The fights at WEC 47 were the centerpiece of the weekend, but you can't have a fight weekend without pre-fight parties. Both Tapout and Fight! Magazine hosted parties filled with fighters, media, fight industry people and fans.
The Fight! party was at Contact in the arena district of downtown Columbus. Former WEC fighter Jeff Curran was there early, followed by Brian Bowles and his coaches, Rory and Adam Singer. Bowles spent the evening before his fight alcohol-free, relaxing on a couch with his friends. Mike Brown, Forrest Griffin and Anthony Njokuani -- who showed off his breakdancing skills -- also made it to the party, but no party truly starts until Don Frye shows up.
The MMA legend walked in wearing a cowboy hat, cowboy boots and Wrangler jeans. The man is nothing if not authentic. Fighters clamored around him, all wanting to take a pictures with the man who helped build the sport they fight in today. The ubiquitous Shone Carter even posed for a picture, a staredown in the battle for best hat.
Tapout had its party at Mynt, a club just a few blocks from Contact. (With the walking we did, I'm very happy that I wore flat shoes.) Skyskrape and Punk from the Tapout crew were kind hosts, chilling in the VIP area with Mike Brown, Donald Cerrone and Njokuani.
Back at Contact, more fighters and fans filled the room. Strikeforce's Brett Rogers happily posed for pictures with everyone in the room, including UFC matchmaker Joe Silva and WEC matchmaker Sean Shelby. Rogers stayed mum on any upcoming fights. Urijah Faber was kind enough to help judge a ring girl competition, helped out by many of the other fighters in the room.
After the parties, I was introduced to the best in Columbus eating: the chicken teriyaki gyro, sold from a street cart. If you make it to Columbus, don't miss the late-night gyros.
Head to Combat Lifestyle for a full gallery of pictures from the weekend.