Saturday, June 1, 2013

MMA Ratings, Moving On

During my five years building and running MMA Ratings I poured a lot of time and energy into it. As time went on, it consumed and ever increasing amount of my time, and even though the site (traffic, audience, profit) was growing, it was not growing at nearly the same rate that the demands were. Ironically my first ever post about MMA was about the UFC's strategy to saturate the market and the potential negative impact it could have. Maybe it was a self fulfilling prophecy for me, though admittedly a lot of the demands on me were based on the type of site I was running.

When I first started there was only a significant event about once a month, and each was about 3 hours long, with preliminary fights sometimes becoming gradually available later in the week. Eventually those preliminary fights were being broadcast live and required live coverage. That means every event required at least five hours of live coverage, and that's not including pre and post fight coverage. By 2012 there was a significant event at least once a week, and a week without an event was an anomaly.

My kids were getting older and the routine was that no matter what was going on, come Saturday night, daddy was eating dinner in front of the TV watching the fights. My wife, who had married a man that had zero interest in sports, had a husband who needed to stay on top of every detail of a sport that had no off season. The fact that my kids, and sometimes my wife, would join me was little consolation. I wasn't watching casually. I was watching like an analyst, scoring every round, rating every fight in terms of action, skill, and relevance, and creating my mental post fight commentary for later use. Even though my son really enjoyed watching the fights, I wasn't particularly fun to be with.

Eventually something had to give. In the end I decided to give up on the dream that one day there would be a transforming event that would make MMA Ratings a household name in the MMA community, much like what had happened with other sites. I decided that the money and recognition would never be worth the cost it was having on my life in the present. Fortunately, my chief editor at the time was interested in taking over. So as of May of 2012 I worked on documentation the many processes and formatting guidelines that go into running the site, and he's been running it ever since, excellently I have to say.

When I first stopped running the site I assumed that I would still watch the fights. Well maybe not all the prelims. Maybe not the smaller cards. Eventually, just as I had predicted 5 years earlier, fighters I had never heard of were appearing on main cards. It was like watching a weekly drama and having missed episodes. The relevance was diminishing. Pretty soon major cards were coming and going and I was "recording" them, but never watching them. Life got in the way.

Fortunately life was good.

On May 18, 2014 MMA Ratings writer Raphael Garcia had a chat with me about the sport of MMA and more. You can listen to the audio below, or check out his entire piece.

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