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MMA Magazine Review: Fighters Only
Issue Reviewed: December 2007
Rating: 8/10

We’re starting off with this one because the editor Hywel Teague is a regular reader and commentator so I thought I’d get his magazine done first to avoid harassment and any attempts at bribery. As it stands, he wouldn’t have had to bribe me very much because I’d place Fighers Only as one of the best magazines out there.

Overall the magazine looks pretty sharp, with decent graphic design and layout that reminds me of FHM. The magazine is 100 pages long with 34 pages of advertising, mainly from UK fight supply and supplement stores. Barely any ‘meathead ads’ (bodybuilding freaks doing retarded flexes to sell SUPERZOMG POWDER) which was nice.

There’s 9 main articles of various quality… a good general piece on white collar workers who train and fight in MMA, the history of Japanese MMA, a review of UFC78 and the Strikeforce show, plus a breakdown of Toronto ‘from an MMA point of view’. Overall the quality was high … the Japanese scene article was written from a general perspective but included a lot of facts that I didn’t know before, and the white collar article was entertaining and had a list of fighters and their past/current day jobs (for instance, gay Rory Singer was a lab technician with murse aspirations).

Interview / article pieces included Roger Huerta, Gary Shaw, Glibert Melendez and UK fighter Dan Hardy. I was a bit dissapointed that the cover photo of Anderson Silva only related to the UFC78 review and not an actual article on him. The Huerta and Shaw articles didn’t really break any new ground, but the Melendez and Hardy interviews were solid.

The real strength of the magazine comes from all the stuff in between … they condense all the big MMA news for the month into six pages for easy reading, and have a number of good editorial columns, an MMA gadgets section, hot girl of the month, and UK fight roundup. Last but not least they leave the ass end of the magazine for a bunch of training info.

The submissions section is pretty basic, but I guess there’s not much of a point to put a lot of the more complicated stuff into a magazine like this. The articles on rest, cardio training, and circuit training were useful … sure the internet is full of this stuff but I put more stock into what Fighters Only tells me rather than the thousands of websites just cut and pasting god knows what into their shitty banner revenue sites.

All in all, this mag is a great read from front to back. While the more hardcore fans probably won’t learn anything new from most of the pieces, the whole thing is well written and puts all the facts together in one entertaining place. My only real gripe with it is the weird shape of the magazine itself. At 9.5 x 12 inches, it’s too big to sit on the back of my toilet, which is where I get the majority of my reading done.

Pros: Good read, slick look, smart mag, useful training section.
Cons: No ‘scoops’ or breaking news, a bit harder to find / more expensive since it’s a UK publication. Doesn’t fit on the back of my toilet!!!

Final Conclusion: Fuck buying this magazine … I recommend you subscribe to it, although god knows how you’re supposed to. While all the other mags came crammed full of subscription cards, I couldn’t find any info on subscribing anywhere in the magazine and on the site. So unless Hywel gives us a heads up, you’re probably stuck having to keep an eye open when you’re in bookstores. It’s definately worth doing that though.

From Kevin’s latest mailbag:

Matt Lindland was on an HDNet Fights broadcast recently and told the interviewer that he’s signed on with them.

Yes, the news was delivered via someone mailing Kevin, and it’s apparently repeated news from an HDNet broadcast. But you know how it is with MMA news: it’s not really news until it’s on the web. Then the person who put it up first gets bragging rights. So how the hell did MMA Junkie, Five Ounces, Bloody Elbow, et all miss this news? Just last week I spent a good page or two worth of writing lambasting the mainstream MMA media for never being the first to report anything, and now Kevin Iole of all people breaks this Lindland shit.

Of course, the other possibility is that Kevin Iole printed this without fact checking it and he’s wrong. Anyone know for sure?

While down in the States over holidays, I hit up a few different bookstores and bought all the magazines I could get my mitts on related to mixed martial arts. I passed on the kung fu rags with token articles on UFC fighters, but past that I think I got a decent representation of the shit you should be able to find yourself wherever you live (provided you live in a city with a Barnes & Noble or Chapters).

Over the next week I’ll be starting off every day with a review of one magazine. Here’s the ones I’ll be covering:

  • Fighters Only
  • MMA Worldwide
  • Fight!
  • Ultimate Grappling
  • Real Fighter
  • Elite Fighter

I’m sure there are magazines I’m missing … add the names of any others into the comments section and I’ll try and get a hold of them. As I get new mags I’ll do new reviews, and compile all of them into a (gasp!) resource so you’ll have an easy way of knowing which magazines suck or rock and why.

If ya hadn’t noticed, I’ve taken the day off. Liveblogging till 10am on New Years Day was awesome, but that combined with NYE celebrations means I’ve been up way too long and I’m still crusty like a motherfucker. Anything I write would be a typo-riddled POS … not that it’s ever really different, but long story short I’m planning on spending the rest of my night in my underwear watching Law & Order.

Business as usual tommorow as the holidays are over. Hope you all had a fun NYE, and look forward to some neat ‘extras’ over the course of this week :)

A new year, and already, things are looking good. Fightlinker has a lot of plans for 2008. For starters, we’ll be cranking out the merchandise you salivating fan-boys (and girls) have been begging for. Yes, we will be making Jackal shirts, so you no longer have to send me threatening emails anymore! We’ll also finally put up the long awaited and ridiculously hyped weekly cartoon, and finally, in a few days, we’ll also be launching the finalized version of More bang for your buck, bitches.

We’re always lookin to improve, and we hope you’ll continue to make Fightlinker part of your day, because honestly, we’re probably the only reason you haven’t hung yourself in your mom’s basement.

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