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UFC Fan Expo 2015 - Fighter Meet & Greet Disappointment/ Frustration


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#1 MarkJD

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 11:02 PM

So i thought this might be an appropriate place to leave some feedback about my first UFC Fan Expo. I want to just start by stating that as I am writing this up i am wrapping up the most amazing MMA/UFC experience of my life (Went to Invicta 13/Watched Tournaments at Fan Expo/UFC189 Weigh Ins/UFC 189/TUF 21 Finale). As amazing as UFC FN Dublin was the whole combination of so many fights and MMA/UFC stuff non stop for days was amazing. I had a two day pass and had huge furstrations on both days for the Fighter Meet & Greet portions of the expo.

 

Moving on the only downside or bad experience of these few days was the UFC FIghter Meet & Greet Sessions. I was burned on numerous different occasions of trying to meet Weidman / Cowboy / Joanna / Verdum / Dana White Q&A after waiting i would say on average for each fighter after making it into the que before cut offs was about 2hrs and 15 mins on average.(Counting the itme you had to be there to preque and then the time waiting while the fighters try get through the que) I was unlucky and was one person away from the Dana White Q&A.

 

Im not sure if other people that have been to the expo before can comment that this format was better this year or whatever in comparison to previous years but for me it just didnt work at any stop along the way and it was really dissapointing. My only suggestions as a speed up would be to try limit people to either getting a photograph or getting something signed? Or make their sessions longer. Im also not pointing out that this is the fighters fault rather the staff that would routinely pull them away despite there being many other fans still in line after getting throug hthe cut off point. Its really deflating especially when waiting hours on your feet. I would like to call out huge props to Chris Weidmann who was cool enough to ditch the staff for a few minutes and allow people to take quick seflies with him / signing things quickly before being taken off.

 

All that said and done the Expo itself was really cool and professional looking. The que lines to  get registered and to actually get into the expo was somewhat confusing for the first day. There was plenty of events throughout both days that were easily attended and made for great enjoyhment for that portion of the expo.

 

Thanks agian and If i do return to the Expo next year i would hope to see some improvements in this area as I know from these last few days experience that all the UFC staff / fighters / Dana / are really cool people and make so much time for the fans just something about the format didnt lead to any enjoyment my end.


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#2 Mcmax3000

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 05:18 AM

The couple that I went to, they closed off the line at a certain point, and then the fighters stayed until everybody in line had gotten through, so that's definitely different than my experience, but then again, mine was before International Fight Week was a thing, so maybe they're scheduling things more tightly for the fighters, and thus, they have to get going to other commitments, or something like that.

#3 SaraBey

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 01:14 PM

I agree 100%. I have gone to the expo every year and this was by far the worst. With all due respect it was poorly organized when it came to the fighters meet and greets. I was there for both dates and met a total of 2 fighters (which was awesome) but last year and before i met 10-20 fighters, running into fighters left and right. This year i couldn't even have a chance to stand in any line because they were all closed. OR if i did try Its very frustrating standing in place for hours on end to watch the fighter you were waiting for leave..... when they told you that you would be able to meet them since you made the cut off time in line. it was very discouraging. The expo was soooooo empy compared to the last few years due to the merch booths being gone this year such as Venom, Tap Out, Tiger MuayThai ect... I loved seeing those booths and their sponsored fighters. Hopefully Reebok wont have such a huge part in it next year since everyone else got the boot this year because of them. So sad,  Disappointed and i hope they change it back next year or my friends and i probably wont go. 


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#4 LLCoolK

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 10:05 AM

Disappointing! Still cant figure out why the expo and the weigh ins and fights were cross town from each other. A simple cab ride on paper, but in reality left expo early to hit the 189 weigh ins and stood in taxi line for 45 minutes. Seemed like the UFC and Reed had their act together, but it was the Sands personnel that didn't have a clue. Cutting off lines early, letting people line jump, not enforcing cell phone or single item signature rules, etc. and just being plain rude when asked a question. I got a lot of, "I don't know what's going on". That is what bogged down the autograph lines. The tap your pass and get your photo idea would have worked wonderfully if some of the above was enforced. I sat in a Vitor Belfort line behind graphers with SUITCASES full of stuff to sign and then watched as people got their photo and then passed their cell phones around for even more photos. I agree with the lack of vendors comment. This was basically set up for two things: autographs and a Reebok retail mall. At least I got to spend a lot of my time watching the jits, kickboxing and fitness matches. VIP access was a waste. A $20T-shirt, a $10 poster and in an hour early for stuff that didn't start until 9:30 or 10 anyway. All for $200. Skipping next year.


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#5 JChristian522

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 09:35 AM

Honestly, I saw how they were running the lines and how long a particular person would greet for and it is way different than last year. I didn't even bother. I met so many randoms through out that I'm glad I didn't wait in line. Especially the 5K. Best op to not have to wait at all haha!
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