Farewell, new site, and 'Never Back Down'
To my readers,
This is my final blog entry here at baltimoresun.com. After nearly 16 months covering MMA for baltimoresun.com and almost five months doing the same for SI.com, I’ve decided to strike out on my own. (Editor's note: We are in the process of selecting a new blogger for MMA Insider. Postings will resume with a new author in the near future.)
A couple of weeks ago, I started my own MMA news and community site – FightTicker.com. With limited time, I had to make a choice. I strongly believe in my new site because I built it for MMA fans like me. In order for it to succeed, however, I know a key ingredient is moving all my content over there. I couldn’t in good faith split my content between three places and expect to do coverage of the sport justice on FightTicker.
It’s been a fantastic run here. A lot has happened in MMA since my first UFC preview for baltimoresun.com back on Nov. 18, 2006.
As my friend Chuck in Portland so aptly put it late last year, "...when 2007 finally comes to an end it will go down as the year that MMA became 16 and got its driver’s license."
PRIDE vanished. The UFC gained key blue-chip sponsors such as Bud Light and Harley-Davidson. Randy Couture triumphantly returned to action. EliteXC found a home on Showtime and now CBS while the WEC has settled in nicely on Versus. More states joined the growing list that now sanction the sport. Unfortunately, we also saw the first documented death in this country as a result of a sanctioned MMA fight late last year.
The sport truly has become more mainstream as reflected by increased coverage not only here and at SI.com but all over the country. More great things are in store for MMA, which is only in its infancy. A new generation of fans and athletes are being created and the possibilities are endless.
I’m privileged and honored to have been a witness to all this and to have participated in my own way. I want to thank my editor here at baltimoresun.com and my editors at SI.com for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to express and explore my passion for this sport.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my work, whether it was analysis or interviews. I hope you found me credible and unbiased and I hope you enjoyed the ride. I want to thank the countless readers who either commented directly on my blog and/or articles or personally sent me e-mails. I’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of wonderful people during my time here.
But, the journey hasn’t ended. One chapter is over and a new one is about to begin. If you’ve enjoyed my work here, please head over to FightTicker.com where you’ll find a lot more MMA content including exclusive interviews, radio shows, and videos.
And, as a treat for you, here’s my first major exclusive interview on FightTicker – a Q&A with Jeff Wadlow, the director of the movie Never Back Down, which comes out in theaters this week.