The 2011 Fighters Only World MMA Awards took place last night at the Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
The red-carpet, black-tie event was hosted for a second consecutive year by the talented Molly Qerim and co-hosted by UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen.
Qerim, who is a Sports Network anchor for CBS Sports had a memorable night and one in which she was able to share the evening with two young fans of the sport.
"That really meant absolutely, absolutely everything to me," Qerim recently told BleacherReport.com. "Being at the awards show last year and being a part of the sport, I really wanted to be able to share it with people and I reached out to Jen Wenk, who does a lot of PR work here in Vegas and she put me in touch with them and the organization found two boys, Eric and Tyler. They're some of the best in school, best behaved, and MMA fans as well and that put everything in perspective.
"If I fell on face on stage I wouldn't have even cared just to see their faces and how much it meant to them to walk down the red carpet, to be a part of it, and they got picked up in a limo, and they got a wardrobe and how everyone kind of pitched in to make that happen and how they really, truly appreciated it just meant everything to me."
Being able to give back to the fans, especially the young men from the Las Vegas Boys Town, is what meant the most to the awards show host.
"It's everything and that's why I'm in this business," Qerim said. "I could go right now and work for a non-profit organization, but I have a passion for sports and I love to write and speak. This job allows me to have a platform to give back and the more my career is developing the more I want to be able to do that. Because, this is the honest to God truth, being at the awards and getting to be a part of these type of UFC events and that kind of thing it's still very special to me and it's still very exciting to me.
"But for other people who don't have that kind of access or maybe will never get the chance to do that in their lifetime. To see their smile, it's just so rewarding and special to me because I know how it is, I know growing up and certain things when people went out of their way for me. I'll never forget those lessons and conversations and I hope to continue to pay it forward and be in the position to do that."
In addition to seeing the joy Eric and Tyler experienced while attending the awards show, Qerim had a few moments that stood out to her the most.
"I know the Tapout guys, so seeing them accept the award (and) obviously talking about Charles (Lewis), that definitely stood out to me and Shawn Tompkins being honored and recognized. Also, I think "Cowboy" Cerrone getting honored was great and Jon Jones with 'Fighter of the Year' was well deserved."
In addition to the aforementioned gentlemen, 22 awards in total were handed out, and Qerim believes the show was an overall success.
"I thought everything went pretty smoothly," Qerim said. "I think Chael is just made for T.V.. He's absolutely hysterical as he was joking during the show. He's a man of the people. Even from last year, this is the second year, last year I co-hosted with Randy Couture. The whole vibe, even the red carpet and the coverage it felt bigger and I think it went pretty smoothly and I hope everyone enjoyed it."
For additional information on Molly Qerim, please follow her on Twitter: @MollyQerim
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