2012 was always going to be an interesting year as 2011 was pretty damn special; I got married and had the most incredible day with the most amazing woman which culminated with a dreamy honeymoon; I had helped create two new business under our existing business umbrella; I had survived 6 days and nights in Vegas; planning permission had been granted on our house extension and Cage Warriors announced 17 shows in 12 months. Oh, and they were going to be aired on Sky Sports as well as other international networks! There was little time to consider 'how?' and it was time to get my head down!
February was a pretty good benchmark as we had 3 shows, 2 abroad so it was going to a tight process. The good thing was the continuity- as a presenter and commentator who has only really been active in the last few years (my earlier attempts during my young 20s aside), camera time and establishing your style is key. Whats more, developing the relationship with whomever you are working alongside is also important. Despite the fact that these exploits are currently part-time for me, I want to deliver something that looks seasoned. Having plenty of practice will help me get there, but there are obstacles!!!
My first challenge for our opening show in 2012 came to light when I checked into my room in Beirut, Lebanon. It was a fine hotel and I actually had my own room, which saved my usual room-mate, Josh Palmer, from listening to my pre-show playlist (we have slightly different tastes) and slightly frantic behaviour on show day. After throwing my (over-sized) suitcase on to the bed, it became clear I had lost the key to the new lock. This was then followed by having to search out the most sturdy tool I could find to break said lock. That sturdy tool came in the shape of a butter knife! So with tired eyes and a carpenter's precision I took to sawing the padlock off my case so that I could unzip the case free the suit and bow tie that awaited selection. Needless to say, there was a small injury, sweat, expletives and a broken zip!
Meeting the various fighters on this show was very exciting; guys like Tommy Speer, Matts Nilsson, Victor Cheng and Kyle Watson. Special mention to Tommy Speer's brother who was pure entertainment and also to Domingos Mestre for being one of the nicest guys with some great stories. One of the thigns I love about meeting people is learnging about their story of how they came to be here and Domingos had a great one.