WIESBADEN, Germany - Ultimate Fighting Championship fans were treated to a clinic, autographs and a chance to meet some of the stars of the UFC scene during a visit by fighters and one of the Octagon girls Oct. 18.
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The UFC's Johny Hendricks, Ross Pearson, Gray "The Bully" Maynard and Octagon girl Chandella Powell spent time with service and family members during visits to the Wiesbaden Fitness Center and Entertainment Center.
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"The UFC organization asked if I would like to do it and I said, sure, anything for the troops," said Hendricks. "I'm very grateful and thankful for everything they do. Without the military our lives would be very different. I'm honored to be here."
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Hendricks, who said he was missing his daughter's first birthday to spend time with service members in Europe, added, "That's how important it is to us - we get to ease their minds for five or 10 minutes." Hendricks also said he was inspired by the fact that his uncle and brother have served in Iraq.
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The four-time all-American college wrestler, World Extreme Cagefighter and undefeated UFC fighter, explained that they had a chance to catch fights at an expo in London before heading to Germany to spend time with service members in Wiesbaden, Ramstein and Spangdahlem. "Another good thing about coming over here is seeing how jetlag affects us."
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"I love UFC," said Spc. James McChord, 184th Military Police Platoon. McChord and several other Soldiers stopped by the fitness center to meet the UFC fighters and get tips to help them improve their Army combatives skills. "It's awesome - I'm anxious to watch them during the clinic."
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After an autograph session and T-shirt giveaway, the UFC fighters headed into the gym to work out with community members on the mats. Maynard, Hendricks and Pearson demonstrated holds and techniques as service members put them quickly into practice on one another.
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"I like everything about it," said Eric Gerencser, another UFC fan who traveled from Heidelberg for the opportunity to spend time with the UFC representatives. "I'm glad they're doing this stuff. ... My dad got me into the sport."
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"My brother is in the Army and my sister is in the Air Force," said Octagon girl Powell, who said she always wanted to visit a military base and was excited about being able to do so in Germany. "I'm very grateful and thankful. ... I thank the troops for all they've done."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16