I'm back full-time from my self-imposed sabbatical, which was spent caring for mini-Mania.
So, I can't really call it a vacation, but it was a nice little break from the normal grind.
Thanks again and again for all the "congratulations" emails and comments -- it makes Mrs. Mania realize that people really do like me and that the work I do here doesn't go unnoticed.
And you have no idea how much that helps.
While I was away, I did check in from time-to-time -- I can't help myself no matter the situation.
Hopefully, you didn't miss me too much or even notice I was away. Our primary contributor -- Jesse Holland -- did a fine job in my absense.
I want to thank him again for a job well done.
Jesse will continue to contribute on the site with posts and more exclusive content. Getting more fighter interviews and exclusives will be an area that we really want him to explore in the coming weeks and months.
I was also particularly pleased with the caption contest -- congrats to all the winners. There were some great comments from everyone and not just the ones who took home some UFCmania.com swag.
We'll make sure to keep the tradition alive with the events ahead.
Please give us some time to get the shirts in and send them out.
Also, for the UFCmania.com readers who contributed on the UFC 71 predictions and analysis, I also want to say thanks. It's one of the more interesting things we get to do here on this site.
There are some other things going on that I want to touch on briefly regarding the site while I have your divided attention.
Check 'em out:
Server: We got SLAMMED this past weekend with an enormous amount of traffic. I can't even begin to explain the number of people on this site during that time. It's great news -- our site is growing massively. However, it did take us offline for some crucial hours during the pay-per-view (PPV) event. I apologize to all those who couldn't access the site and wanted to catch the LIVE play-by-play commentary provided by loyal reader DrubySunshine (For the record, the site troubles made his job extremely difficult, so I apologize for that). We managed to fix the problem right before the main event with some panicked phone calls to our provider. We upgraded our package at that time and things seem to be running smoothly. However, this is the third time in five months that we have had to upgrade. And I get the feeling we're not done yet. Accordingly, we'll be doing some site maintenance to prepare for the next big hit. Stick with us ... it's just some growing pains -- it'll all work out in the long run.
UFC Rankings: Even though we did get them out in May, I know that a ton of readers were wondering what took us so long. I did get all the emails and will be more diligent to get them out more frequently. We try and do them after certain events. Therefore, look for the next installment to hit the site the week of June 17 -- right after UFC 72: "Victory." Please also keep in mind that it does take a degree of coordination with all of our contributers.
UFC Schedule: I just updated this site feature today, which took me quite a bit of time. It's still not there yet -- the Spike TV schedule needs to be updated. Otherwise, everything seems to be there and relatively timely. This is one of those pages that I often neglect for other -- bigger -- stories and news items. Going forward, it will reflect the latest rumors, fight cards and television programming.
UFC Polls: We had to take this down temporarily because of the server issue. We fixed the problem and will be getting the UFC polls up again in the next day or so. Feel free to send us an email with any topics you want to see and we'll consider getting them up on the site. Remember we also appreciate tips and other breaking news from our readers so feel free to use our Contact page for that.
UFC Results: This new page (it's actually been around for about a month) will hopefully one day soon include all of the UFC events, dating back to UFC 1. It's more or less a resource for our readers who want to know who fought when, where, and the various outcomes. For now, it's got the most recent events -- look for it to get pretty comprehensive as we chip away at posting the complete results history for the UFC.
Jon Fitch: As most of you know, UFCmania.com will sponsor the welterweight fighter at UFC Fight Night 10 on June 12 and more fights after that. We're super excited and will be in attendance to cheer him on at the Seminole Hotel Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. I haven't had time to look into an after party (it is on a Tuesday night, unfortunately) but it's something we plan on looking into over the weekend. I'll keep you posted.
UFC 73: For the past few months we've been working on a very cool side project that has a little something to do with a big name fighter on the UFC 73 fight card. It's also one of the things that has taxed our resources on other things like MySpace (see below) and some other stuff. Give us about another two-to-three weeks and we'll share the great news. It could be something we do a lot more of -- and no, I can't give any more hints.
MySpace: We have an account and quite a bit of "Friends." This is one of those projects on the backburner, but we intend to use it more to stay in touch with our readers. It's a pretty nice page right now, but we plan on "pimping" it real soon. If you're not one of our "Friends" just send us a request and we'll hook it up.
That's it. Back to business as usual. I'm happy to be back.