Surprising Horizons

The Joy of Travel. The Realities of New Experiences.

Month: June 2017

UFC in Singapore June 2017

UFC Fight Night 111 happened in Singapore’s Indoor Stadium last night. I waddled through the doors at 7pm to catch the last 2 of the pre-lim fights then the four major fights on the cards.

I fell into UFC a couple of years ago and went on a rampage trying to find every episode of UFC’s main events from 1 through to the most recent ones in the 200s. I remember teeth and blood and some fat dude pummeling a small dude in UFC 1. Nasty stuff. You wouldn’t see it on the streets of Dublin of an evening. Well maybe…
Of course as an Irish person I always tune into Conor McGregor’s fights as it’s pure mayhem, entertainment, and foighting words all the way in the run up and through his fights. I also tune in for the big ones; including the Ronda Roussey v Holly Holm fight a few years ago. Which brings us to tonight….

Holm and Beth Correia were the main draw on this fight card with a couple of other “names” in there for good measure namely Rafael Dos Anjos and Andrei Arlovski. Here’s how the fights went through my noobish eyes.

Cyril Asker vs. Walt Harris
I barely had time to get annoyed by the people around me and this fight was over. Some tentative engagements then Harris got Asker on his back and started bashing his face in with a not soft flurry of elbows. The referee stepped in before Asker forgot his hotel room number.

Takanori Gomi vs. Jon Tuck
The last of the prelim matches also went by in the blink of a swollen eye in the first round. Tuck got on Gomi’s back and flipped him around, got his arm around his neck, squeezed Gomi like an orange, and Gomi tapped out. Next.

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Tarec Saffiedine
This one went the full three rounds and dos Anjos did just enough in a pretty tit-for-tat affair of grappling and wrestling. Nothing too exciting and I wasn’t too impressed with dos Anjos at all. I started chatting to the usher during this bout; this would re-occur during the night. He was lonely and I needed some stimuli.

Colby Covington vs. Dong Hyun Kim
This sucked. I started thinking about American politics during this. It was stagnant and lacklustre. Covington just harried and hassled Kim and Kim really didn’t do anything to counter-attack throughout. Covington won on decision. If I were Covington I wouldn’t be optimistic I could fight anyone better than Kim in the future.

Andrei Arlovski vs. Marcin Tybura
Arlovski is a fan favourite. Tybura didn’t care and he got the upper hand in the grappling throughout. He won by unanimous decision and it definitely showed. Arlovski knew it when it was all over and it showed on his bruised face.

Holly Holm vs. Bethe Correia
What everyone was waiting for. Then everyone forgot that and started booing the very very ultra defensive and cautious approach by both fighters. There were two rounds of absolutely nothing to remember. I started chatting to my old usher friend again. I started getting more annoyed by the peopl around me. A Kiwi couple behind me got more courageous with each drink they had. “Come on Holms” was cried out from behind me throughout and in response to all the boos “Do you even know MMA brahhh!”. I could have corrected her name calling but left her to wallow in her own decaying orbit. Round three comes around and Correia thought it would be a good idea to taunt Holm to come and get it. Seconds later Holm did; by kicking Correia in the face and upper cutting her chin when she was down just to make sure she would feel more pain in the morning over pancakes and tea. It was embarrassing. It was beautiful.

And with that final kick it brought back to me why I like this sport so much and I’m hoping to keep in touch with the big events going forward.

A quick word on the Indoor Stadium; they really need to sort out toilets locations. Everyone has to gown medieval stairwells to reach them and the queues end up clogging up the stairwells…much like the toilets therein. That is all.

Singapore v Argentina Football Friendly: You Know The Result..

You better put your booties on, cuz it’s COLD (humid) OUTSIDE!!

Groundhog Day-esque is how I would describe the Singapore v Argentina soccer friendly last night. Minute after minute, it seemed the quite ordinary looking Argentina side adopted the same attacking tactics against a predictably nondescript Singapore team. More of that in a bit.

Lionel Messi was heralded as headline act in the roll up to this auspicious (and lets face it, weirdly A-List for Singapore) friendly. “Messi, Aguero and Argentina are heading to the Singapore Sports Hub” screamed FourFourTwo soccer website back in April. Confirmed – Lionel Messi and Argentina stars to play in Singapore” warbled the StraitsTimes in the same month. Confirmed turned to conned in some fans’ eyes. Around a week before kick-off it was confirmed he wouldn’t be playing due to, ahem, preparing for a wedding. Cough. Splutter. Maybe it was known before then, maybe it wasn’t. My cynical soul says a bunch of suits met and said it wouldn’t be good for business if it was announced earlier than that. And then Aguero, Higuain, and Otamendi (the next BIG names on the team) didn’t show either.

To the game! I thought I took a wrong turn at Balestier Road and ended up at Juventus Stadium when I rolled up to the National Stadium with many Singaporeans adorning the shirt of Dybala. Never heard of him…
It’s a little sad when foreign club support trumps country support but personality and fame trumps loyalty to other…things…these days. Why am I saying trump a lot…?

The game was a little lacklustre. Yeah, it ended 6-0 but in the first half the repeat ad nauseum attacking style of Argentina (spray it to flanks and look for holes) didn’t inspire me to crack open the old size 10s and try to re-create what I was seeing. Sure there was flare on show but Di Maria flattered to deceive on the right flank and made himself look decidedly average. Again. Singapore? Apart from the diminutive number 27 for Singapore, skinning an astonished Argentinian on the right flank once there was nothing to report. Here’s a sequence of attacks from the first half to the tune of Groundhog Day. Because I can.

The goals they scored in first half were all inside the box finishes after consistent and constant probing. Singapore played a rarely seen 10-0-0 formation. Argentina resorted to the even more lesser spotted 2-3-5. Lovely. Take a look at the highlights. 

The National Stadium is a decent venue for these games but the pitch, as always, looked terrible. Tiger beers at 12$ for a half-pint size? Check and checkmate.

Bite Size Review: Regent Singapore Saturday Prosecco Brunch

The all-you-can-eat buffet brunch is something every ex-pat or tourist in Singapore does at some point. It’s both a stamina test on your waist band and credit card limit but if you plan your gastronomical attack to be glutinous yet at a pace where you don’t get Caligula-ed too quickly you can get your money’s worth. There are a number of all-you-can-eat with free flow prosecco brunch options in Singapore and the Regent Singapore may not be the first on the list for many but in many ways it is a nicer experience than lets say the Fullerton brunch offering.

The Basilico restaurant in the Regent Singapore offers Italian style food during the Saturday Lunch Buffet. You can have a straight up eat-until-your breathing changes-buffet at $72 (excl. GST+service charge) or the buffet with free flow prosecco at $119 (excl. GST+service charge). We went for the latter. Then proceeded to take advantage of said latter. Here’s the photos. The food was really good; that’s all you need to know.

Waiter who was at our every beck and call to refill our Prosecco just out of shot.

Fantastic array of hot nosh.

More pictures than words for this blog post as pictures speak louder alright? I should mention that the lobby of the Regent Singapore has some cool angles if you’re into that sort of thing.

 

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