Drafting “The Ultimate Fighter”

On The Luke Thomas Show this week, Luke and Marissa went through each season of The Ultimate Fighter as if they were evaluating a draft. What better excuse do I need to go back through the spreadsheet I compiled for Inside The Ultimate Fighter? I only covered the first 16 seasons, which may actually be for the best. For later seasons, I felt like they were giving a “yes” for anyone who is still in the UFC. In this spreadsheet, my disagreements are noted in yellow …   Advertisements Continue reading Drafting “The Ultimate Fighter”

Mayweather-McGregor: A corporate bailout, not a fight

I’m certainly not the first person to tell you I won’t be watching Floyd Mayweather box Conor McGregor tonight. It’s one thing to watch Randy Couture pummel James Toney in the co-main event of a strong UFC card. It’s another to shell out $99.99 to watch a UFC fighter who’s third, at best, in the current pound-for-pound rankings of a down period for MMA taking on a boxer who, for all his personal flaws, knows his craft about as well as anyone ever has. McGregor isn’t even the UFC fighter who would bring the most entertainment value to a freak-show … Continue reading Mayweather-McGregor: A corporate bailout, not a fight

How Kimbo Slice and MMA challenge our notions of celebrity and humanity

Written in the wake of a dizzying weekend of MMA news, with one of the sport’s top journalists (Ariel Helwani) temporarily losing his UFC credentials and one of the sport’s most famous figures (Kimbo Slice) passing away suddenly. Source: How Kimbo Slice and MMA challenge our notions of celebrity and humanity | Sport | The Guardian June 7, 2016 Continue reading How Kimbo Slice and MMA challenge our notions of celebrity and humanity

MMA writing: 2008-2015

Selected pieces on mixed martial arts — all USA TODAY except as noted: Issues Aug. 4, 2015: Is the UFC turning into Rollerball? (The Guardian) July 12, 2015: Huge night for McGregor, Lawler and UFC 3.0(SportsMyriad) May 25, 2012: UFC, MMA wrestling with testosterone issues March 28, 2010: State of New York still not submitting to MMA advances March 10, 2010: In mixed martial arts, hitting the head can hurt the fist Sept. 15, 2009: UFC president tries out softer stance in business matters July 7, 2009: UFC’s early beginnings packed more than punch May 7, 2009: New York still fighting … Continue reading MMA writing: 2008-2015

Covering MMA: Fascinating, frustrating, never dull

One of my projects for this year is to wrap up a book on my experiences covering mixed martial arts. I promise it’ll be a fun read. So I was happy to see SI’s terrific media reporter, Richard Deitsch, hosting a roundtable of MMA journalists. He got a good cross-section — people are very much “in” the UFC orbit (Heidi Fang, Ariel Helwani) and those who are “out” (Josh Gross). It’s a unique environment. I’ve never covered another sport that handed out copies of Playboy featuring an employee. I’ve rarely found athletes in other sports who’ll just chat, though that’s … Continue reading Covering MMA: Fascinating, frustrating, never dull