One Year of Mixed Martial Artish: My Favorite Bits, Sincere Gratitude and Potentially Exciting Future Plans

A brief interlude for reflection, sincerity and an enticing flash of leg.

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One year ago today this site launched as a silly side project I’d put off for over a decade because trying things is hard. Today, while I keep having to assure people this site remains small potatoes and what [insert favorite subject] thinks of it is that they don’t, I am still humbled and grateful of how many people do, in fact, enjoy my stuff. As a reflection on this small milestone, I’ve compiled some of my favorite jokes, written a brief but honest expression of gratitude and, most importantly, discussed some big(ish) plans for the next year.

What you might have missed on Mixed Martial Artish’s first year

This was originally meant to be a top ten, but what can I say, for someone with so much self-hate, I do love me some me. These are mostly early articles I wish dropped when I had a bit more traffic and a few of the big tent pole articles for good measure to give any new readers a real understanding of what Mixed Martial Artish is all about.

  1. UFC Worried They Might Have to Actually Do Something if Fighter Dies From Cutting Weight: Have to share this, and not just because it’s the first article ever on MMAish, but also because I accidentally came out the gates with my most-evergreen “No Way to Prevent This…” article of all.
  2. Ancient Jiu-Jitsu Documents Point to Historical Techniques Targeting an Opponent’s Upper Body: One of the articles I really wish I had waited to use later when it had a few more followers, because I really liked this one. It can be really fun leaning into the “here’s a silly premise’ articles over more directly-linked-to-a-real-event satire.
  3. Two Stripe White Belt to Purple Belt: “You Just Gotta Get My Arm Across to Finish”: It’s fun putting a little unspoken joke in and trusting that the people who will enjoy it won’t miss it, but the people with the most annoying responses probably will, and having that trust pay off.
  4. Renzo Gracie Promises Not to Include Nametag Next Time He Quotes Hitler: One of those ones where it’s hard to out-satire life, because I thought up what would be the most ridiculous response, titled my article, then in researching realized that’s actually what he promised because of course.
  5. Blue Belt Cop Excited About New Ways to Deal with Violently Peaceful Protestors: Adopt-a-cop is wack af. Save your charity for members of at-risk groups who can actually use it for good.
  6. So Brave: This Father of Three Sacrifices Time With Family to Defend World Champion on Instagram: I’ve written a LOT about Gordon, because he is such an incredibly lame, thin skinned dork, but this is probably still my favorite because I really can’t wrap my head around being this devoted to defending a dude who would definitely hate you.
  7. New Gun Disarm Techniques Provide Students the Joy of Considering a World Where They Don’t Get Shot in Moments Before Being Shot: This would probably have done pretty big numbers if I’d held it for this D.U.S.T. wave, but alas, the best we have is this retrospective.
  8. Very Secure Coach Probably Only Forbids Cross Training Because Your School is So Good: One of the biggest red flags in the game. If your coach doesn’t want you seeing what it’s like to train at another gym, ask yourself why.
  9. 39-Year-Old Man Requests Haters Fight Him: One of the extremely underrated things about a lot of the big names in BJJ is how huge of dorks they are where roughly everything about them they think makes them so great is what makes them such laughable caricatures. DeBlass’ “if we have a problem, just show up and we can fight, like it should be” post was just peak BJJ brain.
  10. Opinion: Actually, Paying Women to Pretend You’re Hot on Social Media Is Really Cool and Not Sad at All: This one holds a special place in my heart as the first (and so far only but stay tuned) add-on enabled post on this site thanks to the lovely handful of people who have backed it to date. Also, it’s always fun to laugh at Colby being a walking self-own all the time.
  11. MMA Gym Owner Who Hired Known Predator Warns of Dangers of Trans Inclusion: Too many people in this sport love to use members of one group they don’t actually give a shit about to bludgeon members of another group they hate more. Based on entirely too many true stories in a not-too-distant land.
  12. 5 Nicest Fighters We Are Totally Friends With: Surprisingly, a site parodying modern MMA news doesn’t think the industry is doing a great job. While there are some outstanding journalists covering the sport, they are often ignored if not fully belittled by those in the larger segment of the industry who think it’s their job to be pals with their subjects and, worse, with the UFC.
  13. Dan Campbell Announces Lions Will Play “Whoever the Fuck Wins the AFC” in Super Bowl: I really enjoy framing totally-normal MMA shit through other sports to highlight the absurdity, and Dan Campbell, who I (reservedly, given I actually know so little of him) am absolutely here for, is just a human stereo turned to 11 on the “Crazy football talk” knob. The perfect stand-in for Conor who you could also kind of see doing this in earnest.
  14. The Retirement Saga: When I decided to do this bit, I also decided to change my Monday, Wednesday and Friday schedule to Wednesday to Friday, and even pushed back the post time of the retirement to later at night then pushed forward the post times of the first whispers of a return and the announcement of a return date just to minimize how many people were upset (or stoked) for an end that wasn’t. Didn’t work.
  15. “I Stand With Joe Rogan,” Says Everyone You Never Doubted Would For Even One Second: Based on how many articles I’ve written about Rogan, this is likely neither the funniest nor the one that is meanest to Joe. This makes it so aptly fitting that it’s, by far, the one with the most staying power for Joe Bros to show up and defend him in the comments four weeks later. Again, we know.

A moment to be earnest

This website, in some form or other, has been an idea of mine for more than a dozen years now, and one I have gently toyed with a few times. I’ve even generated some content I liked enough to make it into Patreon content a decade later. But it never stuck, and even when a bunch of my amazing online community of martial artist friends gave me enough of a push to get going, I still expected it would fizzle out in a month or two and rack up a few hundred likes total in that time.

If you told me I’d be posting my 138th article, having just ticked over 2,000 followers (a milestone I was set to hit on my anniversary until you rude bastards went on a following rush late last night. Jerks.) and just the coolest community of readers who are so supportive and ready to lean into the fun in the comments, I’d have passed out with joy. Thank you all so much for reading, laughing and sharing. While super fun, this blog can also be a lot of work sometimes, and to date I’m responsible for all content on here, web, copy, editing and art. The response has made it so easily worth it.

What’s next for Mixed Martial Artish?

So, the big thing I wanted to talk about was plans for the future. While I launched a Patreon with the goal of just earning enough to cover my increased hosting costs (success, to the exact right number of backers!) there are some other projects I’d love to work on. While I will still be keeping the tri-weekly schedule in place for free, in the weeks ahead I’m going to roll out some new information and perks for backers to try to carve out a chunk I can take out of my professional copywriting work to instead work on:

  • A Complete Guide to Mixed Martial Arts, Past and Present: I would like to write a book which serves as a definitive history of mixed martial arts. While the book will maintain the MMAish tone, it will be more aligned with articles commenting on real world events with tongue firmly in cheek, not the purely fantastical satire. At it’s heart is accurate history, with the coating of commentary that responds to areas where the accepted history doesn’t align so well with reality, and that means not just a lot of writing time, but a lot of research, too, because it isn’t funny if it’s not backed by the truth.
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Simulator: I have had a short story bouncing around in my brain about BJJ and the occult for a year and change and have recently decided it would make an excellent visual novel. If you think a story-driven game about BJJ and more told by the same voice creating MMAish posts is interesting, neat, because so do I.
  • Expansion: As mentioned three or ten times in here, every word, graphic and post from MMAish to date has been a one man operation. While I’ve had offers for help and would love to expand the opportunity to others, I don’t take free work or publishing others’ work for “exposure” or any other creator-abusing arrangement. Unfortunately, while I can and have operated this at no profit, actively paying a few hundred a month out of pocket to writers is an expense I can’t quite justify for an ostensible hobby. If I can raise income where I could afford to pay contributors, both for full articles and concept pitches, I would be thrilled to do it.

While I still don’t want to make the Patreon a centerpiece of the site, it is a potential avenue to expand what it can offer, and there will likely be quarterly or biannual pledge drives in the account’s stories.

Thank you all again, especially if you made it to the end of this self-indulgent back-pat of a post. Back to the usually scheduled nonsense tomorrow.

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