Happy Birthday – MMASucka.com turns five-years-old

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Wow! Five years ago today I decided to put this little site together on a whim. It was built on the good ol’ Apple iWeb platform and looked like complete and utter junk. If I can recall, the very first article I wrote about was what UFC President Dana White’s favorite razor for shaving was — a lot has changed.

Happy Birthday – MMASucka.com turns five-years-old

We have gone through four different themes to the site and a ton of writing talent.

Rather than myself ranting about the site, some of the original members of the Sucka club decided to give their perspective.

Carlin Bardsley (@CarlinBardsley) – I first met Jeremy Brand years ago at a BFL show in Vancouver. He was doing Fatlip Radio at the time and “In the Cage with Bards” was on CITR-FM. Seemed like a nice enough guy. We reconnected about a year later after I had left Vancouver and MMASucka was looking for writers. I was literally doing nothing at the time and writing for Sucka gave me a much-needed creative outlet.

I enjoyed my time writing for Sucka because there was a lot of creative freedom given. It didn’t matter if I wanted to blast UFC for doing something I disagreed with, or writing a piece encouraging athletic commissions to reform their marijuana policies, or comparing Brock Lesnar to Keyser Soze. The response was always “OK cool, when can I have it?”

Happy 5th Anniversary, Sucka. You’ve given talented writers such as Justin Faux, Shawn Smith, Adam Martin and others a place to ply their trade, you’ve been an important voice for BC MMA and Canadian MMA in general, and I hope that I have the opportunity to write a blurb for the Sucka 10th anniversary.

Justin Faux (@justinfauxmma) – MMA Sucka was where I found my legs as a writer. I was handed a blank canvas, and given the platform to write, grow and develop. I wasn’t very good. In fact, in hindsight, I was actually pretty bad, but I had the chance to write lots and find my voice. Along the way I made some good friends that I keep in touch with today, and all in all, my time at MMA Sucka was a good one.

Callum Leslie (@cleslie92) – It’s pretty indisputable that I wouldn’t be where I am right now without Sucka. The freedom and support that you gave me to write what I wanted and find my voice made me a better writer. It’s a cool, varied group of guys to work with.

Darcy McBride (@DishChef) – The year was 2010, the Olympics had just made Vancouver a Global city and I was screwing around after class hours at Columbia Broadcasting Academy doing pretapes of ‘Radio TKO’, a monthly project I had turned into an upstart Online Radio Show.

In walked former student Trevor Dueck & Ryan Lam, co-hosts of what was then a very young MMASucka Radio. They dropped a card in my hand and said to give owner Jeremy Brand a call, pitch the show and, perhaps, he would stream the show on MMASucka.com.

I was wide eyed, and snapped up the opportunity.

Fast forward a few months and Radio TKO began to pick up, I ended up writing a few columns, and eventually got picked up by the big club at Bell Media/TEAM Radio hosting Final Round : The MMA Show each week. I rode that momentum of networking into a Management Service with Echelon Fighter Management, with the likes of Kajan Johnson, Daniel Swain & Paul Cheng under representation among others.

After stomping across North America covering the sport, managing the talent and befriending much of the ‘Mainstream MMA Crowd’ it paved the way into what I specialize in now, meal prep and food service for athletes. I can’t help but think if it wasn’t for MMASucka, Radio TKO, Jeremy & Trevor I don’t know for sure what would have come of that Vancouver excursion.

I want to congratulate MMASucka on its first 5 years, and mannnny more to come. I’d also like to personally thank Jeremy Brand for being a very loyal person, a rare trait in media, Trevor Dueck for offering me the inaugural opportunity into MMA Radio and everyone else who has put time in to rising this brand in the MMA Media market, thanks boys!!

Jim Gramm (@jimgramm)- I had a lot of fun at MMASucka. It was and still is great site that covers what needs to be covered. It also gives opinions when they are needed for any and all MMA issues. They get greats guests on their podcast and for interview articles. I wish them congrats on 5 years and hope they have another great 5 years to come. I was glad to help MMASucka out.

Shawn W. Smith (@shawn_w_smith) – I have a lot of good memories and made a lot of good friends while working with MMASucka.com. They gave me an opportunity to write the stories I wanted to write and mature as a writer.

MMASucka has a history of giving young, developing writers a chance, and I’m lucky to have been along for the ride.

J.P. Lasaleta (@jplasaleta) – Contributing to MMASucka.com has given me the opportunity to give back to the sport I love, without having to get into the cage.  The most important work we do would have to be the reporting on our local MMA scene. It gives us a chance to bring much deserved awareness to the talent of BC.   My favourite memories have been getting a chance to take part in interviewing and producing content of many of the fighters I grew up watching. It’s been a great 5 years so far. Looking forward to many more to come!

Lea Young (@effenprincess) By chance, another female columnist in the MMA industry, referred me to write for MMASucka. I had no intentions of doing anything of the sort, but it turned out to be a great experience. The guys at MMASucka (even though I was in Hawaii and they were in Canada), treated me like family even though we had never met. Through MMASucka, I got to interview UFC and local Hawaii fighters. It was awesome to be able to showcase local talent, as they don’t always get the exposure outside of the islands. The guys at MMASucka are a fun bunch of dudes that put out some great stuff and I’m glad to have gotten to know them through our mutual love of MMA.

Adam Martin (@MMAdamMartin) – I enjoyed my time writing at MMAsucka.com and it helped me improve my craft. I recommend reading the site, there’s always new and fresh content posted there.

P.J. Almeida – When I first started writing for MMASucka five years ago, I was a college student looking for a hobby to occupy my boredom. Around this time, my love for combat sports started to grow. This influenced me to take up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and also try my hand at freelance journalism for the mixed martial arts website.

Mr. Jeremy Brand gave me an opportunity to write for him, and during my short tenure, I will say that it was interesting and fun. Even now, I still practice grappling and have dabbled in cross training in other martial arts. To add to this, writing for a website was a unique experience that served as a platform and helped me hone my writing skills that I still utilize for business and marketing today.

Today, the website and radio show has seemingly evolved into a viable source for mixed martial arts news. To add to this, the overall interface of the website is more aesthetically pleasing, with easier navigation. MMASucka has certainly come a long way in such a short time frame. As the sport of MMA continues to grow, I am excited for the direction and future of MMASucka. I am thankful I was apart of that growth, and I look forward to many more articles and exclusive interviews along the way!

Henry Lai (@HankMMA) – Congratulations to MMA Sucka for their 5 year anniversary! The crew there are truly passionate about MMA. Not only are they fans but they know all the in’s and out’s of the MMA industry and community.

Why leave it to writer’s from the past? Below are some thoughts from our current staff as well.

Justin Pierrot (@stormlandbrand) – It’s been a blast being part of this site, even if I haven’t been as active as I would like. It’s been cool watching MMASucka evolve, and can’t to wait to see where we are at in another 5 years!

Suraj Sukumar (@Sukumar_S87) Shortly after taking on the online writing game, I came across MMASucka’s writer contest and never looked back. It’s been an absolute blast working with this group of writers and our founder is always ready to hear new ideas. He places great trust in us to provide quality work and I think we’ve done a great job in maintaining those standards. We have grown tremendously over the last while and I look forward to being a part of this great community in the future.

Nick Baldwin (@NickUFC) – For the short amount of time I’ve written for MMASucka it’s been an awesome experience. It’s a great website, and a good place for aspiring journalists to begin their career. Working at MMASucka you’re surrounded only by excellent people, I definitely recommend working here. Looking forward to what the site has to offer in the future.

Mike Skytte (@MikeLovesTacosX) – MMA Sucka. I like it.

Caroline Richer (@cazcaric) – I’m not as active as I’d like but, as a woman who’s was very active in the sport before becoming a fan of it, it’s been a gift to find a place where I can write about subjects from a female point of view without being undermined. In fact, I always feel empowered to go for it.

A couple other folks that have seen the growth of MMA Sucka since the early days had some nice things to say as well.

Justin Donally – MMA Sucka is like peanut butter In your mouth. The longer you let it set, the creamier and tastier it gets.

Darren Owen (@WSOFDarren) – Congratulations to MMA Sucka, Jeremy and their staff on their 5th year anniversary! I have seen them grow from day one to where they are now and it is very impressive. I wish you continued success in the many years to come. Thank you for helping grow our great sport of Mixed Martial Arts.

Scott Zerr (MFC Director of Media and Fighter Relations) – The biggest thing that I’ve seen with MMA Sucka over the past five years is the commitment to growth. When the MFC was first approached to work with the site and its radio arm as well, the guys at Sucka said that they were just starting out but give them a chance and we’ll see growth.

Unlike 50% of other MMA-related startup sites, Sucka did grow and it’s become one of the better media groups the MFC works with. The staff are eager to talk, excited to be doing what they’re doing, and you can tell there’s a genuine interest in talking to fighters and promoters.

Congratulations to MMA Sucka and here’s to 5 more good years!

Jay Golshani (@BattlefieldFL) – We would like to thank all the staff at mmasucka.com for their continuous support of mixed martial arts and more importantly the work they put in every week to help cover the B.C. fight scene.   Their dedication helps the local fighters get the recognition they deserve and need to be able to succeed in the sport.   Congratulations on your 5th anniversary and keep up the good work.

Thanks go out to everyone who has helped contribute to the site that wasn’t mentioned above. Also thanks to you the reader. Without you folks there is no MMASucka.com.

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Jeremy Brand started up this lovechild called MMASucka.com back in 2009. It began as a hobby project and has turned into much more. In his spare time, you can find Jeremy on the mats, as he is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

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