I came across this video of Josh Thomson’s Dynamite!! experience on bloodyelbow.com and it got me thinking a little bit. It was really cool kicking it with Josh a little bit last weekend. He and his whole team were super cool. It’s always really strange for me going to these shows with guys like him and standing shoulder to shoulder with them. These are people that I’ve looked up to for years. Josh has been fighting since 2001, which is around the time I discovered MMA. Then there’s Mach Sakurai. A guy who’s been fighting since I was in high school. The first fights I ever watched weren’t the UFC, they were Pride. Guys like Sakurai, Gomi, Wanderlei Silva, Crocop, Fedor. I always felt like the fighters in Japan at that time were a bit ahead of their American counterparts in terms of technique and well roundedness. The fighters in America were specialists. Wrestlers or kickboxers etc. The guys fighting in Japan were our first real Mixed Martial Artists.
Sakurai walks in with these fly ass yellow air max’s on. I’m thinking “damn, I should go ask him where he got those” then I’m thinking, “man, fuck Sakurai!”
I get in the ring and the famously distinctive ring announcer, having just announced my name in grand fashion, is furiously fanning herself with one of those folding japanese fans.
In the program they had a photo recap of every Dynamite!! show that had been. Pretty crazy to be a part of it all. Sakuraba’s ear fell off and shit. What an experience. I spent the New Year on a bus with all these great fighters drinking sake with Brett and Vince. Awesome.