USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea --
USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea – Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters Rich Franklin and Keith Jardine visited sailors and Marines aboard aircraft carrier USS Enterprise for live fighting demonstrations, April 16.
A large crowd surrounded a wrestling mat in the carrier’s hangar bay as Lt. Col. Nathan Miller, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 executive officer, introduced the fighters.
“Being able to see a professional fighter performs one of our MCMAP moves during a match definitely made me have more trust in the techniques we learn,” said Lance Cpl. Ariel Rosario, VMFA-251 aviation information systems specialist.
Marines and sailors aboard the carrier had the opportunity to practice basic MCMAP techniques with the fighters and discuss alternate take-downs and how to effectively take advantage of joint manipulation opportunities.
“The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program is very similar to what the fighters train and practice everyday because it is a style based on mixed martial arts,” said Staff Sgt. Randy Saulsberry, VMFA-251 quality assurance representative and a Memphis, Tenn. native. “For Marines to see and talk with these professionals is a great way to reinforce the importance of conditioning and mental discipline.”
Keith Jardine gained his fame in UFC after his participation in the television series Ultimate Fighter 2. Rich Franklin is well known in the organization for his prestigious fighting record of 28-6-1.
After the demonstrations, each fighter met with service members to sign autographs and to have individual photos taken. The visitors toured the carrier where they later ate lunch with the Marines and sailors while learning more about the life aboard ship.
The USS Enterprise and its Marines and sailors are underway on the carrier’s final deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility in support of maritime security operations
“Seeing the special guests come on the ship gave me a sense of fulfillment for what we do because they took the time and effort to visit us while we are halfway across the world protecting the American lifestyle,” said Rosario, a native of Kennesaw, Ga.