Well, apparently the rumor that MMAFighting.com’s time as an AOL property was ticking down had some teeth to it.
CagePotato has learned that the popular MMA website has been bought by Vox Media Inc.
Vox Media, formerly SB Nation, is a web media company whose properties include SBNation.com, BloodyElbow.com, MMAMania.com, BadLeftHook.com, CagesideSeats.com, GalsGuidetoMMA.com and HeadKickLegend.com. The company owns more than 300 sports-based blog sites — the majority of which are staffed by part-time editors and are largely based around stories and posts submitted by fans.
Sources indicate that MMAFighting employees were told by their future employers that when the site joins the SBNation network things won’t change for the most part, which for obvious reasons caused some concern when some longtime staffers were informed that their services are no longer required a short time later.
It’s unclear whether or not the current MMAFighting team will be kept intact or if some of Vox’s other MMA writers will be added to the mix, but it’s unlikely that the site will continue to exist entirely unchanged when the purchase is finalized.
For instance, AOL spared no expense flying its staffers — including multiple writers, videographers and photographers — around the world to events in places like Australia, the UK and United Arab Emirates. What are the chances that SBNation will do the same?
Another facet of MMAFighting that will likely unfortunately change at least somewhat is Ariel Helwani’s popular The MMA Hour radio show, which is recorded and filmed at AOL’s studio in New York City. Unless Vox (which is based out of Washington) plans on renting out NY studio space and hiring sound and video production staff, it’s very unlikely that The MMA Hour will survive in its current format, which would be unfortunate as it’s a great show.
Time will tell if the outlet suffers any major overhaul from the purchase, but there’s a pretty good chance that it won’t be business as usual when the new owners take possession and that we’ll see a new look MMAFighting.com. Hopefully for the sake of its employees and fans of the site, the changes aren’t drastic.
A confirmed date for the finalized transaction hasn’t been indicated, but considering that meetings with current MMAFighting staff have taken place and personnel changes have already been implemented, it’s likely it will happen in the coming weeks.