Philadelphia is my second favorite city outside of New York. If you’re from Philly, you should give yourself a pat on the back before you read any further. Between picking up a solid cheesesteak at Jim’s on South Street, then pounding Yeunglings at Paddy’s Pub (yes, it really exists) with some of the most passionate fight fans anywhere, my visit reminded me why everyone should just move here and live happily ever after. The sheer volume of the Bellator 33 crowd all but guarantees Bjorn Rebney will bring the promotion back at some point in 2011 to showcase more of Pennsylvania’s most promising prospects.
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard by now that, Eddie Alvarez defended the most majestic fade in MMA from Roger Huerta’s best efforts to dethrone the unofficial king of follicles. It’s clear the city of Philadelphia knows a solid fade when they see one. In other news, Ben Askren is a MiddleEasy-certified, unstoppable frate trane and will probably move up on our list of top ten ‘frate tranes’ once we recalibrate our rankings next week.
Bellator 33 was an epic night of MMA and a mere $25 ticket could have gotten you the best ‘bang-for-your-buck’ night of live MMA in 2010. The perks of being a photographer are somewhat different from a paying customer. While we can’t drink beer, grub on stadium-quality nachos and we have cameras obstructing our view of the cage, we get an unique view of the ring girls which immediately makes up for most of the downsides. We also get to sit next to guys like Anthony “Cheesesteak” Morrison who mysteriously find their way to the cage and end up cornering fighters he has never trained with while offering up some pretty odd (albeit entertaining) mid-fight advice. We even have the privilege of Lyman Good’s corner repeatedly blaring “Ben Askren hits like a [expletive] girl!” instead of anything that may have actually helped Lyman initiate a sweep or improve his position. Bummer for Lyman for suffering his first loss, but props to his cornermen from Tiger Schulmann's for earning their blackbelts in poor sportsmanship.
Ultimately, the night came to an end and everyone went their separate ways. Bjorn Rebney got back on his phone to issue Scott Coker a familiar “Don’t be scared, homie” for a co-promoted event; while Eddie Alvarez mentioned something during the post fight presser about renting a log cabin in the Poconos with his wife for a few weeks. Giggity. The only MiddleEasy-owned evidence that last night ever happened came off my camera and it’s conveniently displayed in the Bellator 33 gallery below. We continue to bring you these pictures because we love you. Yes, you too, even if you're unattractive. Enjoy the photos if anyone sees Roger Huerta walking around the “City of Brotherly Love” in the next couple of days, do the right thing and give him a hug for us.