Last week, the story of 19-year old Jake Stoneking became national news after it was revealed that he was trying to complete a number of things on his bucket list, which is incredibly sad, because no kid should ever have a bucket list. But Jake has been battling a rare form of brain cancer known as medulloblastoma, and he has decided to have as much fun as he can with what time he has left. That started by knocking the No. 1 item – a trip to the strip club Jiggles – off his list, and thanks to the help of the Internet and a lot of us UFC fans, Jake was able to cross No. 2 off his list on Saturday as well.
Prior to UFC 171, UFC co-owner and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta learned of Jake’s story and said that he wanted to help, and it was also revealed that Chael Sonnen had already unsuccessfully tried to get Jake to UFC 170 last month. But despite having only a few days to set up a trip, the UFC came through, and Jake not only attended his first UFC event, but he also got to accompany the eventual new welterweight champion, Johny Hendricks, to the ring.
On Saturday night, Jake walked out with Johny Hendricks for the main event of UFC 171 here at American Airlines Center and stepped into the Octagon after the fight. For the main card, he’s sat in the front row with UFC president Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta. And before that, he got the full VIP treatment, hanging out with UFC fighters like Forrest Griffin, Gilbert Melendez and Nick Diaz backstage while watching the prelims.
“I never dreamt I’d do it in a million years,” Jake told FOX Sports. “This is insane. I shouldn’t be here.” (Via Fox Sports)
Unfortunately – and this is one of those mind-blowing occasions when the Internet has just failed us all – there doesn’t seem to be any video of Jake walking with Johny on Saturday night. There are, however, some photos of Jake’s behind-the-scenes experience, so those will have to hold us over until I can find us some video of this kid’s trademark smile lighting up “$50 and a Flask of Crown.”
If Jake had flipped Nick Diaz the bird, it might have been the coolest UFC moment of the year. It would have been really hard to top it.
I assume this was taken right before Jake asked why he was sitting with Dana White and not the ring girls, like I had wisely recommended.
As a lot of Redditors pointed out, look at Jake with no hover hand on Ronda Rousey. Hopefully, she and some of the guys took him to a real Las Vegas strip club after the show.