Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters aboard USS Enterprise

30 May 2012 | Cpl. Rubin Tan

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.