We at all times knew it will be an bold and intensive enterprise. What we in all probability didn’t know is how academic – and in the long run, bittersweet – it will be for us.

The Athletic’s 2020 MMA fighter survey was a mission spearheaded by our former editor Dann Stupp, who believed in it and pushed for it each step of the way in which. It was accomplished solely with the work of our full employees, lots of whom we misplaced in company-wide layoffs shortly after the conclusion of our survey.

It’s at all times certain to harm to lose so many nice writers, nevertheless it hurts much more proper after they’ve finished such nice work. The MMA survey not solely gave us a superb have a look at the game by means of the eyes of the fighters, it additionally taught us quite a bit about their hopes, fears, stresses, and passions. Most of all, possibly what it confirmed us is that fighters, like anybody else, actually do wish to be understood. It’s only a matter of taking the time and expending the power to ask…