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State of 5 Oz. Address

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When I first started this blog, I violated the basic rule of journalism and interjected myself into every post. After all, it was just some random blog about MMA that I had started that was being read by, like, 10 people?

As this thing grew, I began to write in the first person less and less. The nature of posts changed as I felt it was necessary to increase the professionalism of the voice and tone of the site. But I’m going old school with this post and will be speaking from the gut. Some may label this post self-serving, but I’m the founder of the site, so I feel like I reserve the right.

First, I want to give everyone a heads up. Posting will be extremely light from me for the next 3-4 days. My wife, Andria, is going to be making her amateur MMA debut this Saturday in Virginia at the WKA’s annual national Combat Sports Championship tournament and family comes first. Last year she took home the WKA Muay Thai title and after taking up grappling this past fall, she decided to make the crossover to MMA. If it sounds like I’m bragging — it’s because I am. I’m not going to be ashamed of being proud of my own blood. My wife has been training full-time and working her ass off in order to go after a goal. The WKA tournament is a big deal and I know a lot of fighters check out this site. If you’re down there and see us, please feel free to say “hi.”

I also wanted to give a big public thank you to my wife’s trainer, Jared Weiner, the owner and head instructor of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu United in Jenkintown, PA. Jared has been putting in countless hours getting my wife ready. He not only has a family to worry about, but he has a school to run and his own competitive grappling career to train for. Despite all that, he put in extra time and has never asked for anything in return. Just to give you a heads up, Jared was the first-ever person promoted to black belt by Lloyd Irvin and he’s one of the top competitive grapplers in the world. If you don’t believe me, just ask Luke Thomas of BloodyElbow.com about Jared.

I also wanted to thank Sharon Bonewicz, Justin Labarge and Jay Pepito. Sharon is Jared’s fiancee’ and an instructor at BJJ United. She’s also a Lloyd Irvin black belt and not only has been helping Andria train, but she’s served as her nutritionist. She’s taken countless phone calls from us and responded to numerous text messages with inane questions that have come at all hours of the day and night. Sharon’s knowledge has been invaluable and her patience has been nothing short of extraordinary.

Justin is the striking coach at BJJ United and has designed a lot of classes with Andria specifically in mind. My wife is a striker by nature and he has made sure she’s stayed sharp with it as she works on her ground game.

Jay has also been a huge asset. Andria and I met him when we trained at Philly MMA. He’s an awesome Muay Thai instructor. Anyway, he recently got off the road with his band Reign Supreme, one of the best new hardcore bands to come out in quite some time. Jay has been serving as Andria’s strength and conditioning coach and helping make sure she has the cardio needed to get through a single-day tournament. If you’re into hardcore music, you need to check out Reign Supreme.

I also have to give a special thank you to Casey Boahrman at Daddis Training Camps/Cool Hearts Muay Thai. Casey has a Muay Thai fight this Friday in New York at the Roseland Ballroom against Natalie Fuz. Casey is one of the best female American Thai fighters you’ll find. She doesn’t get a chance to fight all that often because there are very few females willing to take a fight with her. My wife is pissed that she’s not going to be able to go up to Manhattan and support her. However, if you’re in the NY area, I recommend you go check her fight out. Casey has been training with my wife in the mornings in South Philly and has been holding pads for her and making sure her striking is on point. If Casey ever decides to start competing in MMA, a lot of female fighters are going to be in trouble.

Finally, I also want to thank all of Andria’s training partners at BJJ United! I’d name you all but they are too numerous to list. I can’t say enough good things about the school. If you are in the PA or New Jersey area and are looking for a new school or if you’ve never trained and are looking to start, I cannot recommend the school enough. Before you enroll anywhere, you have to take a few free classes at BJJ United before you make any decisions. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it later. And in case you didn’t already know, Wilson Reis, who just improved his pro MMA record to 4-0 during the undercard for EliteXC’s debut on CBS, trains out of BJJ United and is also an instructor. BJJ United was an underground school in Northeast Philly for a couple of years but blew up and they had to move to Suburban Philadelphia last summer. Jared and Wilson have put the school on the map but in the next few years you’re going to be hearing from a lot of up and coming fighters and grapplers that are repping the school.

The other major thing I wanted to discuss is the fact that 5 Oz. of Pain has experienced a tremendous amount of growth recently. Thanks in large part to the stellar UFC 84 lineup and the first-ever MMA show on primetime network TV, we’ve doubled our daily average without putting a cent into marketing.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that in May we shattered our records for number of page views in a single day as well as our record for number of page views in a month. June is off to a tremendous start and unless something catastrophic happens, we’ll shatter our monthly mark again.

I just wanted to thank our readers for all the support they’ve given us. We have so many supporters and I wanted to sincerely thank you. I even want to thank the haters, as well. Some of the people who complain the most about this site just happened to be the ones who visit us the most frequently. Love us or hate us, I am appreciative so long as you read us.

It’s also important to note that 5 Oz. is not a one man band. My co-owners in this site, Adam Morgan and Matt Cava, have been nothing short of amazing. Believe me when I say this, I founded 5 Oz. with absolutely no ambition behind it. I’d love to sit here and lie and tell you that this has all gone according to plan. But when I created 5 Oz., it was simply an outlet for me because I had a lot of free time when I cut back on training. As a sportswriter, I got burned out writing about the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball. I just wanted the chance to write about a sport I had been passionate about for a long time.

The site grew so fast that there were demands I could not meet. While I put full-time hours into 5 Oz., I still have my regular full-time writing career (the career that pays my bills) and a family to think about. Without Adam and Matt, I might have given up the site a long time ago. As a senior writer, Adam’s presence is very visible. Matt’s presence? Not so much. That’s because most of his contributions are not editorial in nature. Matt makes sure this thing keeps moving. He handles most — if not all — of the marketing. He handles the sponsorships and makes sure we can cover our costs each month. He also handles all of the back end technology pertaining to the site and works hand-in-hand with our design guru, Derek Bess. Matt is basically the Oz of this site. I don’t thank these guys enough and wanted to take the time to do so.

I also would be remiss not to thank our staff writers: Michael Huckaby (who has been an amazing addition!); Ram Maramba, Sam Cupitt, and Paul Balsom. Adam and I have jobs outside of 5 Oz., so we’ve got other fish to fry at times and without Mike, Ram, Sam, and Paul, you would see long periods of time without posts. It’s important to note that we are a small operation that is now just breaking even. Mike, Ram, Sam, and Paul all work on a volunteer basis. They are truly unsung heroes as they write for 5 Oz. simply out of love for MMA.

So yeah, our traffic has skyrocketed (as just about every MMA-related site out there has) and this thing keeps growing. It’s become a monster and it’s become bigger than I ever imagined. Each day I find myself pressured into stop running this like a side project and run it like a real company. We’re not there yet, but thanks to our sponsors, we’re getting close. Without supporters like Frank Trigg and Triggonomics, EFK Nutrition, and our longest running sponsor to date, Ranger Up, we’d be nowhere. So please, if you appreciate what we do here and want to support the site, you can help us by supporting our sponsors.

I won’t lie to anyone, we’re experiencing growing pains. But we’re doing our best to adjust on the fly. Just last week Matt upgraded our servers and quadrupled our server capacity. We’re also exploring possible new design concepts. And we’re doing a lot of behind-the-scenes business development. 5 Oz. isn’t going anywhere and is only going to get bigger. We’re working on some really, really big things!

49 COMMENTS
  • JoHn says:

    congrats, and thank you for acknowledging everyones position in staff as well as contributing posters, good luck to you all in this venture as well as others, good luck to your wife as well, i dont think that women fighters are acknowledged enough in our sport, i hope she has a bright future

  • RealDrew says:

    You guys do great work. Bloodyelbow, MMAmania and you guys are the best MMA blogs in my opinion. This site has knowledgeable writers and pretty knowledgeable readers too (for the most part). I make my rounds of the mma blogs a couple times a day and you are on the rotation. Keep up the good work.

    Sam, let us know how your wife does this weekend.

  • Sergio G. Hernandez says:

    Sam, I know I speak for a lot of readers when I say that we appreciate the effort you and everyone else on staff puts into making this one of the premier MMA websites.

    I can’t tell you how many times a day I hit the Reload button while sitting in my cubicle at work hoping for some breaking news, an insightful article, or a comment from a member of the most level-headed and intelligent community on any MMA site.

    Keep up the fine work!

  • MMAStation says:

    keep up the good work guys. One of the first sites I check every day.

  • Derek V says:

    I check about 5 different MMA sites each day, and this is always the first one that I go to for the most up to date MMA news and best blogs. Keep it coming guys!!!

  • woooburn says:

    HATED IT!

    refresh :: refresh :: refresh

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Problems caused by success are the best kind to have. Congrats all around.

  • Sofian says:

    I love this site, hats off Sam and the rest of 5oz, the only thing I gotta poke fun at in the above is this: Is your wife really blood? I mean that’s kinda weird right? I’m gonna assume that it was an error an you meant family unless you’re from waayyyy down south, I kid of course, all good natured ball-breaking…Keep it up tho, this is the first site I go to for MMA.

  • Patrick says:

    Hey, I’ll be at the WKA card with a bunch of guys I train with as well. Will be rooting for ya’ll there.

    If you see like 6 guys with buzzed heads all punching eachother in the shoulder constantly throughout the entire show, that’s us, no seriously, the entire show.

  • Brent says:

    Sam, tape Andria’s fight and post it here!

    Good luck to her and everyone from PhillyMMA (DaddisFC now?)

  • matt says:

    Sam, I will always support this blog. I’m glad that things are looking up and if at any point you start looking for more contributing writers, I’d love the chance. Good luck to your wife this weekend. If it was in Jersey or Deleware or PA I’d come out and support.

  • The Hrouda's says:

    Sam, love the articles… This is the first site I check in the morning and the last I check at night. Your knowledge is top notch!!

    We train at BJJ United with your family and my son trains with DH. Your family is wonderful and have welcomed us to the BJJU along with all the others. All of the traines go out of their way to help you succeed. Keep writing with success and best wishes this weekend Andria!!
    ~Mike, Jacqui, and Richie Rich

  • Luke says:

    “Just to give you a heads up, Jared was the first-ever person promoted to black belt by Lloyd Irvin and he’s one of the top competitive grapplers in the world. If you don’t believe me, just ask Luke Thomas of BloodyElbow.com about Jared.”

    Ok, I’ll tell you: Jared is a ridiculous grappler. Trust me when I say you don’t get a Lloyd Irvin black belt by tooling around. You have to demonstrate serious talent and commitment and Jared’s got ’em both.

    I was there for Jared’s MMA debut and to say he owned the guy would be an understatement. Some guys have jiu-jitsu that’s just too overpowering. Most people have functional jiu-jitsu and don’t have the luxury of training with high-end, world class talent. But Jared did and the results show. Now he’s world class and all of his students are benefiting.

    To Sam’s wife: best of luck. For all of your fans far and wide, please pull a Doug “The Rhino” Marshall and start serving up some KD’s:)

  • Hey Sam,

    I met u back in August last year before the weigh-ins of UFC 74 (great card and fights). You were doing a Fox Sports Radio daily show with Steve Cofield interviewing fighters (Diego Sanchez, Brandon Vera, etc…). I believe Eric Foster was present too?

    Anyway, wanted to say congrats on all the success (it is well deserved, you guys have the BEST insight/info on mma out there)! This is only the beginning… a lot more growth to come!

    All the best to you and your team (and your wife on her upcoming fight). Keep on doing what you’re doin.

    Jaime Ferraro

  • JacRabbit says:

    Congrats Sam! And a big thanks to all the writers–these articles are what makes my day not suck!

  • pr0cs says:

    Well done Sam, the site has changed tremendously over the last year, I remember when there were at best 2-3 comments per news item and now it’s rarely under 15.
    All the best to the 5OOP team.

  • Nick says:

    Congrats Sam, I love the site and you are an inspiration to start my own soon. Good luck in the future and continued success for you.

  • jeff the drunk says:

    glad to hear that the site is growing and traffic is at an all time high. 5oz is my main source for all MMA news and coming here several times a day for news has become part of my daily routine. 5oz is definitely king of all MMA media. great job by Sam and the entire staff, you guys kick some serious ass. good luck to Mrs. Caplan on saturday !!

  • Davey D says:

    Sam, I just wanted to say that this website is awesome. Keep up the good work, all of you. I check this site and mmajunkie for the best MMA everytime. Two of the best MMA sites out there – pound 4 pound!!! There are others I check as well but they just aren’t the same. I will continue to post as much as I can, even though it’s not a lot.

    Best of luck to your wife this weekend and all of your friends too.

    Cheers!!!

  • bjjdenver says:

    Sam, I hope your wife isn’t really your own blood!! Just joking, I think we all know what you mean by that and of course best wishes to her in her mma debut, I’m sure you are very proud.

    It is GREAT to see the growth of 5oz and sites like Bloody Elbow, my two favorites. I think as mma is exploding, so are the internet sites and it is good to have such a solid site for new fans to visit and learn from. The more we can come on here and read, debate or discuss, the better. And I think a site’s posters are a direct reflection of each site, so the group you have here cast a great one, imo. It is awesome having writers who interact with the posters and all of us treating each other with respect as opposed to some other sites.

    Best of luck as the sport and your site continues to grow.

  • Ross says:

    best site on the net hands down!! well 2nd best-I mean you cant forget porn right?

  • recently.reaped says:

    glad to hear the site is doing well.
    I really like coming here for my MMA news. I like the simple design of the place. It doesn’t feel cluttered.

    The MMA draft you guys ran was a great idea and I really enjoyed reading all of the entries.

    keep up the great work guys, it is appreciated.

  • Jesse says:

    Sam, it’s said 19 times above and I’ll say it again – 5ozs is the real deal. Great work all involved and best of luck to Andria! Training out of DaddisFC, I know what kind of expert instruction she’s getting from the BJJ United and Daddis crew – what an awesome group to work with.

    Best of luck again, you guys do great work.

  • Joe says:

    Hi Sam!!! I just wanted to let you know that you have plenty of fans that check the site out everyday here in Chile, deep down in South America! I can speak for a couple of friends and myself, and I can say without a doubt that we visit the site frequently, at least a couple of times a day.
    Great work to all, and congratulations on the fast growth. It is very deserved

  • Marco says:

    Hey Sam, just wanted to let you know that you guys do an awsome job on here. This is the first site i go to every morning. I was introduced to 5 oz by word of mouth and I’ve been glued ever since. I’ll keep spreading the work you guys keep spreading the news to all us MMA junkies. Thanks. Good luck to you and your wife!

  • ultmma says:

    As a MMA fan my morning went something like this check my e-mail go to sherdog or mma weekly and see what’s up

    I discovered 5 oz. thru mma junkie because i thought to myself this 5 oz. site is breaking alot of news and has alot of inside scoops.

    I’ve come to 5 oz. for about a month and now this my first stop in the morning.

    Truly great stuff. good to hear the back story on the site and see how hard you guys bust your ass to make the site what is.

  • Jay K. says:

    Congrats all of you. I enjoy the site and check it several times a day. I appreciate the work you all put into it.

    Jay K.

  • Jackyl says:

    I’m not sure how I found this site initially but I check it daily. Always good randomn news. I really enjoy the reviews of the fight shows. Discussion is always lively. Glad to see the site is growing.

  • Nate says:

    If it wasnt for 5oz and mmajunkie, I’d be watching MMA videos instead of reading MMA articles.
    Before I only used sherdog for stats / fight cards and followed a couple very good MMA writers. I avoided the horribly written, ignorant, unknowledgable garbage I found during my explorations to other sites. Thanks to everyone who makes this site happen, including its fans.

  • Echolocating says:

    5oz is my first choice for MMA news and opinions. Oddly enough, the one aspect I appreciate the most with this site is the clean, simplistic design. I’m sure everything will go to shit when you get wildly popular, but for now, this site is the cat’s ass. 😉

  • Ronin says:

    Your the man Sammy better writer than that numb-skull Dave Meltzer who calls himself a pro wrestling purist(like there’s such a thing).

    I only visit this site to read about MMA and only if you write them, the others are so amateurish and often inject there own bias towards fighters in the articles they write.

  • THORAZINE says:

    when I want to read intelligent comments from fans this is the site I come to.

  • THORAZINE says:

    Oh yeah, and you writing isn’t too bad either. ; )

  • brett says:

    reign supreme is so sick. I train to american violence.

    any ways

    war wifey

  • Jay says:

    Sam, I think I’ve told you a couple times how amazed I was about the sites growth and more importantly it’s exposure on radio and T.V.

    This is my homepage at home and work!

    Keep up the good work guys!

  • Jye says:

    This has definitely become my favourite MMA website as of late. I like it a lot better when the writer gives his opinions on an event and this website does it better than anyone else.

  • JoHn says:

    BY far the most knowledgable fans and staff writers on the internet, it is some what entertaining when some of us give our personal opinions and see different perspectives… keep up the good work

  • Evan says:

    I love this site, been here for a long time and its only gotten better. This place runs laps around sherdog.

    My only complaint…Ram needs to post more stories. That sorry sunnofbitch needs to quit being so lazy.

    Ram, if you’re going to summer bash email me. I’ll buy you a beer.

  • darkmetal says:

    Sam, good luck to your wife in her fighting debut.

    Your blog is top notch and I enjoy it immensely. May you live long and prosper…oh wait, isn’t that the Vulcan greeting or something? lol

    Anyway, keep up the good work. Your time and contributions are definitely respected….

  • SteveXtreme says:

    Am i the only one that has 5 Oz.’s as my homepage? On my computer and my smartphone. By the way, if i weren’t able to check the site every hour on the hour while at work i would go thru withdrawals so bad that i might have to get therapy. Keep up the great work!

  • kirby says:

    Sam I work a 12 hour night shift. If it wasn’t for this website and a few others I might actualy get bored enough to do some work. So a big thanks from me and probably a big f u from my employer. ; )

  • Sam, you’ve done some amazing work here, along with your staff. 5 Oz. has come a very long way.

    Keep up the good work, and best of luck to Andria.

  • Boring says:

    Ahh… this site is plain jane nothing real exciting. A good writer or two but most are inexperienced fan boys spouting off at the neck. You got some work ahead of you.

    BTW #2 RealDrew is a cross dresser from San Antonio.

  • MoreThanUFC says:

    War Mrs. Caplan. Good luck. Hope we get to see the video.

  • Thanks to everyone that has a hand in putting together what has become my favourite site on the net.

    When I want intelligent, well put together articles, this is where I come.

  • Ram Maramba says:

    Sam:

    As a contributor I want to say thanks for making me a part of something huge here at 5oz. In the short time I’ve been here, it’s been amazing to watch the site grow. Big props to you and your knucklehead lieutenants Cava and Morgan for making a home for us contributors as well as to some of the most insightful commenters in the blog universe. Best of luck to Andria!

    Evan: compliments are so much better when you pepper in a “sonuvabitch”. No summer bash for me, but we gotta hoist one some day! There’s always Ticket Fight Night…:)

  • Ryan Seacrest says:

    Sam,

    I have been a huge fan of the site and I am glad that I have had an opprotunity to chime in so to speak and I enjoy interacting with other MMA fans. As for all of the other contributers….U guys kick ass in keeping everyone up to date in the MMA work!!!

  • Ryan Seacrest says:

    *world!!!

  • Vern says:

    Seacrest out!

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