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.