King of the Cage and the people you meet

While MMA appears to be all about the fighters, the truth is, there are a lot of people who work together to make the show succeed. The “behind the scenes” crew work hard and are often not seen. The “front and center” people, if they do their jobs right, will make what they do look easy.

Would you like to meet some of them?

Meet a sweetheart of a girl, and a friend of mine, model Jesselee Maleport. I like her for many reasons, one of which is that she can make a face like this at me and know that makes me love her all the more.

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Next, let’s meet well-known announcer, Dean Stone. Dean announces all kinds of combat sports, and does so with class and professionalism. Everyone loves Dean, as you can see from all the photos posted of him with fans on social media. He is also supportive of the people he works with and helps promote them as well. That’s what makes him such a respectable team player.

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Now, I would like you to meet referee Cecil Peoples. In this industry, people will tell you that either you love him or you hate him. Google  him sometime, he has a looong history in this sport. I’ve spent two whole weekends working directly with Cecil, and I can tell you, I love him. He is friendly, calming, funny, and interested in knowing you. He lives by a “no bullshit” rule and I like him all the better for it. Below, you’ll see a picture of Cecil putting his socks on ringside. He just came out of the cage, showing off his pink painted toenails in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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Now you’ll meet who I call BossMan (Jeff Michalec). I enjoy working with him because he takes care of his employees. If you can’t make a show due to weather, he says, “Its better to be safe, there will be other shows” rather than, “You’re bailing on us?” He values hard work and encourages a team atmosphere. He hires employees who want to take care of the people they work with. All in all, working with King of the Cage has made work seem like play. As you can see, I probably had to twist his arm to pose for the photo below…

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Of course, you can’t quite have an MMA blog about the players without throwing in an epic photo of a fighter. Here is a Sandy-favorite — Wisconsin fighter Kevin Lobermeier. Here he is stretching in the locker room before his fight. A well-rounded young man, he is willing to embrace both his masculine and feminine sides….I love this guy!

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Oh, and this is just my little brother. He was running scorecards at the last show, and much to the amusement of the fans behind him, posed for me card-girl style right after I finished photographing the one who just walked by.

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I love MMA shows, I love the fights. But sometimes, the crew makes for the most memorable weekend. If you want to meet any of the KOTC crew, come and see the show at Northern Lights Casino in Walker, MN — Saturday!!

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