Thanksgiving. There’s no other time of year when everyone can gorge themselves on turkey and stuffing, all while saying what they’re most thankful for in life.

Well, here at The MMA Corner, we’ve gathered our troops at the Round Table to give our thanks. As with each year that passes, we’ve had to upgrade that table to make room for the new members joining our wonderful family here at The MMA Corner.

Before we begin, our managing staff would like to say that we’re thankful for each and every one of our staff members, from the writers who join us here, to those who are away at the moment, and to our photographers and contributors. And we’re also thankful for you, the readers.

But the central focus of this gathering is to look at what we’re thankful for in the year 2013 in the world of mixed martial arts. It could be anything—a particular event, fight, fighter, promotion or even an announcement. Whatever it may be, it’s time for us to share.

We’ve resurrected the gloved turkey hand for this occasion and it points first to the man who made this all possible, The MMA Corner Owner and President, Josh Davis. So, as we say Happy Thanksgiving to all, we’ll start with him and make our way around the table…

Josh Davis, Owner/President: There are many things that I am thankful for both inside of the MMA world and out. Obviously, I am thankful for my friends, family and loved ones outside of MMA.

In the MMA world, I am thankful that we have numerous upstart promotions such as Resurrection Fighting Alliance and the World Series of Fighting, just to name a few, that are giving us an opportunity to see fighters before they become famous in the UFC. As a fan and media person, I enjoy the opportunity to follow a fighter’s career from beginning to end, and with these new promotions and their television contracts, it gives us the opportunity to do that.

With that being said, I would like to take this time to publicly say that I am thankful for The MMA Corner and the staff that is a part of it. I started with a dream of providing MMA fans with quality and accurate information related to the sport. Over the years together, we have grown this site into what it is today. So, I wanted to thank my entire staff for all of their hard work. I would like to give a special thank you to Corey Adams, Rob Tatum and Bryan Henderson. Corey was the first member to join The MMA Corner team and helped the site grow in its beginning stages. Rob and Bryan are the backbone of the site, and without them we would not be here today. So, on this day, I am thankful for everybody past and present that has been a part of this great team.

Bryan Henderson, Editor-in-Chief: I’ll definitely take a moment to echo Josh’s sentiment regarding our great team here on The MMA Corner. It’s been a crazy ride, and I’m very proud of what our staff has accomplished and the heights to which they’ve brought this site.

When it comes to MMA in 2013, the one thing I am most thankful for is the easing of marijuana limits within drug testing. It’s been a revolutionary year for marijuana in general, with states voting to legalize the drug for recreational use. This cultural shift has carried over to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Nevada State Athletic Commission, both of which have relaxed the threshold for testing positive for the drug. In effect, the move from a 15 ng/mL limit to 150 ng/mL by WADA and from 50 ng/mL to 150 ng/mL by the NSAC means that the odds of testing positive for out-of-competition use will be significantly reduced.

The UFC, whose vice president of regulatory affairs, Marc Ratner, even went in front of the commission advocating for such a change, tends to follow commission guidelines when regulating international events, and other commissions are sure to follow suit in adjusting in the same way as WADA and the NSAC. That means no more pointless suspensions, lost bonuses or UFC releases for fighters who enjoy smoking when they’re not fighting. That’s how it should be, and for that, I’m thankful.

Rob Tatum, News Manager/Assistant Editor: It really is surreal to think about how far this website has come in the last few years. As the sport continues to grow, so do we. While I will always be thankful for our devoted and passionate staff, this year, my biggest gratitude is directed toward the ladies of the cage. In 2013, the women’s side of the sport turned a big corner toward receiving the attention that it deserves, and I’m happy to have been a part of it.

From the first women’s fight inside the Octagon—a bantamweight title fight between Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche at UFC 157—to the continued efforts of Invicta Fighting Championships, and the first female installment of The Ultimate Fighter, this has been a banner year for the toughest women on the planet. Although it might take a few more years before the women’s side of the sport nears the same level of recognition with casual fans as a Jon Jones or Georges St-Pierre, each event and each fight is one step closer to equality for dedicated fighters with two X chromosomes.

Looking ahead, the UFC has already revealed plans for a 115-pound strawweight division to complement its existing, 135-pound bantamweight division. World Series of Fighting has announced its plans for female fights, already signing consensus top-ranked strawweight Jessica Aguilar. And despite some recent internal hurdles, Invicta FC appears to be back on its feet once again and ready to continue moving forward as a premier destination for women in all weight divisions. For that, I’m not only thankful, but also excited.

Dan Kuhl, Interview Coordinator: 2013 has been a very unique year in the sport, even though no two years are ever alike. Some of the greatest fighters have faced serious diversity, veteran fighters have made big resurgences, women joined the ranks of the UFC and a ton of up-and-comers have made big splashes. The sport has also made tremendous strides in promoting fighters’ causes, like assisting wounded warriors and those with PTSD, autism research, children’s foundations, and countless other non-profits that get a ton of exposure from the MMA community. Not only have we seen Chris Weidman ending Anderson Silva’s reign, Robbie Lawler coming back and raking guys over the coals, the women getting much needed exposure on The Ultimate Fighter and Brandon Thatch proving he might very well be the baddest welterweight on the planet, we’ve also become more aware of many of these other causes, like Chad Robichaux’s PTSD foundation, Mike Rio’s work with Autism Speaks and many other fights outside the cage. All of this isn’t because of UFC President Dana White or Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, or any of the other puppet masters for that matter. This is all because we have fighters with and without higher educations who not only want to go in the cage and fight their asses off for the fans, but because a lot of these people focus on someone other than themselves.

So, this Thanksgiving, I am truly thankful for all of the men and women who have the brass package to jump in a ring, put their bodies at risk of potentially serious harm, and fight not only for themselves, but for the fans, the non-profits, the for-profits and all of the other people that support them and make the sport truly what it is. Without the fighters in the current pool of talent, whether up-and-comers or old-school vets, we wouldn’t even have a site to express thanks on. As a part of the interview team, I will have interviewed just under 100 fighters by the end of the year, and there’s not one that I wouldn’t love to sit down and have a beer with. They have all been really good people who are down to earth and serious about their craft.

Speaking of the site, as has already been mentioned and will be throughout this edition of the Round Table, I’m thankful that we have this platform to work with, and just like the sport, it’s all about the people. Between Josh’s support, Bryan’s and Rob’s major workloads, and all of the writers, we have one hell of a team. I’m thankful for them in 2013, and look forward to helping grow our site into the upper echelon of MMA journalism.

Neil Rooke, Staff Writer: First and foremost, I am thankful for the support that is given to me by my lovely fiancé, who does the most amazing job with our almost one-year-old son day in and day out. She truly is someone incredibly talented and special.

On the writing front, I would like to thank Bryan Henderson for helping me develop my craft. Without his tips, help and proofing, I know that there is no way that I could have gone on to publish my first novella, to which I also credit him for his editing skills. I would also like to thank Rob Tatum for his help in my transition from Cage Junkies to The MMA Corner. It’s been a busy year for me, and certainly one that I will never forget.

As far as the sport goes, I am thankful that promoters are still putting on events all across Australia. It’s an unforgiving business and a lot of them do it for the love and development of the sport. In Australia, there isn’t a lot of financial gain for a promoter to put on a mixed martial arts event. Sure, they make a little bit here and there, but we are nowhere near the heights of North America just yet. I am thankful that there are so many people looking to give up-and-coming fighters an outlet to showcase their skills and look forward to what the sport is going to do on a national scale over the next 12 months.

Eric Reinert, Staff Writer/White Belt MMA Podcast Host: Dominant champions are fun to watch for a while, but eventually many MMA fans start wishing some other contender would rise up and really put forth a formidable challenge. For this reason, I’m thankful for Chris Weidman, Alexander Gustafsson and Johny Hendricks.

Before 2013, it seemed like longtime UFC champions Silva, Jon Jones and Georges St-Pierre would know no equals. All three had dispatched their previous title challengers with relative ease and, in the case of Silva and St-Pierre, sometimes found themselves facing opponents chosen not for their legitimate claim to their divisions’ belts, but rather because the champions had defeated all other logical contenders. This year, though, the three kings of MMA would each be put to significant tests. Jones and St-Pierre retained their belts after grueling five-round battles against Gustafsson and Hendricks, respectively. Silva was not so lucky, ending up on the wrong end of a knockout punch in his fight with Weidman.

The ironic result of the pound-for-pound stalwarts’ struggles has been a renewed interest in their fights. Sure, watching Silva showboat his way to wins over lesser competition is fun for a few shows, but MMA fans crave competition. Weidman’s surprising victory over Silva makes their forthcoming rematch at the end of December all the more interesting, and will no doubt achieve some of the highest pay-per-view numbers the UFC has seen in quite some time. The same could be said for Jones/Teixeira and GSP/whoever, simply due to the successes achieved by Gustafsson and Hendricks.

There will always be a handful of fighters who are simply a class above their peers, but I’m thankful to see that gulf slowly closing, and look forward to the fights that will result.

Corey Adams, Staff Writer: Wow, what a year 2013 has been. Every day, I’m beyond blessed to be a part of such a great team here at The MMA Corner. Without Josh, I wouldn’t be where I am today, so I am grateful for him allowing me to become the first staff writer here.

As far as the sport of mixed martial arts, it’s been a crazy 11 months. Out of everything I’ve witnessed as a writer and just as a fan, I’m thankful for the amount of stacked fight cards the UFC has put together. From UFC 164 to 167, those four events all delivered with exciting fights with a lot at stake. Oh yeah, and we still have UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2 to close out the year. Oh boy.

And it is not only the pay-per-views, but also the amount of free cards the UFC has put on. The emergence of Fox Sports 1 has allowed the promotion to have even more events, which is something we can all be thankful for.

To you and your family, have a great Thanksgiving!

Brian McKenna, Staff Writer: Although I’m thankful for a lot of things in my life, what I’m thankful for in the MMA world from these past 12 months is that the main event of the Bellator MMA pay-per-view fell apart. Bear with me for a second here. Sure, this sounds as if it was a bad thing, but in all reality, for the sport of MMA, it is a great thing.

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Tito Ortiz is a main event that a lot of the MMA world would want to see. That is, if they had Dr. Emmett Brown’s DeLorean and could go back to 2005. That year, both fighters were near the top of their respective games, and both were huge draws to the sport. In 2013, however, their careers are both running on empty.

In the weeks leading up to the date of the card, ticket sales were not nearly where they should have been, according to multiple reports. There wasn’t nearly as big of a buzz for the promotion’s inaugural pay-per-view event as it had expected, even with the hype of the other main-card fights that were set to happen.

Because Ortiz withdrew from the main event, a chain reaction took place which turned the card from a pay-per-view event to one that was live and free on cable. Realistically, the card would not have had a successful buyrate, which could have spelled the beginning of the end for the UFC’s biggest competition. Bellator has its place in this world of MMA, and I’m thankful that the black eye that the promotion could have suffered from having a failed pay-per-view event never came to be.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Happy Holidays!

Richard Wilcoxon, Staff Writer: While the list of things outside of MMA that I am thankful for is long—my family, especially my son and wife, my health, the quickness I found employment again after being laid off, and my friends, both from this site and outside, to name a few—the things for which I am thankful within the sport are relatively short.

First, I have to echo Eric. I am so thankful for Gustafsson and Hendricks. I hated how true contenders were being passed over in favor of fighters that were easy to market. Hendricks arguably deserved the title shot before Condit did, but there is no question that he deserved the shot before Diaz. The UFC just saw an easy marketing opportunity that put its champ in little danger and pushed Diaz ahead of Hendricks. Similarly, the light heavyweight division saw middleweights Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort getting title fights before contenders in the weight class. The UFC looked at Gustafsson and decided its entire marketing plan would just be “he’s tall.” However, the extraordinary efforts and amazing fights turned in by legitimate contenders will hopefully encourage the UFC to make fights between its champions and those that have actually earned the shot. The great thing about MMA is anything can happen, and I would rather see that “anything” happen to someone who actually earned the shot.

The second thing I am thankful for is the World Series of Fighting. I have been watching old Strikeforce events the past couple of weekends, and missing that promotion. WSOF could fill the void. The great thing about Strikeforce was that it put on fun fights—fights that fans wanted to see, great style match-ups or just exciting bouts. Did Frank Shamrock’s fights against Cesar Gracie or even Nick Diaz mean anything as far as rankings or determining who was the best in the long run? No, but they were fun.

It may sound funny to say that right after saying I hated that the UFC bypassed rightful title contenders for what they hoped would be fun fights. However, the UFC is the big leagues. It is the MLB or the NFL. The promotion has the best fighters, and it has a responsibility to continue to try to determine who the best fighter is. The NFL doesn’t push the Cowboys into the Super Bowl or big matches because they might be more marketable than another team. The UFC needs to be the same way. When the UFC steps outside that role, it feels wrong and unfair to the fighters. The competitors have too much at risk when winning the title can give them fame and at least some fortune. Add to it the fact the UFC is continually adding weight classes and divisions, and there is just too much for the promotion to do to put on fights that have no or little relevance. At the same time, Bellator is married to its tournament format, which means it has limited options to target fun fights. This is the niche WSOF can fill. It doesn’t have the best fighters. It isn’t locked into a tournament format. The WSOF has the freedom to put together fights that are just fun to watch. The promotion has slowly started to do it already, and as it adds more fighters and events, I hope to see them continue down this road.

David Massey, Staff Writer: Given how MMA has grown to a point where several promotions are holding multiple events a month, there have been too many moments of which to keep track. It’s a constant stream of fighters and storylines and news items that pushes through my brain like a revolving door. That in itself is a victory, I suppose—how us hardcores have actively seen the sport grow to hold such an active schedule that it even has fanatics feeling like it’s all too much to take in.

I really like what Bryan said about how leaders in the sport are pushing for pragmatic tolerance of marijuana usage in athletes. In a way, MMA is unique to all other sports because we have an open dialogue on “hot-button” issues such as drugs, performance-enhancers and homosexuality. It makes other major American sports feel decades behind with their thinking and practices. MMA is an inclusive melting pot that translates anywhere in the world. And that makes it feel ahead of the curve in a lot of ways.

Last, I’ve got to thank the entire team for making us what we are. Rob and Bryan have constantly and patiently helped me develop my writing skills, which is incredibly exciting for me to put to good use. I’ve been able to get away from the computer and attend a few MMA events as media this year to mingle with the real world of sports coverage. There’s no shortage of things that keep me inspired and confident. It’s been an awesome year, and I’m very proud to think of it and everyone involved (the readers included).

Dale De Souza, Staff Writer: Aside from the brotherhood here at The MMA Corner, what can Yours Truly give thanks for in 2013? I could think of any number of things, from the re-branding of Fuel TV and Speed to the impact of women’s MMA on the sport in the months since UFC 157, when Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche headlined the first women’s MMA bout in UFC history. When giving thanks for anything in 2013, however, this “year of the upsets” makes me the most thankful during this season, as both a writer and a fan of mixed martial arts.

For my taste, it goes beyond Weidman’s second-round finish of Silva, Gustafsson’s hard-fought performance in defeat against UFC light heavyweight champion Jones, or the hotly-debated fight between St-Pierre and Hendricks just a few weekends ago. We’ve seen Alistair Overeem get finished twice at heavyweight, Benson Henderson submitted by Anthony Pettis, Uriah Hall losing by two straight decisions, Junior dos Santos both scoring an awesome finish and finally getting finished in the UFC, Rory MacDonald losing for the first time since UFC 115, and Dan Henderson getting knocked out for the first time in his career, among a number of other shocking moments. Even in Bellator, Pat Curran suffered defeat against Daniel Straus, undefeated Vitaly Minakov became Bellator heavyweight champion, Emanuel Newton defeated Muhammed Lawal—twice—en route to his impending rematch with Bellator light heavyweight champion Attila Vegh, and a legal battle with the promotion ended with Eddie Alvarez avenging his 2011 loss to former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler in an intense rematch that some felt did enough to nearly match the first encounter.

In short, the MMA landscape changed in ways that few expected, and it created a new interest in the sport, because now the pressure falls on these underdogs to finish the job they started. Whether or not these new champions and proven challengers can usher in a new era of MMA athletes remains in question, but when 2014 comes, the landscape will change further, and that will only aim to keep fans further enthralled by what we’ve come to love as the fastest-growing sport in the world.

Sal DeRose, Staff Writer: 2013 has been a heck of a ride, and I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store. First and foremost, I’m thankful for my colleagues here at The MMA Corner. Without a doubt, these are the best group of writers the Internet could put together, and it is an honor and a privilege to work with everyone here.

What I’m most thankful for in the sport are the amazing warriors who go in that cage and give it their all. As corny and cliche as that sounds, these guys go in and work hard, show tremendous heart and create some of the wildest fights. Guys like Gustafsson, Weidman, Pettis and Hendricks are names that come to mind. They have pushed the previously “unbeatable” to their brinks or have even come out on top over those opponents.

It’s been a wild year for champions, and the contenders have shown just how much heart and passion they have for this sport by going in there and creating some insanely awesome fights. Thank you to all of those who left everything they had in the cage!

Kyle Symes, Staff Writer: I guess we have to start out with the obligatory shout out to the suits here at The MMA Corner. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to contribute here at The MMA Corner for a number of reasons. I believe chief among those is the ability to have access to interview virtually anyone and everyone you could imagine in the MMA world. I’ve been around other sites where that access is extremely limited, but it seems as though if you want to talk to someone in the fight game, the guys here at The MMA Corner will make it happen.

In regards to the MMA world, there are a number of things I’m thankful for. First and foremost, as many of my colleagues have pointed out, it’s great to see some of the divisions that were sort of stagnant in years past now filled with rising stars. We saw the emergence of Gustafsson in the light heavyweight division, Weidman knock off Silva at 185 pounds, Hendricks nearly take out GSP, Pettis take out Benson “Smooth but safe” Henderson, and Ricardo Lamas, Chad Mendes and Cub Swanson all becoming viable contenders at 145 pounds.

There are a final two items I’ll talk about being thankful for.

First, the rise of women’s MMA in the UFC and Invicta. Beyond the aesthetic appeal of the women athletes, fights between women are routinely the best on the card, and I don’t think I’ve ever watched a women’s MMA bout and been disappointed. That goes for amateur and pro, as well, so keep up the work, ladies!

And finally, for as much as the guy irks me when he has a microphone and for all the negative attention he garners, I am thankful for Jon Jones. How can you not like the fact that one of the sport’s most exciting, dominant stars competes as often as he does?

Gregory Chase, Staff Writer: I am certainly thankful for this amazing team of writers, and all the hard work that everyone puts in to make this possible.

In the MMA world, I think we are seeing another change of the guard here, and I am thankful for these champions who have blessed us with great fights. This may (or may not) be the downslide of Anderson Silva and the first signs of the exodus of GSP from the UFC. Both men have made history and set records in the cage. Whether you like them or not, we, as MMA fans, have been treated to history in the making when either of those men step into the Octagon.

I am thankful for this sport and the athletes who make it possible. The one thing that has really amazed me about these professionals is how approachable they are, and how easy it is to connect with them. The MMA world is one that someone can easily get immersed in, and it continues to grow.

Probably the thing I am most thankful for is that Connecticut is legally able to host MMA events, and now I don’t have to travel long distances or catch flights to go to an event! This is something that needed to happen, and it will certainly draw a big crowd and create a new following in my state.

Once again, can’t thank everyone on this panel enough for their work and contribution.

Vince Carey, Staff Writer: It should almost go without saying that I’d like to send a huge shout out to Josh, Bryan and Rob, who have made the last almost 18 months I’ve spent writing for The MMA Corner extremely enjoyable. All three of these guys have helped me grow as a writer in some form or another over the last year and a half, and I’m incredibly thankful that I get to work with such an awesome staff at The MMA Corner.

As far as actual MMA goes, I’d say I’m most thankful for the amount of competitive title challengers we’ve had in the last year. From Weidman and Petti, both of whom got the job done and defeated dominant champions, to Gustafsson and Hendricks, who came up just short, the last few months have featured some of the most shocking and exciting title bouts in MMA history. It’s been a ton of fun to watch.

Riley Kontek, Staff Writer: I am thankful for The Ultimate Fighter. Without it, I’d have few things to watch during the week.

I am also thankful for AXS TV, as it is a channel that always has combat sports on. Whether it’s Legacy FC for MMA or Lion Fights for Muay Thai, you can always count on AXS TV to air fights. Watching prospects of the sport throw down is incredibly exciting, and without outlets like AXS TV, we wouldn’t be able to watch nearly as many up-and-comers as we do.

Justin Fuller, Staff Writer: Like many here, I am thankful to Josh, Bryan and Rob for letting me come aboard here at The MMA Corner. Having spent some time away from writing, the work I have done so far has reignited my passion for the craft. Broadcast will always be the most fun for me, but writing is the most challenging, which is why I am also thankful to work alongside the rest of The MMA Corner staff whose talent and dedication to this sport inspires me to do my best.

The person I am most thankful for in MMA this year is UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, for creating multiple legitimate contenders in more than one division. No longer are the days where we are being sold title fights where the contendership of the opponent is questioned right alongside the “dominance” of the champion he is facing. These are the days where we have a greater consensus to who should be fighting for a title, and we are tracking one, two or three opponents down the line. We know Jon Jones will face Glover Teixeira next, will likely rematch Gustafsson at some point after that, has to worry about Daniel Cormier in the not-so-distant future, and you would be hard pressed to find a person who can come up with a reasonable argument as to why those are not great match-ups and legitimate contenders.

I’m also thankful to Fox Sports 1 and 2 and Spike TV for ensuring my TiVo always has a healthy dose of MMA and combat-sports-related content. Be it UFC reruns and shoulder programming, Bellator MMA, Monday night boxing, or high-level kickboxing from Glory, I am always guaranteed to have some form of violent action-packed sports programming available at the touch of a button. What fight fan wouldn’t be thankful for all that?

Greg Byron, Staff Writer: Being the only Brit in this lineup, I am not too familiar with the premise of Thanksgiving as such, but I think I get the overall gist.

Without a doubt, the thing I am most thankful for this year is the announcement of the European tour that the UFC is going to be putting on over the next few years. I have had a chance to go to several UFC events that have taken place in the United Kingdom, and it is so much better than watching the events on television, in my view.

With the tour being announced, it affords me the opportunity to watch the UFC whilst also traveling more throughout Europe in the process. There is promise that I could find myself in Germany, Poland, Turkey and Ireland in 2014, watching top-tier mixed martial arts, whereas, in the past, we have only really had access to national promotions on a semi-regular basis.

On a side note, I am thankful for having been welcomed into the team at The MMA Corner and granted an opportunity to express my passion for the sport on a weekly basis.

Trey Downey, Staff Writer: 2013 has been a crazy, up-and-down year in my life, and I have more things to be thankful for than ever. I have to thank my family, especially my brother and parents, for being the most supportive group of people that a young 23-year-old trying to find his way could ask for. I am also extremely thankful for a great group of friends and co-workers, who would understand when I couldn’t hang out or needed a shift covered on a Saturday night so I could cover the sport I love. I also have to thank Bryan and Rob for giving me the opportunity to write for this site. I just responded to a tweet of Bryan’s looking for someone to do event recaps. They took me in, and in the few months I have been with the site, I have had the chance to cover my first event live and get my opinions out there to an audience that I couldn’t have achieved without their help.

As far as the sport goes, I’m thankful for its growth, especially when it comes to television deals. All three of the major promotions are featured on big television networks here in the United States, and a week hardly goes by where you won’t get a free card on Fox Sports, Spike or NBCSN. WSOF had to pay to get its first fight card on NBCSN late last year and now, six events in, the promotion pulls some of the highest ratings for the channel other than the network’s coverage of NHL and EPL soccer. Bellator has its share of haters, but the Viacom partnership has been great for the company and the sport. Every Friday night, we get free cards that have at least a decent quality. Because the promotion is on Spike, guys like Rampage and Alvarez are with the promotion, and it will give other big-name fighters a legitimate place to go.

This brings me to the UFC and Fox Sports. It has been over two years now since Junior dos Santos knocked out Cain Velasquez in just over a minute, and the sport has grown exponentially since then. Not only do we get a huge quantity of free fights because of this deal, but we get to see MMA spotlighted alongside the biggest sports there are. A few years ago, it would have been almost blasphemy to see a promo for a UFC fight during the World Series or a NFL playoff game. It would also have been crazy to think that we would be able to watch a weekly news show and a magazine feature show on a major sports network. Thanks to the UFC’s deal with Fox, this is all reality now. With the strong ratings that all three of these promotions pull on their own respective networks, we could be thankful for even further growth by next Thanksgiving.

Aline Baktchejian Djehdian, Staff Writer: I would like to thank all of the staff writers and also Rob, Bryan and Josh for the great job here at The MMA Corner. Every year, I feel thankful to be a part of The MMA Corner team. Thank you for the trust in my work.

I am thankful for all the UFC fights that happened this year here in Brazil. It was a great experience for me as a person and a professional. My interviews with Demian Maia, Jake Shields and so many other great fighters give me the confidence to keep doing my job. I am also thankful for Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos showing the world what MMA is about.

Another thing to be grateful for is The Ultimate Fighter 18. As a woman, I’m so proud of Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. Thanks to the UFC for giving Brazil the opportunity to be part of the sport and doing events here.

And also, I´m grateful to be on the verge of accomplishing my most important goal in MMA since I started writing: I’m going to Las Vegas in the end of December to do my first international coverage as media at UFC 168.

Joe Chacon, Staff Writer: If there is one thing I am this Thanksgiving, it’s truly thankful to be part of the MMA community. A few years ago, I started writing for another website primarily focusing on traditional sports such as baseball, basketball and football. MMA was something I enjoyed watching, but I never thought about being more than a fan of the sport. Now, I find myself devoting most of my free time to reading, writing and watching anything related to the world of mixed martial arts. I recall the first interview I did a couple years back with a fighter working his way up the ranks on the regional circuit. That’s what really cemented my interest in not just the bright lights of the UFC, but for each and every fighter that puts forth the effort to train his or her butt off with the aspirations of one day making a career out of fighting.

I’m thankful for the genuine people of the sport. I interviewed Court McGee earlier this year for The MMA Corner, and what started out as a traditional interview turned into a deep one-on-one conversation about things I could do to try and help a family member of mine through the depths of substance abuse. I could tell at that moment in time, McGee’s only focus was what he could do for me. It’s a conversation I’ll never forget, and it’s an example of the type of people there are in the fight game.

Many of us who are part of the media do this not because we think we are going to get rich from our writing, but rather because there is a burning passion within us to write about one of the greatest sports in the world. You may not always agree with the things we write, and our analysis of a fight may be off from time to time, but just know that we all share the same love for MMA as you do. I’m thankful for our readers, as well as for the writers I get to share the stage with here at The MMA Corner.

Lastly, I’m thankful for the effort and vision that Josh Davis, Bryan Henderson and Rob Tatum give towards this site, and the home for quality journalism it has become.

About The Author

The MMA Corner Staff

Your home for all things MMA. News, Interviews, Event Coverage, Editorials. If it is MMA related, you will find it on The MMA Corner.