It is a funny thing, saying goodbye to someone or to something. There is part of you that is happy it is over, part of you that is sad that it is ending, and then another part that still wants to try to keep it for the fear of what lies next. It is those later two reasons, that it has taken me nearly three weeks to pen this and actually publish it. The what if’s in life can make a person go crazy, but so can peddling in place.
I started this sport of as a fan of the sport; debating who was best at the time and sitting on pins and needles waiting for the next show. Back then we were lucky if we had double digit UFC shows in a year; now we have thirty plus. The sport was growing, and I wanted to become part of the media that covered it. So I jumped in feet first, not knowing what I was doing. In the five plus years of being a journalist I have seen some of the best compete, sometimes just feet away from me at cageside.
For the longest time I was excited by the prospect of each show. It didn’t matter if it was a big UFC event or a small local amateur show held in front of two hundred people. I was amazed by the talent, skill and heart that was on display at each show. Over the years I changed. The excitement of each show started to fade, even when sitting close enough to the action to get bled on. I cannot sit back and let the reason I got into the sport disappear while I just chug on writing word after word. Realizing what was happening to my view of mixed martial arts, a decision had to be made and thus, I need to walk away from writing about it.
I want to thank all of the former writers and staff members at MMARecap. Adam Dicker was the first person to come on board and help write, and quickly transitioned it to a judging position. Andrew Gladstone is another write whom the site wouldn’t be where it is without him. He went on to write for the likes of Sherdog and MMAWeekly. Big thanks to Mike Finch who has consistently done a fantastic job with his interviews, sometimes on minutes notice with little time to prepare.
My co-host of RecapRadio over the course of nearly two years, John Petit is a fantastic guy who is one of the most knowledgable in the sport. If you aren’t following him on twitter, do it now @scream13. His work can now be found at fighters.com and other Rebellion Media sites.
Other people who have sacrificed time, energy, and in some cases money, to help out that I need to thank include Matt Clarmont, Karly Bernard, Matt Faler, Kyle Conroy, Kevin Tate, Greggy Harrison, Andrew Cyders, Petey Ridings, Brandon Ruiz and TJ Chmielewski.
I need to thank Joey Hill for all the time he spent trying to help build MMARecap to be the best site in the Chicago area. Without his help, it likely would have died a slow and horrible death. While things did not work out between us as business partners, he is a big reason for where MMARecap was able to go. Make sure you check out his photos at Royal Divide.
I want to thank other members of the media, who not only helped me at times, but pushed me to be better at my job. Hector Quintero, Stan Balazia, Matthew C. Scaro, both Tony’s from Chi-Town MMAniacs, Brian Hemminger, Steve Muehlhausen, Tom Barnes, Ray Flores, Ed Waltz and so many others over the years.
I want to thank every promoter who let me into their show to cover it. Dan Lardy, Mike Davis, Nilo Soto, Brian Angelo, Jeff and Joe Albin, Mark Slater, Paul and Danielle Vale, the entire team behind Ruckus, and the countless other shows I have attended over the years. Additionally the teams behind the scenes who help at each of these events are just as important. Clay Goodman, Rob Madrigal, Dr. Hertz, and all the other refs, judges, doctors, and EMTs I have met throughout the years.
The fighters will always have a special place for what they put themselves through to not only test their physical limitations, but also to entertain the fans. It has been an honor seeing the likes of veterans like Jeff Curran, Jens Pulver, Chase Beebe, and others fight while at the same time watching careers explode from fighters like Carson Beebe, Dustin Neace and Will Brooks. There are fighters on the cusp of making it to a big show, and I cannot wait to be able to say that I was able to see nearly all of their early fights.
Finally, I want to thank all of the fans of the sport, both the good and the bad. Negative comments are more frequent now, but the intelligent comments are worth sifting through all the stupid ones. Without the fans, there wouldn’t be a need for me to do what I do.
I know I probably forget a name or two on here, so please know that if you are a fighter, a promoter, a brand, or just a fan of the sport and interacted with either the website or myself, I thank you.
What is next for me, I am not certain. I know I will still enjoy the sport I love, I just won’t be writing about it in the same capacity anymore. Many have said that I can only stay away for a little while and that this is just going to be a break. They could be right, I am not sure. I will be leaving this website up along with our facebook, twitter, and youtube for historical purposes. Maybe one day I will become that fan again and want to write about it, but who knows. With that I wish everyone the best in each of their endeavors and once again, thank you.