It's said that the typical MMA fan's journey usually lasts about 7 years.
People find the sport, they fall in love with its novelty, its energy and its brutality. And there's so much to dig into - UFC 1 and Teila Tuli's tooth, freakshow fights, sprawl 'n' brawlers, Randy Couture coming out of retirement get the HW belt, DJ's Mouse Trap, Hunto vs Bigfoot 1, PRIDE NEVA DIE!!! and on and on.
Then the fighters that brought you into the sport age out and the people coming up after them don't have those same memories or the same connection to when the sport was new to you. The emotions are lessened, fandom wanes and the unceasing machine grinds on.
Without the blinding light of curiosity and novelty, you see the machine for what it is - an exploitation engine like any other. Entertainment has always fed on young flesh, making rich people richer and leaving broken bodies in its wake. The movie biz, the NFL, prostitution, pro wrasslin' - sure a few of the bodies that are sold transcend the ranks, but for everyone that does there's a pile of defective braincells and addiction in their wake.
And you change, too. The person you were 7 years ago likely had different interests, needs, priorities and responsibilities than the one who first saw Justin Gaethje's berserker rage or CroCop send Wandi to the land of wind and ghosts. Things run their course, and even in a world without monopsony and monopoly, without exploitative contracts and sportswashing and 24/7 access to the lives of the terrible people that run the show, you just feel it less.
My MMA fandom started with CroCop KOing Wandi in 2006 and has lasted through until today in large part due to this here karate magazine, the marvelous BloodyElbow.
When I was getting to the burnout stage of fandom and seeing things more for what they were, I found this site and it strengthened my connection to MMA in a way I'd never thought was possible - it introduced me to people who were like me and still liked MMA.
If you've ever had the misfortune of reading the comments section of even so august a site as MMAFighting - let alone the toxic wastelands of SherDog, MMAMania and the rest of the dreck - you know that BloodyElbow is an oasis in the desert of stupidity. And without it, there's one less pillar to sustain my sagging interest in the world that scumbag Dana White helped build with mafia money.
In BE I had respite from the shit tsunami that is everything else besides the fights, and occasionally the fights too. In BE there was also succor for the belief that not every MMA fan was a toxic piece of rightwing regressive shit who thought Cyborg's looks somehow cheapened her rein of dominance, or tries to explain away Dana White's domestic violence.
With Bloody Elbow, if felt like we had a third option between the Exploiters and the Exploited. And without Bloody Elbow, what's left? I dunno, but it's dumber and uglier and still wants Jon Jones to be a superstar, no questions asked
My fellow Bloody Elbowers, y'all're beautiful. We had something great, and the blind selfishness and greed of the world punished us for it.