A Dream Come True

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 by Tony Reid

So after creating Rattling the Cage, interviewing fighters for the piece in TapouT and MMA Worldwide Magazines for the past year and change I wanted to expand my skill set and contribute to the magazines in a different way.  By becoming more of a writer and not just an interview guy. I wanted to write stories, feature stories, my own column, anything! I have been writing a lot lately (whether it shows or not is a different matter entirely) and bothering Tapout/MMA Worldwide Editor RJ Clifford alot as well, to give me the chance to do more.

So I was headed to Boston in August to the UFC Fan Expo and UFC 118 and my pestering began to pay off. So as I do on a regular basis, I started pitching random ideas to RJ “I could call in on the radio show Friday night and cover the days events”…”I can write a piece about this that and the other…blah, blah, blah”. RJ suggested I write a “How To Guide” while at the expo. During my time in Boston I wrote and wrote and wrote…and wrote some more. I literally wrote a minute by minute blow by blow of my entire three day weekend, I wrote a how to piece, I wrote a how not to piece.  I thought it looked good and that it was coming together nicely. I came home, typed it up and emailed it to RJ.  And then I waited and waited and waited. I heard nothing. So after that minor letdown I decided to post it here as a blog and let it go at that, thinking you fantastic people might enjoy it.

Well lo and behold, I saw the cover of the current issue of TapouT online and there was a blurb on the cover that looked pretty damn familiar. “A How To Guide to Get the Most Out of a UFC Fan Expo”. Really? Of course I found the pic of the cover online about a week before the magazine actually made it to stores. So I spent that entire week stopping nightly at Barnes & Noble to check, I called Waldenbooks to see if they happened to get it in…no luck. Now, you might say “Tony, you moron, you could have just asked RJ if he printed your story.” Yeah I know, but the anticipation of finally finding it on a newsstand and seeing for myself outweighed the option of just finding out via email or text.

So I finally came accross it at B&N and quickly turned to page 80 and there it was…My story. RJ printed, literally, everything I wrote and everything I submitted to him. That included all three stories and a number of my pics from the weekend including one of me with Punkass. It was such an awesome feeling seeing my work in print, especailly in a magazine that I would run to newsstands to buy whether I was in it or not! For many years prior to me contributing to the mag I would go to the newsstand and pick it up as soon as it came out. I would read it cover to cover and hang onto it all month until the next one came out.

So just as this is all coming together RJ tells me that he is stepping down as the editor of the mag! What? So now what? Will my dream end here? In a word…No. The newly named editor Chris Staab and I spoke shortly after he took over and we bounced some ideas off each other.  To make a long story short (If thats possible at this point) I will be writing the cover story for the next issue! Its a dual interview/story of Dan Henderson and Renato “Babalu” Sobral leading up to their main event fight at “Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu” on December 4th at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Check out the magazine that should hit newsstands around November 25th!

I can truly appreciate the opportunity I have been given because I was (and still am) a diehard fan of the sport and the magazine. I take the responsibility very seriously and consider it an honor to be involved in any capacity. So, I want to send a big thank you to RJ for making this happen for me!  And to Chris for giving me this next opportunity!