News: UFC fighters step into First Strike’s ring
Story by Staff Sgt. Kyle Richardson
FORT HOOD, Texas—The soldiers were engaged in their daily duties inside the motorpool when they received a surprise visit from six of the Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters prior to their televised event “Fight for the Troop 2,” Jan. 21.
The UFC fighters made some revisions to their schedules and took the time to see some of the soldiers at work with the 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Fires Brigade.
“Sgt. Reyes took the lead on setting this visit up for us,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Brinton, native of Panama City, Fla., the battalion command sergeant major. “He competed in last year’s tournament and is this year’s head referee. He told the UFC fighters about his unit and what we did over here. The UFC fighters were excited to check out and learn a little about one of our multiple launch rocket systems.”
Just before the soldiers were released for lunch two passenger vans pulled into the motorpool and Chuck Liddell, Frankie Edgar, Matt Serra, Dominick Cruz, Brian Stann, and Jim Miller stepped out into First Strike territory.
“It’s an honor to know that these gentlemen changed their schedules around to accommodate us,” said Brinton. “These guys truly made some soldiers happy today, and to top it all off, they’re raising money for charities throughout the Army and Fort Hood.”
The soldiers and fighters mixed it up within seconds by shaking hands, engaging in photo opportunities, and conversation.
“I’m glad Chuck Liddell made it out here today, he is one of my favorite fighters,” said Pfc. Spencer Daily, of Edgewood, Ky., an MLRS driver. “This is a good opportunity to meet the fighters and they’re raising money for traumatic brain injuries; something that affects a lot of soldiers these days.”
The UFC fighters also jumped at the first opportunity to grapple with the M270-A1 MLRS that was on display. The fighters received a quick safety briefing and a description break-down of the M270-A1, known as “Cash Money”, before they could get inside.
“Today is one of those days that stay with you throughout your Army career,” said Spc. Trevor Radeke, of Rocky Ford, Colo., an MLRS crewmember. “Coming to hang out with the soldiers and not just fighting made their visit more exciting. And now ‘Cash Money’ tracks not only fires in all live fires, but it has celebrity status.”
The UFC fighters enjoy the First Strike hospitality and the firsthand experience with the massive weapon system.
“I’m glad we got a chance to meet these soldiers today and that we get the chance to entertain them,” said Cruz, UFCs first Bantamweight title holder. “The soldiers are the true heroes in today’s world, I like doing my part to help keep them going.”