We have officially completed the staging of the show today with the exception of some of the stunt work that we can only work once we are in the actual theatre which is next week. We were drilling the big opener today like mad and Carl and I were switching in and out of that crazy diddy, while jumping in and out of the other rehearsal room where we were rehearsing our three big scenes with the Genie. All I know is that I happened to be in the room doing a scene with our Genies and on a break I went next door and everyone was crouched around the other new Aladdin, Carl on the floor. I noticed one of our trainers running in and new something was up. I turned out that Carl had a weird back spasm during one of the bits and was having a hard time moving. They took him to the trainer's office and iced his back and after rehearsal was done, I went over to check to see if he was ok while I grabbed some ice for my own soreness and they said they were taking him to the E.R. I spoke to him on the way home while he was sitting in the E.R. waiting room with Terri. Hope you have a speedy recovery Mr. Man!
Tomorrow we have our first stumble through of the show which will be exciting as it will give us that first real sense of it's rhythm. It's also Mellow Yellow day and we will be wearing yellow t-shirts to rehearsal. This all started after Carl, Emily (our new Jasmine) and I showed up wearing a red shirt and black bottoms without PLANNING! Everyone however thought we DID plan it, so we decided to pick a color (PINK) and wear it on Tuesday. This obviously seemed odd and after telling everyone we planned it, we had some people that wanted to join in on the fun and today about 10 of us wore Blue.
THREE days till the big day where we will decide on our apartment and begin living a fun, spacious life with the pets. Out with the old and in with the new! That day will also have a tense evening around fight time at 7pm...who are you pulling for?
The main event is no doubt one that I am excited about, and will no doubt spark the interest of people that casually follow the sport but claim to be big fans. However, there are a lot of fights on the card that are actually really solid and will more than please the real fans.
I'm making my picks here:
-Randy Couture vs. Brock Lesnar : Randy takes this one via SUBMISSION in the later rounds. I think Brock is a pure athletic specimen and I feel he will be a champion one day for sure. I actually have a hard time with this fight, because I like Lesnar a lot and want to see him grow in this sport, but call it nostalgia, but I can't go against Captain America and I want to see Randy's legacy continue to grow. I feel once Randy applies his game plan to avoid Lesnar's early aggresiveness, his experience will continue to win him points as the fight wears on. I don't think that he will outright go for anything crazy right away. He will be patient and trust his ability to create opportunities and will eventually catch an inexperienced Lesnar in a submission, before he realizes and can defend it.
-Gabriel Gonzaga (7 Heavyweight in the World)* vs. Josh Hendricks : I think Gonzaga goes streetfighter Blanka on Hendricks and finishes via ref stoppage midway through the 1st round. Most of Hendricks wins have come via submissions and I don't see him catching Gonzaga.
-Joe Stevenson (10 Lightweight in the World)* vs. Kenny Florian: another tough one to call, because I have been fans of both these guys since their arrival under the UFC Banner. I think Stevenson is similar to a Sherk, but way more dangerous at this point in his career. However, unlike when Kenny faced Sherk, he is ready and can handle someone with Stevenson's power. All you have to do is look at three of Kenny's recent wins to see that he has progressed well enough to hold his own against powerful wrestlers. Alvin Robinson, Joe Lauzon and Roger Huerta couldn't utilize their wrestling against Florian and I think Stevenson will fair the same. I think Florian picks him apart on the feet and cuts him in true Ken(Blood)flo fashion with one of his razor sharp elbows. I think it will go the distance, but after a war, Florian will emerge one step closer to that second crack at the title.
-Demian Maia vs. Nathan Quarry: Call me sentimental, but I like Quarry and his crazy story so I'm pulling for him. However, he hasn't looked the same since he returned from his injury that Doctor's said was so bad he would never fight again. Where I think he win's by just being able to step in the cage, I don't think he will be crisp enough to take Maia. I see Maia bringing him down and tapping late in the second.
-Dustin Hazelett vs. Tamdan McCrory: Two scrappy dudes who are going to go to war with passion even more now since it was announced today that their fight would air live due to Amir pulling out due to injury. I think Hazelett takes this via tko in the second.
-Jeremy Stephens vs. Rafael dos Anjos : Lil Heathen Stephens takes this fight on the feet and drops Rafael in the 1st, but after getting overly aggressive, he will get caught in this Gracie trained fighters triangle.
-Alvin Robinson vs. Mark Bocek: This is one of these fights that will fly under the radar, but has fight of the night written all over it. I think this will be a high stakes fight for both fighters considering their position within the company and division. I look for Alvin to come out aggresive and after a few minutes on the ground, Bocek will turn up the heat and will outlast Robinson but won't be able to finish him. They will go back and forth with Bocek taking an exciting decision.
-Jorge Gurgel vs. Aaron Riley: Jorge Gurgel WILL NOT BE A CONTENDER IN THE UFC. He will lose or win another boring decision and will once again apologize for both and leave us all wondering why they keep bringing him back. Please Aaron, destroy...fast!
-Ryan Thomas vs. Matt Brown: Matt Riddle injured - Matt Brown steps in on two weeks notice. I like Matt Brown and thinks he has heart and should have received the nod in the controversial Dong Hyun Kim fight. I think he poses a lot of medium level threats to anyone, but with two weeks to prepare, I'm not sure he can pull it out. I think Thomas takes this one via sub in the 3rd.
We shall see...