Written By: Mike Jackson (MikeTheTruth.com)
The main object of the Octagon Nation Tour is to go out into the community and create brand awareness for the UFC and the sport of MMA as a whole. Based out of a semi-truck trailer, the UFC Octagon tour travels the country stopping in various cities (both small and large) with the objective of getting the word out about the UFC brand.
This week, the tour made two stops in the Houston area, one in Humble on Wednesday and one in Katy Thursday. I had a chance to visit the Thursday stop in Katy, and I met up with Desh Barber and he gave me the rundown on their operation.
Once you get inside the trailer, there is a small shop that has UFC merchandise, there’s a big screen set up so you can play UFC Undisputed, and there is tons of memorabilia around. The memorabilia was historic. There was the original gi that Royce Gracie wore at UFC 1. There were also worn gloves and shorts signed by UFC fighters like Chuck Liddell and Georges St. Pierre. On display in what seemed like bulletproof glass in a museum were the original programs from UFC 1 and UFC 2. They didn’t look like your typical sports program, more like large, special edition magazines.
A great way for the fans to interact is to play UFC Undisputed on Xbox. There are single elimination tournaments held with fans. The weight divisions are selected at random and you cannot pick the highest rated fighter in the division.
The main attraction for most fans on the tour stops would have to be the autograph signings with various UFC fighters, past and present. On the stop in Katy, the special guest was Chuck Liddell. To say the line that wrapped around the building to meet him was long would be an understatement.
This is a great concept the UFC has come up with to create brand awareness. It gives the fans an opportunity to meet their favorite fighters and to get an up close look at UFC history.
Enjoy the pics.