Lights, Camera, Action !
You may know her from her time at Heavy.com, but Megan Olivi has since moved on to covering your favorite fighters for the UFC and FOX. From the Jersey Shore to the Las Vegas desert, this pintsized bundle of energy always delivers big.
What’s up Megan? Most of our readers know you from your time at Heavy.com, but I hear you’ve moved on to other things. What’s the good word?
Yes! Moving on up! I’m working with the UFC and Fox Sports. I just did a ton of coverage for the UFC’s international fight week that surrounded UFC 148. We went to pool parties, concerts and all the media events—It was awesome. Each day was a wrap-up on UFC.com so fans who weren’t in vegas could still feel like they were participating. And for Fox Sports, I’ll be doing lifestyle coverage—showing guys outside of the octagon and getting to know who they really are as people.
Congratulations on the new gig.
Thank you! I’m very fortunate to have these opportunities. I love this sport, and I really enjoy showing people the ins and outs of UFC events and having them learn more about the athletes. People who don’t know much about MMA sometimes don’t understand what a great company the UFC is and how down to earth, normal, and fun the fighters really are.
Very true. There were some good fights at UFC 148, and some unusual ones. What did you think of the card?
It was interesting. No finishes until the main card, which was kind of odd. The energy was amazing in the arena though. I thought the Forrest-Tito fight could have gone either way, but then, Forrest’s actions were bizarre. And selfishly, I wanted the main event to go longer because I love watching both Anderson and Chael fight.
Forrest stepping in to interview Tito definitely threw things for a loop. Who has been the most interesting interview for you lately?
I truly find almost everyone I interview to be interesting. I just ran into Tom Lawlor at the UFC Fan Expo and interviewed him there, which was fun. He had just gotten this new cat tattoo the night before and was all pumped to show me and talk about it.
Cat tattoo? Do tell.
It’s a cat with a monocle, cuff links, a vest, and a sword. And apparently, it has no meaning at all, he just thought it was cool. Right on his chest. I couldn’t stop laughing!
That sounds ridiculous and yet somehow perfect for Lawlor.
Exactly, lots of characters in this sport. I love it.
What about you? Any ink?
Absolutely not! I’m simple. My ears are pierced, and that’s it. I think I’m the only one in all of my friends without any tattoos.
Certainly you’ve thought about it though, right? What would you get if you had no other choice?
I really haven’t! If I got anything, it might be my really good friend Derek’s initials. He passed away when we were in college. But I never really wanted tattoos so why do it now?
So how do you avoid getting into trouble living in a town like Las Vegas?
Work! It keeps me too tired for trouble. [laughing] No, it’s not hard. I’m not a drinker besides the occasional glass of wine, and I rarely gamble, so avoiding those two things makes Vegas an amazing place. I only go to the strip for special occasions, and I live by Red Rock, so it doesn’t even feel like Vegas. There’s a lot to do outdoors. I absolutely love living here.
That’s great. Got any recommendations for things to see or do from the local perspective?
Oh yes! My favorite place to eat is Lotus of Siam or pizza at Grimaldi’s. I’m an East Coast girl, I need my fix! The best show is definitely Absinthe at Caesars. It’s hilarious. And if you want to get away from the craziness of the strip, I suggest taking a drive to Red Rock Canyon and hiking one of the amazing trails.
I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you busting some moves on the dancefloor before too.
Oh, definitely. If there’s a good song playing and I happen to be at a club I’ll be dancing for sure.
Do you lean like a Chola?
Let me guess, you saw my Twitter! I like to have a good time.
So the UFC Fan Expo weekend was pretty crazy. Any good stories?
Every part of the week was amazing from the kickoff concert with thousands of people on Fremont for my favorite holiday—4th of July!
Then pool parties and bar crawls with fighters and ring girls, open workouts at XS, the expo, the fights, jumping into the after-party pool with my dress on. It was a really great time.
Wait, what? Did you jump willingly into said pool?
I did. We were at one of the after-parties and all the guys and a couple of girls were in the pool, so my friends and I just said ‘Let’s do it’ and jumped on in. Some did it with less clothes, but I do my 2 a.m. pool-jumping as classy as possible and kept the clothes on [laughing]. And yes, I was 100 percent sober. It was a good way to end the crazy week.
Ah, always the professional!
Yeah, chicken fighting in a thong on a random dudes shoulders isn’t for me.
You might want to consider making sacrifices for the fans though. Just saying. Seriously though, You must break the rules once in awhile, right?
I’m pretty boring! I’m always laughing and having fun. I have a good life, no need to rebel.
I dunno, MMA is a pretty rebellious environment. How did you get involved in all that?
Well, my older brother was an elite wrestler so I literally grew up on a mat watching him practice and compete. My grandfather was a boxing champion in the Navy and my Great Uncle was a professional boxer as well, so it was a natural progression from there.
Where are you from originally?
My family are all Italians from Jersey. I was born there. We moved across the river to Pennsylvania when I was really young, so I was raised there—it was awesome. I went to college back in NJ and then grad school in NYC.
So you escaped the Jersey Shore.
Just think, had you not, you might be known as Snooki’s counterpart.
[Laughing] My parents would be ashamed I’m sure.
Maybe a little, but they clearly raised you right. Anyway, thanks for the time Megan. We’ll keep an eye out for your new appearances!
“I’m always laughing and having fun.” (we hadn’t noticed)
Be sure to keep up with Megan on twitter @MeganOlivi and keep an eye out for her on UFC.com and FOX!