When OTAs wrapped up this spring, most New England Patriots players took full advantage of the time off.
But with many of his teammates taking vacations before Training Camp, tight end Scotty Washington went to work, interning with the UFC in Las Vegas, Nevada before reporting back to Gillette Stadium this week.
"I had met Dana (White) in March when I was out there for an event after the season. Obviously, he's a big Patriots fan" Washington said after practice Thursday.
"I just told him, I want to play as long as I can in the NFL, but when I'm done playing football, I want to be able to do something with the UFC in some capacity. I've been a fan for so long."
The UFC president told Washington to come out to Vegas during his downtime to learn the ropes, setting him up with an internship the athlete development department under Ozzie Arias and Reed Harris.
Washington has been a fan since his freshman year of college, when he and a roommate would catch fights together at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Fast forward a few years, and he's working an internship during International Fight Week.
"Basically, that's like their Super Bowl week," Washington said. "It's the most stacked card of the year. They try to put all the biggest fights then. There was about 60 guest fighters coming in that week for a big fan expo, so we basically made all their schedules, coordinated their travel, accommodations, and all their transportation to and from events and to meet and greets. It was pretty eye-opening.
"I got a greater appreciation for everything that happens behind the scenes, for sure, because we're just so used to being catered to. We just show up and everything is already taken care of. It was humbling to see all the moving parts that go into a business like the UFC or the Patriots. It was really fun. I had a good time, met a lot of great people, and made a lot of good connections."
One of those connections just happened to be legendary fighter Israel Adesanya.
"My favorite fighter is Israel Adesanya and I actually got to meet him during my internship," Washington said.
"He's probably one of the nicest, most humble guys I ever met. Being the superstar he is, it's just cool to be able to talk to him on a personal level about life. He's just a real, genuine dude, so the whole experience was awesome."