In February of this year, I did something that I thought was harmless and wouldn’t have much bearing upon my life; I created an MMA blog and named it LOVE 2 FIGHT. The thought process behind the name was that you have to ‘love to fight’ to be a fighter, surely? It was just my area of the interwebz where I could voice my opinion on the topic of anything MMA, nothing major.
I knew virtually no one within MMA except for a few of the UCMMA crew (to an extent) and Suzy Athey (writer of BritFights.com). None of my friends, or siblings, like/d MMA enough to pay for a ticket and come to a show with me, so I did it myself, It didn’t faze me, I went to the shows and got speaking to people.
The blog looked okay at this stage, but was still lacking that edge! It’s weird, because I was always thinking to myself that my graphic skills are just not on par with my writing ability, then BANG there’s a comment left on one of my posts, basically saying “I can do graphics, email me”. It didn’t say that, was much more wordy, but at that time, due to how much I wanted a cool logo etc, I just read it as that!
Of course, it was Sam getting in touch with me, asking if he could host his wallpaper creations on the site, we exchanged emails, and he sent me some previews… could I resist? Hell no! Within about 10 minutes BOOM the newborn LOVE 2 FIGHT was here! Looking all suave, I felt real proud of the way it looked now, could definately mix it with the best.
At this point I would say it was about March time ish, and I was tired of writing the same stuff about the UFC etc as a billion other sites so decided to focus on the UK. Rather than just writing articles I thought I need to move on, get some interviews! So I got in touch with Luke Barnatt, who was my first interview. I was shitting a brick, as they say, even though it was an email one! Laughable now really, but I was still in fan mode, like fuckk I’m asking these guys the questions that I want to know!
Sam was always there on the side during this period, to be brutally honest, not a pivotal member, but he was there, doing his wallpapers every now and then and creating us a video promo, but that was all to change, and he was to become a workhorse if we were to succeed in our next challenge!
Sam thought it would be good to do a wallpaper for Georgia Graham (BAMMA ring girl) seeing as I just did an interview with her, well that was his reason, I’m sure it was so he got to crop high res pics of her! But anyway, he did it and it looked wicked as always, then he tells me that he just put the interview into the wallpaper design, and it looks like a magazine centrefold! Me not being too much of a tech wiz, replied as in yeahhhh and? Sam replied that we should do an online magazine… and there we have it, the idea was born, but were a 17 and 18 year old capable of pulling it off? Damn right we were!
So we announced what we were going to do and the thought became daunting, it was a big step, and at times I even doubted whether Sam’s heart was in it, but that was because of how scared I was, I got quite paranoid! It was a big thing, and I knew if we pulled it off, people would really respect us, but on the other side, if we fucked people about, I dreaded to think what would happen. I don’t like to bring age into matters, because I don’t think that should have a bearing on what we achieve, but of course, people would look at us and think damn! These two lads have done that, at that age! I was looking forward to that, like a fighter looks forward to the feeling of winning, but was also sceptical of myself as it went on.
In May, we launched it, Arnold Allen on the front cover and it went amazingly! We got spotted by the likes of AddictedMMA and The Fight Lounge who gave us articles on their sites which was a touch! After a few years of reading their stuff as fan boy, something I had one hand in creating, was now featured on their sites. This also opened doors for us in terms of who would could get in the mag! Also, none other than Baked Bean gave us some kind words which was cool too!
My mum was really proud to tell you the truth, always moaned about me being on the computer for so long, but once it came together and she saw it, and what people were saying about L2F (aswell as me being on Sky Sports commentating at WCMMA) she came to terms with what I was doing and how much I enjoyed doing it.
So that’s the story of the mag getting up and running, but there’s much, much more. We then went on to do a second issue in July with Jake Bostwick as cover and again some awesome articles, including the Tom Blackledge technique as he promised and I managed to get an interview with Andy Ogle as TUF finished so that was hot property too!
Issue 3 was a nightmare, to the point where my mum was asking me; when’s the next one out!? We had it ¾ done! But then Sam’s hard drive burnt out! We paid the price, and hopefully learnt our lesson; I’m sure he’ll back all of his stuff up from now on… or will he? We managed to get it out in late November, which in theory is about 10 weeks late… so about 4 months after the previous edition… bad I know, but it was worth the wait… read it and you’ll know what I mean!
We are currently working on Issue 4, with Jack Mason as cover, hopefully this will go to plan (touch wood).
I’ve met some great people in the past year or so, some I thought I’d never get so close to. One minute they are famous to me, and then next minute I’m casually having an underage beer with them… that they bought for me!
In terms of naming people, I can’t. So many people have contributed in some way towards the success we have had this past year, it would go on forever. Anyone who has written for us, anyone who takes pictures of UKMMA and doesn’t try to charge me my life savings to use them when we make a negative amount of money from this, anyone who reads the bloody magazine, anyone who has guided us in a positive direction, anyone who’s had a beer with me, the fighters that wear out logo, the promotions that use us as media partners, I mean the list goes on and this is with no names!
If you have helped us out I really do thank you for it… but I would like to give a special mention to that one dude who said we were shit on twitter, really spurred me on you cunt.
Our plan was to help UKMMA and I think we have definitely done our bit this year, sacrificing what other teenagers might do, for the good of this sport. There have been ups and downs, but it’s been worth every bloody moment.
Bring on 2013.