Comfortable

“Our next guest is the reigning Middleweight Champion of the UFC. He has successfully defended his title eleven times and is scheduled to defend it for the twelfth time in Las Vegas three short weeks from now at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. We know he is currently involved in some intense training while getting ready for the fight and appreciate him taking time out to join us. Please welcome Mathew ‘Maddog’ Miller!”

Matt’s face had a slight frown on it as the introduction proceeded, to be quickly replaced by a bright smile as he walked through the curtain. God he hated these public relations gigs. He was here only because the UFC depended upon his all-american good looks and excellent command of language to enhance the UFC’s reputation. He knew it was necessary and benefited the organization, but he hated it.

As he walked out to shake Stephen’s hand he had a really hard time focusing on the guy. His attention was pulled to the left where the Canadian actress was rising to greet him. Lisa was highly successful and he had been surprised when she had said she would stay for the next guest. She was so much more famous and successful than him it was ridiculous. For her to stay for his interview seemed unusual. She had short black hair, golden brown eyes, and alabaster skin. She was short, maybe five 5’2”, and took his breath away. Having seen every film she ever made in her young career, he was a huge fan. He had trouble focusing on the host.

When he looked back at Stephen the guy wore a smirk that seemed to say ‘keep it you pants’. Matt smiled and surprised the guy by giving him a ferocious hug rather than a handshake. The clown act he publicly performed was definitely ‘on’. He turned and waved at the crowd, smiling brilliantly. Then he turned toward her.

She seemed to expect a similar hug, but he extended his hand completely to provide her with maximum distance between them. She pulled on his hand bringing him close for the ‘Hollywood Air Kiss’ on the cheek. God she smelled nice. He realized his hand was sweaty and wanted to get it free from her’s quickly, but she held on to it longer than he thought she would. He felt slightly faint as he seated himself.

“So, Maddog, — you don’t mind if I call you Maddog do you? — how’s the preparation for the fight coming? All ready?”

What a stupid question, Matt thought. Am I going to say no, admit I’m lazy if I haven’t trained? What an idiot. The clown act was in full bloom as he pulled out Stock Answer Number Three: “I train hard every day but leading up to a fight it becomes particularly intense. I am ready for action”. His clown act training included knowing how to use five syllable words that were actually quite common so he was both erudite and easy to understand at the same time.

The comment from Lisa was unexpected by both him and the host, “You talk pretty for a guy who makes a living hitting people in the face.”

Matt was taken completely by surprise. He turned toward her expecting an argument, but was surprised that her expression seemed more playful than angry. So, remembering to start with a simple four syllable word, he said “Actually, the hitting is just a tool. What I am really accomplishing is to impose my will on my opponent.” This was Stock Answer Number Fifteen; she was forcing him to make an effort.

“Bullshit.” She said this with a big grin.

He had no stock answer for this so he turned and looked at Stephen. Stephen seemed nonplussed by Lisa’s outburst and said, “So Lisa, I guess you’re not a big fan of Mixed Martial Arts.”

“I would hardly call hitting someone in the face an art.”

His Stock Answers were inadequate to the task so he just winged it, “Actually, Lisa, it really is a art. I have black belts in Aikido, Karate, and Brazilian Jujitsu. Each takes years to achieve and I am currently working towards a belt in Judo. There is a lot more to imposing your will than just punching someone in the face.”

He thought he was past the surprise she had caused until her next statement, which left him with his mouth hanging open. She said, “Just because you call it an Anaconda when your bicep is against his neck or a D’arce when your bicep is under his armpit doesn’t make it art. You’re still choking someone to unconsciousness.” She said this with a playful look on her face.

He didn’t have to wonder later what he looked like sitting there with his mouth hanging wide open. He saw many pictures of it on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs for weeks. Stock answers were no longer a part of the equation.

“How the hell do you know what an Anaconda is? Wait, you’re a fan! Either you’re working on your belt in Jujitsu or you’re a fan. I know experienced MMA fighters who don’t really know the difference between a D’Arce and an Anaconda. You’re fucking with me!”

Yep, later when reporting to UFC management he had to admit that was no Stock Answer. And yet they weren’t mad. On TV it just came out as ‘You’re beep with me’ followed by Lisa’s beautiful tinkling laughter.

Stephen, sensing he was losing control of the interview, said, “It’s funny you bring up these various choke holds. I understand you have begun predicting how you will submit your opponent. In the last four fights you have announced which method you would use to force him to submit and have been able to successfully do it each time.”

“Yes, that’s right. The first one started as a joke because the fighter was a pure wrestler and everyone knew he would need a double-leg takedown to get me on the ground where he had a chance. So, since lunging for a double exposes your neck, I just said when he shoots at my thighs I’ll just get him in a Guillotine Choke. It turned out that’s exactly how it happened.”

“I understand now it’s developed into a contest on Twitter where your followers vote on which method of victory you will use to subdue your opponent.”

“Stephen, don’t you mean impose your will?”  More tinkling laughter from Lisa.

Ignoring Lisa, Matt realized he was so far off the clown act script that he was just having a real conversation. He said, “Yes, that now seems to be what pleases my fans. The problem is that they keep picking more and more difficult holds for me to execute.”

“Which moves have you executed on demand so far?”

Lisa interjected with more giggle-talk, “Executed! Now he’s executing opponents.” God, her giggle was appealing.

“Thus far, the Rear Naked Choke, the Anaconda, the D’Arce, and an Arm Bar.”

“What can we expect in three weeks? What have your faithful fans decided for your next victim?”

Lisa couldn’t really be expected to ignore that emotionally powerful word. She giggle-talked again, “Victim! Excellent word choice. A victim of will power imposition!”

She really wasn’t going to let up. So, Matt turned to her and asked, “Which move did you vote on for this fight?” He had a sneaking suspicion she was one of his Twitter followers.

At last her composure cracked a little. She said without a giggle, “I, uh, well, I, uh, voted on the Peruvian Necktie.” Her expression had changed from playfulness to something else he couldn’t quite identify.

“So, then, you were victorious. It hasn’t been announced yet, — well, I guess I’m doing it now — but the Peruvian Necktie is the choice for this next fight.”

“Please excuse the ignorance of a neophyte, Maddog, but exactly what is a Peruvian Necktie?”

“Stephen, imagine if my legs, the backs of my hamstrings more specifically, were on your back, one on the back of your head and one on your upper back. Now imagine my hands were connected in front of your throat after reaching between my legs past your head on one side and your armpit on the other. If I pulled I could put tremendous pressure on your windpipe, jugular vein, and carotid artery all at once.”

“So, I would pass out?”

“No, you would tap on my leg or the mat or anything in sight to signal me to please, please, please, stop.”

“I am having trouble picturing the position. You say you’re sitting on my back?”

“No, I would be lying on my back.”

At that point it got interesting. Lisa said, “I could show you.”

Matt and Stephen both looked at Lisa in astonishment. Matt said, “You would let me put you in a Peruvian Necktie?”

“No, I am willing to put you in a Peruvian Necktie.”

Matt looked down at Lisa’s uncovered legs showing in a skirt that only came to mid-thigh. He then leaped onto the floor face down. He knew from the laughter of the audience that his eagerness was obvious. He didn’t care.

Lisa began to lecture as she stood and removed her high-heel shoes. “Normally the Peruvian Necktie is made possible when an opponent exposes his back while trying a double-leg takedown.”

She walked to Matt’s head and turned to face his prone body. “When he shoots for your legs if you sprawl and drop your chest onto his back you end up in what is called ‘on top, inverted’.”

While saying this she dropped onto her knees and then lay her chest on the back of Matt’s head. “Next push your right arm past his neck and under his body while pushing your left arm past his opposite armpit to connect your hands.”

As she performed this maneuver, Matt was grinning into the carpet. Her boobs were pressed against his upper back and it felt great. It was at this point that he realized his mistake. Since she had chosen to use her right arm by his throat it meant that when she completed the maneuver he would be lying on his side facing the audience. The only issue with that was the fact that he had worn tight pants and the more she rubbed her boobs on his neck the tighter the pants became. This had the potential to be very embarrassing.

“Next, comes the tricky part. You have to be very flexible to do this. You twist on your side and throw your left leg up onto his back like so. Then you lift your right leg and put it behind his head, like so. Now when you lean onto your back he rolls onto his side and you have the muscles of your entire torso with which to pull. You can put a lot of force.”

During all of this Matt’s problem became more pronounced. She had just put her naked thighs on his back and, more distractingly, on the back of his neck. His pants were now very tight. As she applied force, she pulled his extreme upper back against her crotch. The audience was given quite a show. In fact it was such a show that by the time the episode aired the sensors had decided to pixilate the front of Matt’s pants.

Matt was very embarrassed and began immediately tapping his hand furiously on her thigh in surrender. It turns out that touching her thigh with his hand only worsened his condition. When she released the hold he quickly jumped up and walked bent over to his seat and sat down with his hands in his lap, feigning innocence.

What had occurred was so obvious that the audience roared with laughter. Lisa, seeing his dilemma, turned the most beautiful shade of red. She quickly sat down, also feigning innocence. Stephen, however, saw an opportunity for ratings and said, “Maddog certainly appeared to be incapacitated. He surrendered quite easily.”

Then for Matt something wonderful happened. As he looked over at Lisa she mouthed the words, “I’m sorry.” This was combined with a light touch on his shoulder from her left hand. The casualness with which she performed these simple acts was astonishing. It was as though they had known each other for years. It felt very comfortable. He felt very comfortable with her by his side during the entire rest of the interview. She never interrupted again. He would occasionally feel her elbow brush his as he talked.

When they finished his interview the next normal action was to return to their dressing rooms to get into street clothes prior to leaving the studio. When Matt turned toward the exit rather than the dressing rooms, Lisa said, “Aren’t you going to your dressing room?”

“No, I’m good with what I wore to the studio.”

“I’m not, I want change into some jeans.”

He wasn’t sure exactly how he knew this meant they were leaving together and he should wait for her, but he knew. No one was surprised when, three weeks later during his title defense, she was in a front row seat right behind his trainer.

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