As of two weeks ago, I am no longer with Bleacher Report MMA.
I started at BR as a “contributor” in 2009. I wrote clickbait stories for free. I met Brian Oswald during that time; he would go on to be my editor for nearly seven years starting in 2012, when I accepted a full-time, salaried position. I broke news and regurgitated news from others; I was trying to carve out a space for myself in the MMA world.
BR was something of a laughing stock back then. But Brian and our evolving team of writers slowly turned BR MMA into a respectable, reliable outlet. We had a stellar team of writers over the years: Jonathan Snowden, Damon Martin, Mike Chiappetta, Hunter Homistek, Duane Finley, Pat Wyman, Scott Harris, Steven Rondina, Nathan McCarter and so many more. I was and am still proud to have been a part of it.
Over the past few years, I have focused solely on writing deep profiles and features. I am grateful, and I am lucky. I know of no other publisher in mixed martial arts that pays writers a substantial salary solely to travel and report out long, in-depth magazine-style stories. I wrote profiles of big names like Rose Namajunas and Daniel Cormier and Derrick Lewis and so many others. But I also went to St. Louis to write a story about Dustin Ventimiglia, an amateur fighter attempting to return to the cage one year after he was nearly crushed to death by a forklift at work.
Bleacher Report allowed me to pursue those stories, and they gave me the financial and editorial backing I needed to write the best story I could. I could never thank them enough for doing so.
I worked with the legendary Bill Eichenberger, an unparalleled editor in the sports world; I also worked with Jake Leonard, who would strip my stories of clever phrases and obscure references to make them better by subtraction instead of addition. I would not be the writer I am today without Bill and Jake; I owe them a debt I can never repay. And I must thank Mark Smoyer, Bleacher Report’s managing editor; without his calm influence, I would’ve lost my mind years ago.
Without Jonathan Snowden, I don’t know if I’d even be a full time writer. Jon got me my first job in this sport after I reached out to him as a fan of his books; he also pushed Bleacher Report to bring me on board. I have a career because he saw something in me.
And finally, I have to thank Brian Oswald, my MMA editor for nearly a decade. I’ve driven Brian crazy with my laziness, my bitching and moaning and arrogance over the years; that he is still a great friend is a testament to his nature. I trust very few people in this industry, but Brian is on top of that list. I am grateful for his friendship and guidance.
When I launched Whizzered, I wasn’t sure if there was a market for a subscription newsletter in MMA. But the response has been overwhelming. I’ve known for a few months that I needed to devote my attention on building a business apparatus to support this venture.
That’s what I’m doing now. Whizzered is now my full-time job.
In the coming weeks, you’ll start to see more in-depth stories like the ones I wrote at Bleacher Report. Your support through subscriptions allows me to have a budget for that sort of work, and I am so thankful for your support.
Until September 10, I’m offering 20% off annual subscriptions for a year. So if you want to support me, this is a good time.
You’ll also see stories from other writers; I am excited about the projects we have in the pipeline. I’ll be selective about the stories I publish here, but I will also pay the writers we publish. If you’re a writer and you have a unique story you want to publish, send me a pitch and let’s talk.
I have a lot more in store for you; I’m thrilled about some of the things we’ll be rolling out in the coming weeks and months.
I want to thank you again for your support. Every writer dreams of going out on his own, and you have enabled me to do that.