**Exclusive Interview with MMARising**

Here is the first interview in our Leaders from Twitter series.  MMARising has been in the Female MMA game for a long time and has many contacts within the Female MMA community that most of us will only dream about having.  It was a pleasure and an honor for me to be able to do this interview with MMARising as they are truly a leader in the Female MMA community.  So without further a due let's meet the person behind MMARising.com.

    Chris: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
MMARising: I'll be 27 in December, live in a small town in British Columbia and have been following mixed martial arts for 17 years. I was one of the lucky few who got to witness UFC 1 when it took place all the way back in 1993. I was nine years old and didn't understand at the time that it wasn't professional wrestling.

    Chris: Do you currently practice and Martial Arts? If you do what belts do you hold in what Martial Arts?

MMARising: I have done some basic training in kickboxing in the past and there is a Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu satellite gym near here that I would like to train at, but I don't currently have the time to do so. Hopefully at some point in the future when I'm less busy.

    Chris: What got you interested in MMA?

MMARising: Well, as I said in my first answer, I honestly didn't know what I was watching when I first saw UFC 1. It was only later that I realized that it was real combat between real fighters. I watched the first six or seven UFC events, then sparingly watched the events from UFC 12-28 or so, and became a dedicated fan again around UFC 30. I didn't start watching events like PRIDE until later.

    Chris: How did you get interested in Women’s MMA?

MMARising: It was two-fold. First, in either late 2006 or early 2007, I saw one of Sarah Kaufman's first fights on The Sports Network (TSN) here in Canada. Shortly thereafter, I looked up some fights on YouTube and saw Megumi Fujii submitting everyone in Japan. I've been an avid follower since.

    Chris: What do you do for work?

MMARising: I have worked at a couple of different jobs since I started MMARising.com in mid-2007, but I currently own and operate an Inkjet company. Fortunately, there's downtime and that allows me to work on some MMA stories during the day.

    Chris: Tell us about your hobbies?

MMARising: I don't have too many hobbies outside of MMA because, as I said, my free time is pretty limited right now. When I do have some time, I play drums, bike and occasionally play a PS3 video game here and there.

    Chris: What is the last book you read?

MMARising: I honestly cannot remember the last book that I read. Probably something by John Grisham, but I'm not sure. I used to read lots of his books, but that was years ago.

    Chris: Tell us what you like most about Twitter? What do you like the least about Twitter?

MMARising: Twitter is great for networking and for picking up on breaking news and relevant stories. On the other hand, like any other social medium, some of the things that people post or argue about are rather pointless.

    Chris: Who is your favorite WMMA fighter?

MMARising: It is very difficult for me to narrow it down to one; especially since I speak with many fighters on a weekly basis. I would say Megumi Fujii, with Sarah Kaufman and Roxanne Modafferi right up there as well.

    Chris: What is a normal day in your life like?

MMARising: Wake up, go to work, hopefully get a bit of MMA writing done during the day, go home, work on MMA stuff (either writing/reporting or entering fight results on another site), maybe watch TV for an hour or two and then go to sleep. Probably not very interesting, but I get a lot done in 18 hours.

    Chris: What is one of your life motto’s you try to live by?

MMARising: I generally believe that if you work hard and treat others well, good things will usually happen. By contrast, in times where I haven't done that, things usually haven't worked out well. I try to show the proper respect to the many others in this industry who devote their time and energy into making the sport a better place.

    Chris: Who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?

MMARising: I'm not sure if any one person has. I have a supportive family, which I appreciate very much, but I've always sort of just worked away at my own interests and haven't really had any specific person who has influenced me more heavily than others.

    Chris: Who is someone you look up to in the MMA world?

MMARising: Many people. The best examples would be Jordan Breen, Tony Loiseleur, Ariel Helwani and Mauro Ranallo. I'm also a fan of Luke Thomas, Josh Gross, Dan Herbertson, John Morgan and Dann Stupp from MMAjunkie, and the All Elbows crew (Esther and Casey).

    Chris: If money wasn’t a concern what would you want to do?

MMARising: If I had millions of dollars, I would run a mixed martial arts promotion. Probably an all-female one, since my goal for years has been to provide more coverage of the women's division when others paid no attention to it. Other than that, nothing much would change. I'm not motivated by money at all, as long as I have enough to afford food, housing and (ideally) a few trips to MMA events each year.

    Chris: If you could sit down and talk to one WMMA fighter who would it be and why?

MMARising: Megumi Fujii, and I will hopefully do exactly that when I'm in Japan in a month. As for why, it's because she has done more for this sport and other female fighters than most people will ever know.

    Chris: If you could sit down and talk to one person who is alive today or from history who would it be and why?

MMARising: I'm not sure. Outside of MMA, probably Sarah Polley. She's a Canadian independent film actress and director and she is incredibly talented. Whatever we were talking about, I'm sure that I would learn something.

    Chris: Where do you see yourself 5 yrs. from now?

MMARising: I'd love to say that I hope to be writing and working in MMA full-time five years from now, but it is a very difficult industry to work in without a secondary source of income. I'm just going to keep working hard and hopefully good things will come. I'd love to be able to travel to Japan once or twice per year, every year.

    Chris: If you could see one WMMA fight right now today who would it be between? And why?

MMARising: Overall, Megumi Fujii vs Miku Matsumoto. No question about it. They had an exhibition showcase match for Miku's retirement earlier this year, but a fight between them under real rules would be outstanding. For a striking battle, Seo Hee Ham vs Elena Reid would be an amazing technical fight.

    Chris: If you could work for one of the major MMA promotions today who would it be and why?

MMARising: Probably Strikeforce because I feel that there's areas where I could actually be a significant asset. I believe that Strikeforce will be around for a while and the women's division is something that they showcase that the UFC doesn't have.

    Chris: List your top 15 people you like to follow on Twitter and why.

MMARising: No way that I can limit it to just 15. I currently follow 83 people as of this moment and I value all of them. If I didn't, I wouldn't be interested in what they had to say.

    Chris: If you could meet one person from Twitter that you currently follow but have never met in person who would it be? And why?

MMARising: Tony Loiseleur, and again, I will do just that in Japan in December. I strongly believe that Tony is the most underrated writer/reporter in this entire industry and he has provided stellar coverage of MMA in Japan for years. We've helped each other out with some article information and I've learned a lot from him.

    Chris: What drives your passion for MMA? And WMMA?

MMARising: For the sport as a whole, I just like that it's about as close to an ultimate form of combat as possible while still upholding honor and respect. And for the women's division, it's because I know that I've been covering and supporting it for years, since the times when many others didn't, and I hope to continue to help it grow in any way that I can.

    Chris: What is your favorite kind of music to listen to?

MMARising: I listen to all sorts of stuff, from hip-hop to pop music from all over the world. Not a big fan of country music or techno, though I can tolerate some.

    Chris: What is your favorite blog that you read at least a couple of times a week?

MMARising: For a personal blog, Megumi Fujii's beats everyone's. Nothing is better than those hilarious pictures of her cats. For MMA media, BloodyElbow is good. I also look at Sherdog, MMAjunkie and MMAFighting daily, but those aren't really blogs as much as they are news sites.

    Chris: Is there anyone you would like to thank or send a shout out to?

MMARising: Just a thank you to the fighters for stepping into the ring or cage and allowing us to cover their careers in the sport, and to the other writers and reporters in this industry who have ever helped me with anything. We're nothing without good people around us, and I appreciate everything that others have done for me.

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