Ricky Wright's World of MMA: Adopted by the Penn's
To avoid them odd looks I thought I would write them down, you can believe them or not, that doesn't matter to me, but these stories need to be heard.
After speaking to Addicted's top man Steve Wickett at the weekend on the subject of my last blog; I began to tell the story of my time spent hanging out with the Penn family. They have a famous son who did some fighting. Then I thought I'd save it for the blog.
UFC 80 in Newcastle was headlined by that man, multi time UFC champion BJ Penn. I spent at least 15 hours on a mega bus that weekend to get from Cardiff to Newcastle via London in an attempt to save all my cash for drinking money, maybe a direct flight from Cardiff would have been better. But the entire purpose of that weekend was to meet the man who would be competing for the UFC lightweight strap that weekend against Joe Stevenson - However I wasn't to be that lucky.
On my way up to Newcastle I had a picture message off Andy Sledge of him with BJ and as we were staying at the same hotel I thought meeting the man was inevitable.
After the weigh ins we went to Tiger Tiger in Newcastle to catch Joe Rogan's stand up show then traditionally like every pre-UFC night, we get absolutely obliterated and party hard.
I was chatting to then fighters only editor and fellow Welsh brother in arms Hywel Teague and he notified me that the Penn Family was in the house. "See that guy there? That's BJ's Brother Reagan" he said. After a few more Strongbow's I bulked up the courage to talk to "Reagan".
"Hey, are you Reagan Penn" I asked, he replied "No" and before I turned my smile to a frown he said "I'm his other brother JD"
I began telling him how I'm a huge fan of his brother and can't wait to see him fight. He introduced me to the rest of the pack which included BJ's sister in law and his manager. We had taken it to the dance floor where I busted out my best moves. They were either thinking I was the shit or just humouring me, either way I was having fun.
I took my jacket off revealing my Tapout shirt on underneath. JD took one look at it and sighed "oh-oh, can't be wearing that with us". His wife came over and literally ripped the shirt off my back. There I was standing in the middle of a night club topless with my titties on show.
I asked "What am I going to do now". BJ's manager cracks open a brand new Cage Fighter walkout shirt and put it over my head. JD then announced "you're part of the family now, welcome to the Penn's".
I continued to dance with them for the next hour until they left the club. I was on a huge high.
The next day at the event I was lucky enough to have awesome seats which happened to be next to BJ's mother. She had the same Cage Fighter shirt on that I had given to me the night before. I told her that I had partied with JD and the gang the previous night and she asked "Were you that guy at the club they told me about? You're wild"
It was awesome how at some point, probably around the breakfast table over a croissant the Penn family's topic of conversation was about some crazy Welsh guy topless in a night club. Maybe BJ himself shared a chuckle over my antics the morning of his fight?
Sadly I never got to meet BJ that weekend but hope I left a lasting impression with his family.
See, that story wasn't believable and I can see why I get awkward looks off people when I tell it.
I Hope you enjoyed whether you believed it or not.
Picture one me in my Tapout shirt, 2, shirt ripped off my back, 3, brand new walkout shirt, 4 me and sledge pummelling BJ's manager in the suit, 5 me chatting with BJs sister-in-law.
By Ricky Wright
Follow Ricky on Twitter @MC_Ricky_Wright
Published by Steve Wickett - Tue, 7 Aug 2012 20:06