While crossing paths with a Mixed Martial Artist in Las Vegas may not be an overly infrequent occurrence, the odds are certainly up for any fans visiting Sin City this week thanks to a Zuffa summit involving numerous fighters from both the UFC and WEC.
Representatives from the dual promotions included, but were not limited to, notable names such as Mauricio Rua, Yoshihiro Akiyama, “Minotauro” Nogueira, Rogerio Nogueira, Frank Edgar, Miguel Torres, Nate Diaz, Urijah Faber, Demian Maia, Tom Lawlor, Joe Lauzon, Mark Coleman, Mike Swick, Danny Castillo, Matt Serra, Muhsin Corbbrey, Frank Trigg, Junior dos Santos, Ben Henderson, and head-honchos Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta.
Those in attendance were treated to a group dinner on Monday night in order to set the tone of professional unity, with the meal also providing an increased camaraderie amongst the fighters through personal interaction and the opportunity to professionally network as well. The UFC President took to his Twitter account to show example of both these, as he posted pictures of Bantamweight ace Torres seated alongside fellow jiujitsu practitioner Maia, as well as “Shogun” Rua engaged in a playful headlock with one-time rival Coleman.
Topics at the actual summit ranged in degrees of seriousness, focusing on subjects like fighter-safety (weight-cutting, steroids, recreational drugs), professionalism (thanking sponsors, gambling, individual branding), and show production (swing bouts, etc.). There is no word whether or not the summit will become an annual occurrence for the UFC/WEC but it seems likely given the continued growth in popularity of Mixed Martial Arts and overall expansion of the UFC.