Almost every fighter under the Zuffa family will be attending the summit between today and tomorrow’s sessions where they will cover any number of topics including social networking, medical information and many other varied subjects.
The Twitter world was filled on Monday with recaps creatively done by the fighters in attendance at the UFC Fighter Summit with some new things learned and some things worth poking some fun at.
The biggest news to come out of the UFC Fighter Summit thus far was the extension of the UFC fighter insurance to cover pre-existing conditions.
At last year’s summit, the UFC first introduced fighter insurance to cover their athletes for any injuries that would be suffered while in training or preparation for a fight.
This new initiative is said to increase the UFC’s premiums by about 60-percent according to a report from SportsBusinessDaily. UFC President Dana White wouldn’t confirm an overall number for how much the company is investing in their insurance program, but it’s upwards of $1 million.
From there the day took twists and turns into the social networking portion of the presentations with fighters learning about building up their profiles on major sites like Twitter and Facebook.
“Learning about building up my Facebook,” wrote UFC welterweight Mike Swick. “I’ve been bad about not using Facebook much. I will start posting super interesting stuff ASAP!”
The UFC has been one of the only major sports leagues to focus an initiative at their athletes encouraging social networking interactions with their fans. In some other sports like football, the NFL has routinely fined its athletes for taking to sites like Twitter too close to game time or even from the game field.
“Next up speaker about using Facebook to connect with fans,” UFC middleweight Nick Catone said. “UFC is huge on social media.”
While there were also conversations about Twitter, one of the more interesting subjects apparently covered during Monday’s seminar was about ‘sensitivity training’. This was in no small part likely due to some controversial statements uttered on Twitter by some UFC fighters over the last year.
UFC bantamweight Miguel Torres lost his job with the company briefly after sending a message out to the masses joking about rape. He eventually was brought back into the fold, but not without the scare of losing his job over the insensitive remarks.
“We’re gonna be learning about real world issues and consequences regarding sensitivity,” wrote UFC bantamweight Scott Jorgensen.
If nothing else was learned about sensitivity, UFC lightweight Mitch Clarke was at least scared straight on some level.
“The sensitivity trainer at the fighter summit scares me. A lot,” wrote Clarke.
The seminars continued throughout the day with the fighters learning about drug usage, performance enhancing drugs and even about tattoos.
The biggest moment of Monday’s session however was a speech given by Super Bowl champion and former All-Pro wide receiver Michael Irvin.
He spoke to the fighters about fame and the dangers that come along with it, and how it can all change on the drop of a dime. According to several fighters in attendance, Irvin’s speech was beyond motivational, it was inspirational.
“Michael Irvin is an incredible motivational speaker,” said UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon. “He is blowing me away right now.
“Michael Irvin talking about being professional and fighting through all the stuff that comes with becoming famous.”
“Michael Irvin made the UFC summit worth it 100-percent,” said Duane Ludwig.
“Best part of the day was Michael Irvin’s speech” wrote UFC heavyweight Shane Carwin.
“Damn, Michael Irvin is intense,” said Matt Mitrione. “His life/experiences are remarkable. Privilege to hear him speak.”
Highlight of the UFC Fighter Summit Day 1:
That honor goes to Team Alpha Male fighter Danny Castillo who created a trending topic on Twitter a few weeks back with his #FrankMirFace hashtag. It was a colorful joke aimed at the former UFC heavyweight champion for a certain disposition he seems to carry in a lot of pictures.
On Monday, Castillo’s infamous hashtag was mentioned during the seminar on how to use Twitter, and Mir just happened to be a few feet away.
“#FrankMirFace was referenced in the Twitter portion of the Fighter Summit and Frank Mir is in the house,” wrote Castillo. “I’m (expletive).”
Luckily for Castillo even Frank Mir has a sense of humor and the two later posed for a picture together that Castillo posted on his Instagram (another useful social networking tool for fighters).
Low light of the UFC Fighter Summit Day 1:
Unfortunately that honor goes to the final speaker of the day according to many of the UFC fighters on Twitter. Apparently the intensity of the lady speaking wasn’t reaching many of the fighters, and they didn’t quite connect on whatever message she was relaying.
“UFC Fighter Summit was rather enjoyable until now,” wrote Rich Attonito. “I’d like the past 45 minutes of my life back.”
“OMG I want compensation or the last 45 minutes of my life back,” said Brad Pickett.
The stars of the first day of the UFC Fighter Summit on Twitter had to be social networking guru Joe Lauzon, Strikeforce heavyweight Josh Barnett (who had the funniest quips of the entire day) and Matt Mitrione with several other fighters like Yves Edwards and Rich Attonito picking up honorable mentions.
Day 2 of the UFC Fighter Summit picks up on Tuesday with the remainder of the Zuffa family of fighters coming into Las Vegas for their chance at a similar bill of speakers and subjects to learn about.