My experience at the Pacquiao vs Hatton private red carpet media event

Did I really just attend a boxing media event? I sure did…the exclusive red carpet Hollywood premiere of “The Battle of East and West” Pacquiao vs. Hatton. First and foremost, I’d like to thank FightHype for giving me the opportunity to write for them and to meet one of my heroes, Manny Pacquiao. I’m really in shock and awe that I was able to attend such a great event and got the chance to interview Freddie Roach, Victor Ortiz, and the one and only Manny Pacquiao.

As some of you know, I normally attend mixed martial arts events, so it was interesting to see the difference between a boxing and mixed martial arts media event. I’m so used to seeing everyone wearing jeans and Affliction shirts, or some other type of MMA Apparel brand name clothing. To my surprise, almost everyone was dressed up in suits with jackets and ties, including reporters and even some photographers. Then again, maybe I’m being too over-analytical. After all, the event was being held at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California for what could be considered the fight of the century.

The red carpet was packed with news cameras, photographers and fans screaming in the background. They had an announcer outside introducing everyone walking on the red carpet. Inside the Blossom room, where the press conference was being held, they were serving all kinds of food, like tri-tip, chicken, mashed potatoes, fruit and salad. Thank GOD they were NOT serving sandwiches (lol). The best part about it, though, were the free drinks (lol), including free wine and Tecate.

Most people know I live my life on my Blackberry. I am constantly on the go and on internet connected somehow lurking the Underground, checking my RSS feeds to MMA Media sites, posting Facebook updates, taking pictures for my BeenUp2 account, and tweeting on Twitter. I admit, I am a twitterholic *raises hand* 🙂

I took a picture of Victor Ortiz as he walked the red carpet and happily posted it. The caption read “Can Victor Ortiz look any more cuter than what he already is?”

After that, more celebrities started to walk the red carpet and I entered the Blossom room hoping to catch an interview with Ortiz. I remember walking up to him and quickly turning away. Gosh, I’m so used to happily walking up to an MMA fighter for an interview. Why couldn’t I find the courage to approach a boxer? It was a good thing I turned away because I realized that the battery on my voice recorder was dead. “Oh no,” I thought. I hurried and walked out of the hotel and as I did, I didn’t realize Freddie Roach was doing a television interview. I kinda walked behind him, but the cameraman mean-mugged me when I squeezed by. I told him I was sorry. I didn’t even realize what was going on around me. All I knew was I was on a mission to get to the store to buy AAA batteries so I could interview some fighters. :).

Now how ironic is this? So, I’m at this Pacquiao vs. Hatton media event and Filipino UFC light heavyweight Mark Munoz texts me to ask if I was in Nashville. I replied back and told him where I was and he was so stoked. He said he was supposed to be there as well, but was in Nashville for UFC Fight Night 18 to corner Tim McKenzie. That would have been dope if fellow Pinoy fighters Mark Munoz, Phillipe Nover and Brandon Vera were all there. MMA kababayan all day everyday. 🙂

Anyway, as soon as I got back, more media started to enter the press room. Since I didn’t know anyone there, I was chillin’ by myself just analyzing everything around me. I saw Freddie Roach getting interviewed and waited for my turn. I got a really good interview out of him and couldn’t believe that I had the opportunity to chat with such a boxing legend that’s been in the game for decades. Of course, I took a picture with Freddie Roach and posted it as soon as I was done. 🙂

I saw Victor Ortiz with his girlfriend walking near Freddie and politely asked him for an interview. I thought he was cute until I asked him if he followed mixed martial arts and he replied, “to be honest, no I don’t.” In just a matter of seconds, he went from being cute to not cute at all (lol). After all, how could you not follow the wonderful sport of mixed martial arts? Then again, he is a professional boxer and will definitely be a household name himself in the next few years. I didn’t bother to ask Victor for a photo because his girlfriend was standing right there. Not that it mattered, it’s just common courtesy.

Shortly after, Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao entered the room. All cameras were on and rolling, with flashes in every direction. Floyd Maywearther Sr. starting rhyming playfully, dissing Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach at the same time. It was pure comedy.

I thought of my Dad right away and sent him a text, “I wish you were here with me. This is such a cool event.” My Dad loves boxing and growing up, my sister and I would always watch it with him. To be Filipina at an event like this, how could I not think of him to share that moment?

After the conference was over, a security guard was telling everyone, including me, to leave except for print media. As he was telling another group of people to leave I turned around and went straight to Manny Pacquiao’s table where he was talking to reporters. No way I was gonna walk out on an opportunity like this. I was determined!

While other reporters were asking him questions, I was standing right next to Manny. As he was being escorted to leave, I jumped in with my recorder in hand and got a chance to ask him a few questions. It didn’t last long because he was being rushed, but he kinda looked at me with a confused look like, “Is this Filipina really asking me about mixed martial arts?” Ha ha! I had to do it! Plus, he even let me take a picture with him and sure enough, I posted it right away. 🙂

I sent the photo to my mom and called my parents to share my experience with them. Being a prideful mother, my mom had already sent it to everyone on the Little Manila board (my family helps run a non-profit organization, The Little Manila Foundation, that helps preserve Filipino-American history in Stockton, California. Check it out at She is so cute.

Well, that was my experience at the red carpet Hollywood premiere of “The Battle of East and West” Pacquiao vs. Hatton. I had the oppurtinty to experience part of the boxing world, interview Freddie Roach and Victor Ortiz, and most importantly, I got the chance to meet one of the greatest boxers of all time, my hero and my country’s hero, Manny Pacquiao.

I hope you all enjoy my interviews on 🙂

TUF 8 Finalist Phillipe Nover in Deep Foundation music video

Check out our Pinoy fighter and TUF 8 finalist Phillipe Nover in this ‘Children of the Sun (remix) music video by Deep Foundation, a pinoy hip hop group from the East Coast. They sampled the classic Filipino song “Tayo’y Mga Pinoy” and even have the original singer, Heber Bartolome, in the video.

I just had to post this. Kababayan all day everyday! 🙂

Here is their Myspace:

Missing Trevor at the Arnold’s and UFC 96…

Is your name Trevor? If so, this is for you…

R.I.P Charles ‘Mask’ Lewis

When I received the call that Charles passed away I couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t even confirmed it was him yet. All I kept thinking was no way its him. I text Dan ‘Punkass’ and no response. I called Tracy right away to see if she heard anything and she didn’t. She was the first to hear from me. We hung up so we could make more calls. I called Ryan and told him and he said Scotty just got a call at that moment and was told the same thing. Later on I get a text ‘It was him’. 🙁

The Underground server was unavailable because so many people were going to the site. Charles was the co-founder of TapouT… this is something huge to our MMA industry.

I remember trying to find my seat at the UFC in Chicago during a fight and while I was ducking and diving Mask asked me to come sit next to him. He had the best seats in the house lol. He didn’t have to but he did. Then he goes “Dang Rara, you’re everywhere on the internet. When is your next Expo thing?” lol He came to every single one of our shows. We posted a tribute to Mask on our site

Tracy made a tribute to Mask album on her site and has the coolest story about him on there.

A Tribute to Charles Lewis, AKA Mask of Tapout – CombatLifestyle Nightlife

Rest In Peace Mask. Thank you for giving us with hope something to believe in.

UFC 96 Saturday night aftermath with Brandon Vera and Mark Munoz

It’s always good times on fight weekends. This one was a lot of fun cause I was rooming with Ed Clay the owner of Gameness and Ryan and Scotty the owners of OTM. If you’ve been following my blogs Ed Clay is one of my best friends. He also brought his girlfriend Britni and this was her very first UFC.

I got in Columbus at 12am Friday night and as soon as I got in I took a shuttle bus to the Renaissance Hotel to meet up with Ryan and Scotty, they had just flew in too. I was expecting to go to the club right away but we were waiting for Ed and Britni to meet up with us. While we were waiting we ordered a few Corona’s. I was so happy to see Ed. I haven’t seen him since his Gameness event in Nashville. It was such a site to see him.

UFC 96: Friday Night – CombatLifestyle Nightlife

Next thing you know Miguel Torres walks in with Tracy Lee and a bunch of people coming from a club. I said Hi to Miguel and brought him over to meet Ed, Ryan, and Scotty. I said, “This is Ed the owner of Gameness” and Miguel goes “My first 4 gi’s were Gameness gi’s.” Then I also introduced him to Ryan and Scotty from OTM who also makes Lucky Gi’s and Miguel goes “I have a Lucky Gi.” I thought it was pretty cool and funny at the same time. After that Mike Goldberg walked in as happy as can be and as he gave me a hug I looked over and saw Mike ‘The Joker’ Guymon, ‘ahhh ohhh’ is exactly what I thought. Every time Joker is around something hilarious always happens and sure enough he picks me up and puts me in a head lock and then I put him in a head lock lol. Next thing you know Urijah Faber walks in. There was no way we were leaving to go to the club now the party was where we were at lol.

UFC 96: Friday Night – CombatLifestyle Nightlife
UFC 96: Friday Night – CombatLifestyle Nightlife

The next day we woke up pretty late. Plus we were all jet lagged and I really had to get to the Arnold’s to sign at the Fight Chix booth. Beth said people were coming by asking for me but I tried to get there as soon as I could. I didn’t sign for long cause I got there around 4pm. I walked around and checked it out. The Arnold’s was crackin’. It was packed everywhere. I walked around and networked for IMMAE and grabbed as many business cards as I could. I couldn’t get a hold of Ryan and Scotty. Knowing them they were either negotiating business or talking to some hot chicks, but I wasn’t gonna wait for them. So I walked to the Renaissance hotel because Ed and Britni just got there. When I was walking I ran into Goldie walking to the arena ironically. It was less than a mile away and I was having flashbacks when Jaycee made me walk from New York New York to the Palazzo in Vegas in my 5 inch heels…. Torcher!!!!! I still will never forgive him for that lol.

I met up with Britni and Ed and we headed to the Nationwide Arena. Ed headed to the media section and Britni and I headed to the bar for our first drinks of the night. As we were both double fisting it back to our seats the most embarrassing thing happened to me… I slipped on some water and fell. I bit it soooo hard. I hit my head on the wall and on the floor and both of my drinks landed on me. It hurt so badly. 🙁 I didn’t want to wait for security to come to make report because I didn’t want to miss any of the fights. Especially cause Brandon Vera’s fight was second on the card. I wanted to hurry up and get the fuck out of where I was at and wipe all the alcohol off of my hair, face, and clothes… Yes very embarrassing! Ha! 🙂

I couldn’t believe the referee during the Riley vs. Nelson fight. It was one of the worst early stoppages I’ve ever seen… Believe me when I say ‘the worst.’ Brandon’s fight was next and I was super duper excited. I wish I had my Filipino flag but it’s at Brandon’s house lol. I accidentally left it in their room when we were all partying during the Pacquiao vs. Marquez fight in Las Vegas. I looked in the Nationwide Arena and saw a few Filipino flags and nothing but pride entered my heart and I was singing along with Brandon Vera’s walkout song ‘Bebot’ by Black Eyed Peas. Everyone around me knew I was Filipino and knew who I was rooting for lol.

When Brandon won his fight I couldn’t stop jumping up and down. All I thought was ‘we are fucking celebrating tonight!’ This was a big fight for B. He was getting criticized for a downfall in his 2008 career but now The Truth is back baybee!!! All I thought was ‘now its time for Munoz to win’. Mark ‘The Filipino Wrecking Machine’ Munoz was fighting Matt Hamill, a more experienced fighter. Munoz was undefeated and I know how hard he has been training with Mike Guymon and how much this fight meant to him. Not to mention Munoz is Pinoy, and representing for us Filipinos really means a lot to him. I remember him emailing me his walk out song and it was a dope ‘Filipino Wrecking Machine’ song by a local Pinoy rapper and Pinay singer from the Bay Area, but he ended up walking out to E-40’s Tell Me When to Go. Mark is from Vallejo and so is E-40 and when he came out I was getting hyphy and proud to be Filipino and from Norcal haha. But when Matt Hamill gave him that head kick for a knockout victory I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked. Both of my hands were over my mouth and people around me were trying to come up to me to tell me they were sorry and that he is gonna be fine. I told them to leave me alone till he got up and when Munoz didn’t get up for a while I started to have tears in my eyes. I’ve never cried at any fight. The most I’ve been heart broken was seeing Manny Gamburyan get knocked out in 14 seconds in Minnesota and hanging out with him right after his fight trying to cheer him up. It’s completely different when you personally know the fighter and you know how hard they trained and how much the fight meant to them. Mark didn’t get up for a while and I seen them carry up the stretcher. All I kept saying aloud was ‘Get up Munoz… please get up!’ He didn’t need to be carried off the stretcher and when he got up everyone clapped. Whew!! What a relief….

I was super happy Rampage, Tamdan McCrory, Kendall Grove, and Gray Maynard won too. I thought UFC 96 was a great event. It was better than UFC 94 that’s for sure. The event had really good fights with good endings. A big thumbs up to Joe Silva and the UFC for an amazing event.

As soon as we left the arena there were no taxi’s around anywhere and there was no way I was gonna walk to the Renaissance again in heels. So I asked these two random black buys at the stop light to take us to the hotel for $20. I know it was pretty brave but I had Ed Clay with me and I know he can kick anyone’s ass lol.

We met with Brandon and his wife Kerry and her parents. I haven’t seen them in a while. Kerry’s parents are so cute and are very supportive of Kerry and Brandon’s career. I gave B a huge hug and said Congratulations. I teased him and said “Where’s your brother Joel?” lol. I knew Joel wasn’t gonna be in Ohio. I hit him up before I left California. Brandon introduced me to his other brother and he looked so damn familiar to me. I said, “Were you on the flight from Denver to Columbus?” It turned out him and his wife were from Colorado Springs and was on the same connecting flight as me lol. Brandon doesn’t drink much only on very rare occasions and this was definitely one lol. Ed Clay ordered a round of Jack and Coke for everyone. We all put our cups up in the air to the Celebration of Brandon’s victory. After that Mark Munoz walked in too. I said hi to his wife and then gave Mark a long comforting hug and he goes “Man Rara…” with his head down. I said “its okay Mark, this isn’t it for you. Your career just started. I have faith in you and your fans do too.” he thanked me and then Brandon was talking to him in Tagalog telling him to keep his head up, etc. Everyone was snapping photos from every direction. I had to make sure I got one with my boys. Especially a Tracy Lee photo 🙂 Then Lloyd Irvin comes with a round of Mimosas and handed them to everyone. Brandon yelled “Munoz!! Get over here!” and handed him a Mimosa. We all grabbed our cups and Brandon said “To new beginnings”, referring to him and Munoz. 🙂

UFC 96: The Aftermath – CombatLifestyle Nightlife

I’m gonna end my blog right here. I’d write about the whole rest of the night but for you readers to know Brandon Vera and Mark Munoz were still hopeful and celebrating new beginnings is enough blogging for me.

MMA Kababayan baybee!!!