AOL has been shopping MMAFighting.com, Ariel Helwani's website, for more than a few months. The rumors abound folks. The latest rumor is that SBNation will "proudly" add MMAFighting, with Helwani's commentary and interviews, to its roster of MMA blogs along with MMAMania.com, BloodyElbow.com, and the rest.
What is interesting to note about this rumor is that an SBNation MMA writer, Mike Fagan, formerly of BloodyElbow.com, was recently informed that his services were no longer required at Bloody Elbow shortly (7 days) after Tweeting the following during the UFC 137 conference call:
While those that follow the UFC conference calls realize that Helwani really only pays attention to the questions that matter to him, ie the ones he asks, Helwani has consistently re-asked questions that have already been posed by other members of the conference call for more than a few years. But Helwani is possibly the biggest name in MMA journalism, so it is glossed over.
Fagan proceeded to apologize for his ribbing of Helwani, but apparently it only made things worse. Only Rampage Jackson can call Helwani a beta and get away with it.
Why should we give a fuck? Bloody Elbow is a load of pretentious douchebags you say? Mania has the most open format of any SBNation blog. With that comes an amazing amount of crticism for the staff, the community, and each other. While I really could give a single fuck if I got banned in the scheme of things, losing any of the staff here, because they ribbed the wrong pretentious douchebag (read: Helwani), is a distinct possibility based upon the actions of Nate Wilcox in firing Mike Fagan. Fagan got fired BEFORE this deal was even completed.
I hope things do not change. The MMANation changes have been bad enough. Seeing Snowden's name on the front page of Mania gives me a cold chill. But you know what would be very Mania-esque? Seeing Mike Fagan's name at the bottom of MMAMania as a contributing staff. While I didn't always agree with his breakdowns, I did enjoy reading his articles, which included a large dose of his own personality. Something that MMAMania seems to be in danger of losing if the head honchos at SBNation follow through with the purchase of MMAFighting.com.