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CrossFit® / March 2016
Maureen Quirk, Global Newsroom

Fan Makes Epic McGregor Claymation That Will Blow Your Mind

There are sports fans and then there are UFC fans.

The latter are in a league, or in this case, a class all their own. They not only cheer on their favorite athletes, they follow their every move on social media and aren’t afraid to get their hands a little dirty to show their loyalty.

From fan art to Instagram memes, UFC fans show their senses of humor in unexpected ways, and all of the Internet gets to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

But ahead of UFC 196 featuring an epic McGregor-Diaz showdown one fan has taken his passion for the sport to a new medium—clay.

“As a kid I grew up on wrestling, watching it every weekend with my dad and my brother,” says Azod Abedikichi, the brains (and hands) behind Sports Claymation, which created this unreal depiction of featherweight champ Conor McGregor. “I saw my first UFC event in high school, and I couldn't look away.”

What started as a plan to make 10 basketball animations has exploded into a new business recently. Ever since Abedikichi’s Ronda Rousey animation in 2015, he’s been able to combine his passion for art and the aggression of the Octagon.

“I would like to make way more fighting animations,” he says, “I think the fighting fans show more enthusiasm towards them than the other sports.”

Despite Abedikichi’s love of the sport, he maintains he can’t pick just one fighter to follow.

“Since I've started Sports Claymation I've found myself rooting more for the stories to tell rather than the fan loyalty,” he says. “I'm extremely entertained by Conor [McGregor], and I'd have to say I'm a huge Ronda [Rousey] fan. She's one of the few athletes I've covered that I've communicated with, and I have nothing but respect and admiration for her. I can't wait to see her return.”

But just how long does it take Abedikichi to make something like this animation? It depends.

“There’s techniques and shortcuts to really expedite the process,” he says. “Because most of them are for social media, I like to knock them out ASAP and in one swoop, even if it takes 30 hours straight.”

CrossFit® / March 2016
Maureen Quirk, Global Newsroom