He checked an item off his bucket list at UFC 281, but Daniel “Spider” DiOrio has a lot more UFC events to attend before feeling satisfied.
DiOrio began watching fights in college. Slightly before he would even call himself a fan, he found himself exposed to the sport of MMA. It was never about the technique, it was never about the sport. Originally it was all about the cherry on top of St. Bonaventure and Fordham parties.
“Big time parties, vibes would have UFC fights going on in the background,” DiOrio explained. “I can remember watching (Conor) McGregor fight a bunch of times and that’s really what piqued my interest. He seemed like a very polarizing fighter. While I’m not a McGregor fan, I respect what he’s done for the sport. He got someone like myself paying attention to the sport and I’ve been hooked on it since.”
Growing familiarity with the sport through the years, compounded with the unique atmosphere of Barstool HQ, “Spider” has gone from simply knowing who the face of the company is to diehard fan.
Long before he ever thought he’d be at the O2 Arena with the featured bout A-side, DiOrio was not only drawn in by the vibes surrounding big fights but the commentary team, as well. Joe Rogan’s ability through the years to illustrate in real time the intricate ground game and striking attacks has had fans like DiOrio coming back month after month for years.
In just over a half of a decade, DiOrio’s love of the UFC has grown to the point of “bucket list” status.
It’s always been hard for him not to enjoy the fights on TV, but seeing a pay-per-view in person at Madison Square Garden became a priority in his life. It looked as though every year he’d get his shot until COVID-19 kept MMA’s biggest show out of “the world’s most famous arena.”
But almost as quickly as the UFC was back in New York City, “Spider” was in the building.
“I can go to a Knicks game, I can go to a Rangers game, but it’s a different kind of roar when the bright lights are on for the UFC,” DiOrio said.
In a short period of time, DiOrio added an item to his bucket list and checked it off, but he hardly feels like he’s “conquered” his UFC mountain. All checking that box did was add momentum to his fandom.
“The great thing about the UFC is there’s always the next bout,” DiOrio said. “Who’s talking s***? Where’s the drama? The storylines are always ongoing. While the card may end and that door closes, I see it as an opportunity to see the next event. I saw it at the O2, I saw it at MSG, what’s next?”
DiOrio now has his sights set on a Las Vegas PPV.
He’s no stranger to Las Vegas, he’s no stranger to combat sports in Las Vegas, but until DiOrio is losing his voice with the rest of the sold out T-Mobile Arena there’s still a large void in his Las Vegas experience.
“I’ve been to Vegas in the past for fight nights but it’s been boxing promotion,” DiOrio said. “Don’t get me wrong, they’re fun, but I’d prefer MMA and the UFC to boxing all day and I know that’s no hot take. Most people would agree at this point. There’s no fight night until you’ve been in Vegas for the UFC.”
WATCH: The Rising Stars Of UFC 282
Vegas pay-per-view dreams mixed with a Paddy Pimblett co-main event bout makes UFC 282 the perfect cap to “Spider’s” year, but unfortunately, he may have to wait until next year. Never one to cause a fuss, DiOrio bypassed the ability to bring up to the powers that be that Pimblett mentioned him by name to El Pres when discussing who will be making the cross country flight.
Model employee, model locker room guy, model fight fan.
Hopefully in 2023, the T-Mobile Arena has a spot for Spider, but until then it’s water cooler talk with the Spinnin’ Backfist crew and Joe Rogan-led PPV watch parties. The same way it all began.
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