Shaq is in the building, and his seats are predictably, um, good. The Big Aristotle is seated at a table right next to the octagon, and he's wearing a black t-shirt with "UFC" written in neon green letters across the front.
The loser in this scenario is Chuck Liddell. The former UFC champ (and, if I might mention, proud owner of an all-time great Entourage cameo) is seated directly behind The 7-foot-1-inch Diesel.
Joe Lauzon, the Bridgewater native who will take on Gabe Ruediger at UFC 118 Saturday night at TD Garden, was Boston.com's special guest at a Wednesday lunchtime chat session.
Lauzon is 17-5 in professional mixed matrial arts bouts, and faces a former teammate on the television show "The Utimate Fighter" in Ruediger. Lauzon has five UFC victories.
Ruediger is a submission specialist who is on a six-fight win streak outside of the UFC empire.
Click the "replay" button below to read the Q&A.
Ultimate Fighting Championship, one of the nation's fastest-growing sports, is about to make its first appearance in Boston.
UFC 118 takes place on Saturday at TD Garden, and we'll have tons of coverage here on Boston.com. The card features BJ Penn and Kenny Florian, who are seen here (Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images) in their 2009 bout in Philadelphia, although they don't fight each other in Boston. The days leading up to the event will be filled with UFC events. The schedule:
Wednesday: Pre-fight press conference at Faneuil Hall. Begins at 3 p.m., open to the public. Includes UFC President Dana White, lightweight champ Frankie Edgar and his main event opponent, lightweight contender BJ Penn, plus fighters Randy Couture, James Toney, Kenny Florian and Gray Maynard.
Thursday: Open workouts at Hynes Convention Center featuring Florian, Penn, Toney, Maynard, Couture, Edgar, Marcus Davis and Joe Lauzon.
Friday-Saturday: UFC Fan Expo at Hynes Convention Center; UFC 188 weigh-in at TD Garden. Begins at 10 a.m. each day.
Saturday: UFC 118 fight night. Doors open at 6 p.m., first fight at 7:20 p.m., main card begins at 10 p.m.
The main contributors to The Buzz are:
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Gary Dzen, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Zuri Berry, Boston.com sports producer