So much to be thankful for…

2011 will go down as a massive year for MMA. The UFC on Fox deal, and all of it’s ripples throughout the industry will be seen as a major turning point for the sport. After all it’s been through, MMA has grown to the point where it’s on the verge of getting placed alongside the rest of the major sports of our time. Certainly, the NFL and NBA lockouts have helped, as both allowed some additional light to shine on the sport.

I’m thankful for all of the hard work in training that the athletes put themselves through to deliver a good fight in their bouts… their trainers who push them and give them the tools to win… the refs who willingly enter the ring/cage with these guys, and make sure things are safe and legal… even the judges who realize they’re going to be argued with, insulted and ridiculed but show up and do it anyway… the ring card girls… oh, the ring card girls… the match-makers who put together the bouts, who have to deal with managers and egos, while learning enough about many fighters that they can put together well-matched fights… the local promoters who risk their business every event to bring MMA to the masses… and, yes, even the television executives who greenlight the events we get to enjoy every week.

I’m thankful for the commentators and analysts, who bring their knowledge to their reporting… the PR people and managers who make sure people like me get the information and access we need to bring sites like this to you. And, yes, I’m thankful for you, that you read sites like this, that you want to know more about the fighters and matches in the sport you love, just like me…

Make sure to take a few moments to enjoy this brief pause, because starting with Saturday’s Bellator 59 event, things just accelerate through the end of the year, culminating in the Dream New Year’s Eve event in Japan (Fedor? Aoki?).

So many explosive match-ups to come: Bisping/Miller, Edwards/Ferguson, Santos/Yamanaka, Mousasi/OSP, Evangelista/Noons, Melendez/Masvidal, Jones/Machida, Cerrone/Diaz and of course, one for the ages: Lesnar/Overeem!

…and 2012 is lining up to be just as good…

Man, it’s a good time to be an MMA fan!

Personally, 2011 has been a good year. I am grateful for all of the people around me. As good as this year’s been, 2012 has so much promise… I am really looking forward to it!

Thanks for reading.