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UFC athletes and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department pick out toys with children during the UFC x LVMPD Holiday Shopping Event. (Photo by Michael Kirschbaum / eightelevenmedia).
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UFC & LVMPD 2022 "Holiday Shopping Event"

UFC Athletes and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officers Shop With Kids During The Holiday Season

UFC and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department recently came together for Shop With A Cop, a holiday gift and give program where kids from disadvantaged areas team up with police officers and UFC athletes to shop for toys, clothes and accessories at a local Walmart and Macy’s.

“It’s a chance for us to give back to kids in the community and allow them to have a Christmas they may not have had," Sgt. Kovacich of the LVMPD said. “We’ve had over 325 kids over the two events. It includes 62 volunteers and 275 officers. The two locations are cool because we hit two parts of town so we can maximize our reach.

“This is one of the things I look forward to every year. I have a unique opportunity. My unit does nothing but community outreach, and this is probably one of the bigger events we do every year. We have kids telling us it’s the greatest day of their life.”

UFC athletes and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department pick out toys with children during the UFC x LVMPD Holiday Shopping Event. (Photo by Michael Kirschbaum / eightelevenmedia).

UFC athletes and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department pick out toys with children during the UFC x LVMPD Holiday Shopping Event. (Photo by Michael Kirschbaum / eightelevenmedia). 


Joining the police officers were UFC athletes Brendan Allen, Ode Osbourne, Cody Stamann, Puna Soriano and former UFC heavyweight champion Andre Arlovski. Together, they brought kids to different departments around the stores, helping kids pick out anything they wanted.

Osbourne, who participated in both events, noticed the variety of items that kids were choosing to buy.

UFC athletes and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department pick out toys with children during the UFC x LVMPD Holiday Shopping Event. (Photo by Michael Kirschbaum / eightelevenmedia).

UFC athletes and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department pick out toys with children during the UFC x LVMPD Holiday Shopping Event. (Photo by Michael Kirschbaum / eightelevenmedia). 


“It was interesting to see the dynamic of the older kids and the younger kids,” Osbourne said. “The younger kids go for toys and candy, but the older kids looked for pants and shirts.”

In addition to toys, kids spent the time to buy essential goods like clothes. The biggest thing the athletes and Sgt. Kovacich noticed, however, was not only were the kids shopping for themselves, but they also used their time to search for gifts for their younger siblings, parents and pets.

“These kids are thinking about others before thinking about themselves,” Sgt. Kovacich said.

Together, the three UFC athletes first brought kids to the shoe department, where they offered helpful insight to many of the kids on what they thought were the best-looking shoes. Together, they waited until every kid found a pair just for them that fit perfect before moving along to the clothing and toy sections.

UFC & LVMPD 2022 "Holiday Shopping Event"
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UFC & LVMPD 2022 "Holiday Shopping Event"
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This was Arlovski’s favorite part of the experience. With two kids of his own, nothing generates more happiness to him than seeing kids eyes open wide accompanied with a smile ear to ear when they spot a brand-new toy on the shelf.

“This was great, what the UFC is doing with the cops,” Arlovski said. “As a father, I have two kids, when I see them shopping, I see fire in their eyes, they’re just so happy to get something new… It’s going to be a great holiday for [these kids].”

“They probably don’t get things like this often,” Allen said. “I know I never did. It’s great to see all the kids take it in. One kid was just hugging the giraffe over there for a solid minute, so it’s just great to see their reactions and see them get this experience.”