SBNation continues its march to 250 blogs as I type this, sitting at 242, having added another since last Saturday's look at Uncommon Sportsman, and more than a couple since the first week where I took a look at Waggle Room, our golf blog. I've said this the last two times and I'll say it the next two times as well: that's 242 blogs and 242 communities. Some are more active than others, some have unreal amounts of traffic to them, and more than most of them have the kind of content that rival the best 'official news outlets' in quality and quantity.
SBNation is the best blog network of its kind, the perennial Super Bowl contender in the blog network league, if you will. I firmly believe Niners Nation is one of the best as far as professionalism of content, quantity of content and most importantly: quality of community. But there's so much more out there, and I'm most definitely biased.
So today I continue my look at other SBNation blogs, settling on this day with Bloody Elbow, SBNation's MMA blog. If you're unfamiliar with MMA, read on. If you're familiar with it, read on as well. If you like boxing and don't know what MMA is, again I say read on. And because I like beating a phrase until it's good and dead: if the thought of two people beating the living crap out of each other piques your interest at all... read on, folks.
Editor-in-Chief: Luke Thomas
I've been going to Bloody Elbow for awhile now. I used to go to some mainstream site I can't even remember now for my MMA news and coverage, but found it to be rather biased in the companies and fighters it covered and then realized "well SBNation surely has one of these, right?" Surely enough I found Bloody Elbow, and then also found that it was one of the more popular MMA blogs on the 'net. Leave it to the guy who supplies your daily linkage, the guru of searching for sites to miss out on one of SBNation's busier blogs. One that was started about two months after our Niners Nation started.
That's right, it's most definitely one of our blog network's busier sites as far as traffic and content goes. The coverage is top notch and news is reported without bias on every promotion that has, well, worthwhile news to provide coverage on.
But I'm getting ahead of myself, why should you care? You should care because if you care about MMA it's one of the best places on the 'net for MMA news and on top of that--is a community just like the one we have here. On top of reading about what you'll need to figure out just what poor sap is next to get their block knocked off by Fedor Emelianenko you can discuss such a thing with other fans. Nothing like debating just how long it will take, right?
Now I know more than a few of you are going "...Uh.. MMA? Fedor Emelia-what-so?" I got your back. MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts and it's been steadily rising in popularity and competition the past 20 or so years. The biggest MMA promotion is the Ultimate Fighting Championship, something you can catch on Spike, Versus and pay-per-views once every couple of weeks.
I suppose there's a lot of boxing purists out there, but if you like seeing a guy fall to the mat after a good one-two punch, why wouldn't you like to see a guy collapse after a vicious knee from the clinch that sends his mouth guard flying across the ring? MMA is a combination of striking and submission, you'll find many styles of fighters in the sport but the mainstays are boxing, kickboxing, muay-thai, brazilian jiu-jitsu and wrestling. If you happen to turn it on and you see two guys rolling around on the ground you may be inclined to think "WHY IN THE WORLD IS HE NOT ELBOWING THAT GUY IN THE FACE RIGHT NOW?" The answer is that both of those men likely have years of training under their belts. If say, the guy in top position throws an elbow, the guy on the bottom might just be inclined to grab said elbow and magically turn one bone into two bones. Catch my drift?
I can sit and talk about the merits of MMA all day but it all comes down to whether or not you're interested in combat sports. If you're not at all, I'd still say check out a free event and see if you do, and if you are, I definitely suggest heading to Bloody Elbow to get started following it or get acquainted with some great coverage.
I've been rambling for some time now, and I'd like to get back to Bloody Elbow. Every event I've even partially been interested in, Bloody Elbow has covered. They take a look at every fight, detail how it went down, give their own opinions and do it well. If a fight is announced or a fighter pulls out for an injury, they're there with coverage. They also have opinion articles like we do here, just talking about how they see things and they're always a good read.
Most of the posts get plenty of comments, the community is large and friendly, but keep in mind not everyone will be your ally at Bloody Elbow. Whereas here we are all fans of the 49ers, there you will have people who are fans of individual fighters. With nine or so weight classes there are plenty of fighters to like and plenty to hate. Whereas you may be a fan of the pointed, defensive style of Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida another fan be of the opinion that Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and his aggressive, deadly Muay Thai was robbed in his title matchup (can't wait for the rematch, to be honest). Still, I've found the community to be more than accommodating and the disagreements kept to a dull roar in friendly, but spirited debate.
To summarize, you should definitely check it out and help make one of the busiest blogs here get even busier and help MMA as a sport grow further by watching and taking part in discussion. The coverage is great, and has become professional enough to partner up with USA Today to provide MMA rankings for each weight class. Their tagline states they are the best pound-for-pound blog in content, commentary, news and community and I'm inclined to agree with them. If you want to know more about MMA rules in general I suggest heading over there and taking part, though if you want to know a bit more before you head over (afraid of ignorance, I understand) I'd be more than happy to educate you on some of the general rules and the bigger fighters in the comments here. My favorites are in my profile. So head on over, join and discuss.