End of February in Kiev and just a couple of days before my birthday. I'm still recovering form the strong local beers that were taken on after the show, but I think I have clarity to write a few words:
So Kiev is grey. The sky was always grey, the buildings were grey and the people were miserable. Scary looking miserable. Worse than that was the breakfast! CW match maker and Oracle of MMA, Ian Wikideania Dean warned everyone that the food was not great and he most definitely got that right with the brekkie. I couldn't sleep so I was early to breakfast. I thought I was really early as everything before me was most certainly dinner menu bites; curried stuff...everywhere and just stuff that my weak-ass stomach would not be able to deal with. They did have some cereal and fruit, so my mind was made up.
Outside it was well below zero, but better than the -30 from the previous week. I had actually bought special boots (oh and I mean special, special looking), socks and thermal accessories. They weren't really necessary and I had thankfully kept all receipts. I had some good fun trying to get my tongue around the names on this card. I remember sitting in Comedy Paul's (show editor) hotel room trying to record the voice overs, but failing miserably. On the night it wasn't too bad, but trying to interview fighters via a translator who didn't understand ground and pound, submission or head kick in her mother tongue, made for a lengthy process. It wasn't an easy card to commentate either. I would never be disrespectful to a fighter as I feel it takes huge cahoonas to compete in MMA, but too many fighters just didn't want to engage. That left a fairly quiet crowd and Josh and I having to create some energy. The main card was a whole lot better and I think this is where i started my thing for Gym 01! James Brum and Phil Harris were fighting and were a joy to interview. Over and above that they are super talented and have become 2 of my favourite fighters in their respective divisions. Also on tour with them was Callum Jones who will be taking on my good friend Luke Dalmedo in a few weeks, so we had some fun discussing that one. The Gym 01 guys have a really good bond and that's alot to do with their coach Brian Adams who is a real entertainer.