself. But OF COURSE Cole ended up in the ring...
After the fights and saying goodbye to our Aussie friend we made our way through the countless bars back closer to where we are staying. We saw a bar that was pretty quiet and decided to pop in for a drink and the waitress brings us our drinks and the game Connect Four. It's a perfect bar game! Tessa and I played a bunch and after I won a few more games than Tessa our waitress challenged me to a game; best of three. I won the first game and started to feel pretty confident but then she swiftly beat me the two next times and then Wana made us buy her a drink. And that was the end of that.