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Old 21-Feb-17, 03:01
brooksie brooksie is offline
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Default MMA Media

I thought it might be worthwhile to start a thread about WMMA media, in case people are looking to follow the sport more closely. I'll kick it off with a rundown of the main people I rely on for coverage:

1. Ariel Helwani - pretty much any discussion about MMA media is going to start with this guy. The fact that Conor McGregor selected him to fly to Ireland and interview him live on PPV says all that needs saying about his stature in the MMA world. He's Howard Cosell, Johnny Carson...the main guy, due in great part to his weekly 3-4 hour show, deceptively called The MMA Hour. I have to be careful when talking about Helwani because his personality, at least the part of it I see, grates on me somewhat. He can be, in turns, sycophantic yet self-absorbed and he's a bit too self-referential and gossipy for my taste. Anyway, none of that matters. He's hard-working and dedicated, knows and loves the sport and is tremendously popular. I only follow the women's side of the sport, so I don't sit through the entire show, just the parts I find interesting, usually the female fighters and non-fighters like refs, other journos, commission folks...stuff like that. Nothing against the male fighters it's just that, for the most part, I'm not going to watch their fights so why listen to them talk about them.

Helwani works for MMA Fighting, one of the best online sites, that features tons of other great talent including the amazing Esther Lin, one of the sport's finest photographers. That shot of the Holm Holm head-kick of Ronda Rousey is an example of her work.

Luke Thomas, Marc Raimondi, Chuck Mindenhall and Shaun Al-Shatti are some of the other staffers there. Two of them, Thomas and Mindenhall are panelists along with Ariel on The MMA Beat, the other "indispensable" show, if you're going to stay current in the sport. They are joined by Jeff Wagenheim of the Washington Post and are on most Thursdays. It's not as regular as The MMA Hour because it depends on all of them being in NY but they get it on the air most weeks, sometimes with guest panelists or just a three-man crew. It's a straight panel discussion, no guests, led by Helwani. Thomas is the most opinionated and controversial, Mindenhall and Wagenheim more measured in their responses.

2. Luke Thomas - in addition to appearing on the MMA Beat, Thomas has a daily MMA show on Sirius XM, the breakdown show The Monday Morning Analyst and his open-format, opinionated, let-it-fly show on YouTube "Promotional Malpractice". I like Luke a lot, even when I don't agree with his opinion. He never offers a half-baked thought or gets sucked in by conventional wisdom. He's a bit of a bull-in-a-china-shop in terms of his personal style, but that doesn't bother me. He gets me thinking, has answers to questions I didn't even know I had and, to me at least, is a reliable voice, kind of my "go-to" guy.

3. Damon Martin - another person I keep a fairly close eye on. The Fox Sports columnist isn't among my very favourite writers but he doesn't need to be. I follow Martin for the daily MMA news. When something happens you're likely to find it out from Martin's Twitter account. He's very good that way, stays right on top of stuff.

3. Marc Raimondi - He's filled in on the MMA Beat a few times but is mostly a writer for MMA Fighting. I think I've mentioned before that he's the person who usually covers commission stuff, doping, rules and rulings...that sort of thing. It can be a bit dry but Raimondi does a good job of sticking to the salient points and not getting bogged down in minutia.

4. Chuck Mindenhall & Shaun Al-Shatti - Sticking with MMA Fighing, Mindenhall and Al-Shatti are both excellent writers who often do the more in-depth, profile kind of pieces.

5. Kevin Iole - Yahoo's Sports columnist, or one of them and his writing about MMA is usually worth reading.

6. Ben Fowlkes - same can be said for Fowlkes, of MMA Junkie. Fighting and Junkie are both fairly decent MMA sites, amidst a sea of pretty shitty ones.

7. MarQ Picos - MarQ (yes, that's how he spells it) runs Wombat Sports, which covers all female combat sports. For WMMA, he's pretty good at keeping abreast of the international stuff, often posting links to where you can watch shows in Asia and other places. He does interviews and all kinds of other stuff as well but I mostly follow him for the international stuff.

8. Stephen J Rivers - a British freelancer who contributes to CagePages and the Twitter account MMALatestNews. He follows WMMA closely and writes well about it.

9. Emma Challends - Emma's an Aussie who contributes to FightNewsAustralia. She's a fairly occasional contributer but has written some cool stuff including an long piece on rising star Megan Anderson.

10. Two places - I visit regularly are the website: [Only Registered Users Can See LinksClick Here To Register]
and the Twitter account:
@WMMARankings

There are also a bazillion podcasts out there, most of which I can't even remember the names of. Bruce Buffer's got one, Brian Stann as well. And of course, there's always the Joe Rogan Experience, where they occasionally discuss MMA.

Last edited by brooksie; 21-Feb-17 at 20:52.
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Old 21-Feb-17, 11:01
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Zweig Zweig is offline
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Default Re: WMMA Media

Off-topic. Moved to General Discussion forum.
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Old 26-Nov-17, 23:41
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Default MMA media gets away with being terrible

Quote:
Originally Posted by stymie [Only Registered Users Can See LinksClick Here To Register]
Holly Holm on Instagram Video: Cris Cyborg Needs to ‘Stop Whining’ About Testing
This was disappointing on multiple levels.

1) Holly Holm is considered very boring by people who know of her in MMA and this interview only served to strongly reinforce that negative impression.

2) Ariel Helwani is considered by many MMA fans to be one of the best analysts/interviewers in the sport and this segment demonstrated just how low that bar is. Damn, he was terrible in this one.
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Old 04-Dec-17, 09:59
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jiminy jiminy is offline
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Default Re: MMA media gets away with being terrible

Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerCrushes [Only Registered Users Can See LinksClick Here To Register]
This was disappointing on multiple levels.

1) Holly Holm is considered very boring by people who know of her in MMA and this interview only served to strongly reinforce that negative impression.

2) Ariel Helwani is considered by many MMA fans to be one of the best analysts/interviewers in the sport and this segment demonstrated just how low that bar is. Damn, he was terrible in this one.
It's a good 10 minutes too long and filled with a lot of talking without saying much.

Ariel's "MMA hour" lasts 4-5 hours generally. There's bound to be some drab points. It's way too long for me personally - I could never listen to all that straight.

In their defence, however, the internet and social media are changing the way people - especially young people - "consume" sport and MMA is a sport that has "grown up" with the internet and makes very good use of it. It might seem unprofessional, slow and awkward at times, but people like the accessibility that Ariel can just call a fighter up in the middle of the week and get them to chew the fat for 20+ minutes and probe deeper into recent 'twitter beefs' etc... Fans feel closer to the sport.

A lot of older, more established sports are seeing their audiences shrink. Quite dramatically so in some cases. A big part of that is because they are failing to embrace social media and the internet in the way MMA does.
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