Rings Radio started back in 2007 as “Rear Naked Radio” when we decided to take some podcasting work we had previously done for a fantasy fight league and carry it over into the real world. We had no contacts, and our locations (Toledo,Ohioand upstateNew York, a state where MMA isn’t even legal yet) weren’t exactly hotbeds for Mixed Martial Arts.
The early months were simply spent making phone calls and asking people who we had watched on TV and admired if they would talk to us for a few minutes for our show. Much to our surprise, a great majority of them agreed, and we were off and running. We had no idea that the show would lead us on an awesome five year journey that has now, unfortunately, come to an end.
It’s amazing how much can change in five years. In our personal lives alone, there’s been marriages, major career changes, and things that have come our way that have changed us from two dudes who like MMA and have nothing better to do, to two dudes who seem to be going at a constant rate from one thing to another, with barely any point to rest.
It’s for this reason that we are bringing Rings Radio to an end. Rings Radio is, and always has been, a labor of love. We never did this to make any money, or get any recognition; we recorded the show simply because we loved talking about MMA and wanted to share that with people.
Unfortunately, in order to get your message out to the people, you need to do more than record a podcast and just throw it out there. You have to promote it, and that’s always the part we liked the least, and usually had the least time for; we always managed to find a way to record, but when it came time to spread the word, there was always something else we needed to do in our real lives.
We tried making arrangements with other MMA sites who promised that they would help us with exposure, and with content (lining up guests, etc.) Every time those promises fell short. So we have come to the conclusion that rather than coast on auto-pilot, recording shows that would be heard by very few people because we couldn’t pimp them out, with the hopes that one day we would have the time or our prince charming would come who would actually deliver on the things they offered, we should go out on our own terms.
We would like to thank all of the people over the years that helped make the show possible. First, we would like to thank Conrad Howell, our earliest producer and web designer. Conrad put a hell of a lot of work into the show for next to nothing. He’s since gotten out of MMA and devoted himself to other things and we hope he’s doing alright, and that he spent that fifty bucks on something cool.
We also want to give a very special thanks to Shannon Hale, our current web-mistress and graphic designer. Shannon has done some awesome work for us over the years and managed to put up with our (mainly Scorcho’s) shit throughout that whole time, if it were not forShannon, the show most likely would have ended long ago.Shannon, you helped us out tremendously and we could never repay you for all the work you’ve done.
We also want to pay homage to our “Co-hosts”. Derek Kenny was someone who originally only had aspirations of writing for the web site, but we were so impressed with his well thought out opinions on MMA that we decided to give him a chance on the show. Despite the fact that he had no prior “radio” experience, and the fact that he was the constant butt of our jokes, Derek became a dependable third voice that contributed a great deal to the show.
Blake Bowman was a rarity: someone who had first hand fighting experience, an absurd knowledge of mixed martial arts, contacts with some of the best fighters in the world, and a boatload of charisma. For the short time the “Smokey White Devil” graced our presence he provided too many great moments to count. We hope that some day The Blizz gets a show of his own, because he has one of the best personalities in the MMA world.
Phil Lanides spent some time with us as our official Strikeforce correspondent, he also provided us with a great many interviews, and had access to the inner workings of MMA like no one else we ever had on the show. Phil was our scoop man, and a joy to work with.
Over the years there have been some guests that turned into much more than just one-time interviews; Jens Pulver is a man who we could always count on to deliver an intriguing interview, whether it was on his fighting career, the current state of MMA, his personal battles, or what he was having for dinner that night. Every time we had the opportunity to talk to Jens, we always looked forward to it.
Richard Bertrand is a name that is likely only known by the hardest-core MMA fans, but that simple fact should tell you how good he was at his job. A judge of hundreds of professional fights, including many title bouts, he was never on the wrong side of a controversial decision. Bertrand provided us with some great insight on the sometimes mysterious art of MMA judging, and became a personal friend to both Scorcho and Shooter.
Jacob “Stitch” Duran was probably the happiest guy we ever talked to. The legendary cutman told many a great tale of his encounters with fighters, and allowed Scorcho to fanboy it up with ridiculous technical questions. Stitch also has the distinction of being one of the only guests to ask to be brought back on the show himself, and we were always more than happy to oblige.
We had the honor to interview a ton of mixed martial arts fighters and personalities from all levels; from the fresh amateur fighter, to some of the very best of all time. We’d like to thank all of the guests that helped make average shows good ones and good shows great ones (in no particular order): The Late Evan Tanner, Matt Hughes, Jon Jones, Phil Baroni, Cole Miller, Micah Miller, Gray Maynard, Tim Boetsch, Jake Shields, Bas Rutten, Michael Bisping, Jorge Masvidal, Eric Prindle, Marcus Davis, Big John McCarthy (the lost interview), Antonio McKee, Din Thomas, Tonya Evinger, Dan Severn, Mark Pavelich, Andy Wang, Tommy Speer, Amir Sadollah, Cole Konrad, Rampage Jackson’s voicemail, Nick Ring, Donald Cerrone, Michael Schiavello, “King Mo” Lawal, Dan Henderson, and all the other who I’ve surely left out, not because they didn’t have an impact on the show, but simply because my memory is terrible.
We would also like to thank our current and former sponsors. They were the ones that contributed to our shoestring budget and allowed us to “keep the lights on” so to speak: Ground and Pound Promotions, Ohio Martial Arts, FightMichigan, and Tap or Sleep (I still have my hoodie, it’s still awesome).
We would also like to thank our wives, Kayla and Amy, for putting up with our chicanery throughout the years, and giving us their love and support.
And finally, we want to thank all of you, the listeners, for all of the feedback, positive and negative, and for letting two random guys come through your speakers each week and tell you what they think about MMA. It’s been a wonderful time, and we are going to miss it for sure. Thank you all so much.
Paul “Scorcho” LaPorte and Jeff “Shooter” Graham