Happy Friday the 13th! (It’s my favorite of all the meaningfully repeating day/date combos.)
Last Friday night, I attended my first MMA fights. I’m a huge fan of boxing, but have had a hard time getting into MMA. I like reading about the fighters, and I love the combination of fighting and training styles required to be a successful MMA athlete. But I just can’t stomach watching every fight end in the second round with one guy pounding on another guy’s head three or four punches longer than I think any fight should last.
That said, Friday’s fights were pretty entertaining. Skateboarder Jason Ellis made his professional MMA debut—and won. The event was a fundraiser hosted by skateboarder Ryan Sheckler and raised money for TACA (Talk About Curing Autism) and Road 2 Recovery, an organization that raises money for action sports athletes who’ve suffered career-ending injuries. You can read about the night in my latest Action Sports Report on espnthemag.com.
ELLIS MAKES HIS MMA DEBUT … CHECK OUT MY SEAT. I WAS PRACTICALLY IN HIS OPPONENT’S CORNER. (IT CAME WITH A TOWEL TO WIPE OFF ANY STRAY BLODD. REAL STORY.)
Saturday, I made it to my first Supercross race of the year, Anaheim III. It rained all day and the track was a mess, but that didn’t do much to slow down James Stewart, who is undefeated this season and looks unstoppable. The kid has loosened up so much in the past couple of years. So much so that he came out during rider introductions in an Axel Rose wig and smashed a guitar onstage. For a taste of Stewart’s new attitude, check this out.
THE VIEW FROM THE PRESS BOX …
Sunday morning, we all received word that Metal Mulisha rider and 2008 X Games freestyle champ Jeremy Lusk had crashed at a contest in Costa Rica and was in intensive care in San Juan. He had suffered severe head trauma and was placed in a medically induced coma. The updates were sobering and scary. But these guys always pull through. They don’t always walk out of the hospital, but they always leave the hospital. They always live.
But on Monday night, we got word that, with several members of the Mulisha (Jeremy’s best friends), his parents, father- and mother-in-law and wife at his side, Jeremy Lusk passed away. It’s the saddest news I’ve had to report since I started covering motocross six years ago.
Last night, I stopped by Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, which is both the “office” he runs his company out of and the name of his new MTV reality show. I don’t know how much “reality” exists in a company that has a foam pit, trampoline, zip line, rock wall and skate park in its HQ. But I know I want to spend more time there. I also learned that Dyrdek, and Josh Kalis … are not very good at Scrabble. You’ll see what I’m talking about in an upcoming issue of the magazine.