The State of Pennsylvania is hosting it's first-ever MMA match tomorrow night, fittingly at the Civic Arena, HOME OF THE 2008-2009 STANLEY CUP CHAMPION PITTSBURGH PENGUINS!
UFC 101, the big-time MMA event, will be in Philly in August, but Pittsburgh had to one-up Philadelphia, scheduling the UCFC Rumble on the Rivers for June 27th, tomorrow night. The fight card features a bunch of guys you've never heard of and probably don't care about, but current MMA free agent Tito Ortiz is doing some major promotion for PA's first MMA experience.
The Trib's Justin LaBar caught up with the pandering Ortiz in this video. Ortiz, labeled as a "Celebrity Guest" for the UCFC event, is wearing a shirt that looks oddly like a piece of Steelers gear. It's from Punishment Athletics, the MMA clothing line run by Tito himself. But when I look at the PA website, I find no mention of this shirt.
So Tito's going the Barack Obama route...do everything possible to impress Steelers fans, recognizing our influence over the Pittsburgh community as a whole. If you can get Steelers fans on board with whatever you're selling, you have a great chance of starting some conversation, and getting the local result you were looking for.
But Tito better be careful. The Civic Arena only holds just over 17k, and showing up in a fakie Steelers shirt like the one above might cause more demand than supply.
Video is below.