A Whirlwind 24 Hours

Last night, I was fortunate enough to be able to break the news that Conor McGregor will move up to lightweight to challenge Rafael dos Anjos for the title at UFC 197. Also on the card is Holly Holm defending her belt against Miesha Tate.

The process of news gathering is an interesting one, and it has always fascinated me. I first heard about the UFC 197 plans on Sunday. I knew it would be difficult to get enough confirmation to run the story, or at least enough confirmation where I would be comfortable doing so. Usually I rely on the standard double confirmation process, but for such a major story, I wanted to make sure I had more than enough confirmation. In the end, I waited until I had five sources confirming the story, and the fifth one was the one that cemented it.

The story, as expected, went crazy on social media. It is always fun putting something out in the world and then watching fans of the sport lose their minds on Twitter and Facebook. But this one reached far beyond the MMA bubble. It was referenced by SportsCenter. It was trending worldwide on Twitter. As of right now, my initial breaking news tweet has nearly 1,300 retweets, which is obviously far more engagement than I’ve ever experienced on Twitter. And I have been on Twitter since nearly the birth of the site; in my former job, I was a tech writer covering startups, and Twitter was one of the companies I covered.

SportsCenter referenced it, for goodness sake. That will likely never happen again.

Tonight, I am tired. I’ve done almost two dozen radio shows today to discuss the story. It was tough to sleep last night with all of the excitement. But these are the moments we live for, the moments where the work we do actually goes out and has an effect on the world, even if it’s relatively minor in the grand scheme of things. I have never been more grateful to be able to do the job I do, to be paid well for it, and to live my dream of being a writer each and every day. I am beyond privileged and thankful.



I love my job.

I want to get more immersed in what I do, and there’s no reason I can’t. I have nothing but time, nothing but space and freedom to get better at what I do.

It’s time to stop being lazy. Not that I’m lazy in a general sense, but in a specific, mixed martial arts-related sense.

I’m not waiting for 2012 to start, because New Year’s resolutions are ripe for the breaking. I don’t think I’ve ever made a promise to myself on January 1st that I didn’t break by January 5th.

I’m telling you right now that 2012 is going to be a banner year for me personally, and a gigantic year for HeavyMMA. We’re going to continue doing things that nobody else can do, but I’m personally going to step my own game up and start producing the kind of stuff I wanted to produce back when I spent time poring over a Notepad file on my laptop instead of going to class like I was supposed to.

It’s time to change the game. Or, to keep changing the game.


UFC Total Rankings: October 2008

I typically publish these rankings after the major UFC event of each month, but the scheduling of major events on back-to-back weekends in October forced me to delay these longer than I’d like. As a result, there are three shows worth of changes included here: Fight Night 15, UFC 89 and UFC 90. The November rankings will be published after UFC 91 in just over two weeks.

Before we start, here’s a brief disclaimer:

I call these UFC Total Rankings because they are based on a bunch of factors: win-loss record, method of victory, competition the fighter is facing, and the push given to them by the UFC matchmakers. I try to picture each weight class in the same way that Joe Silva or Dana White would, which means I factor in marketability, current drawing power and other things that rankings typically don’t account for.

They are wholly my opinion and should be treated as such. Champions are given top billing because they are champions and regarded by the company and mainstream fans as the best in their division by the company, regardless of the skills or overall record. This means that if a fighter ranked #7 one month defeats the champ for the belt, he will automatically jump to the #1 ranking. If a weight class has an interim champion, that fighter will assume the second position, with everyone else following. 

A complete archive of my fighter rankings can be found here. These rankings are also published at Inside Fights and on my Houston Chronicle UFC blog.


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