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Ben Farelly

Ben Boogeyman Farelly MMA Writer & Addicted MMA Supremo

Ben Farelly
 
AddictedMMA is a name anyone who is involved or interested in MMA will have heard of. We met two of the Addicted MMA guys at a 10th Legion show in London and being new to the web took the opportunity to grab any advice and ask any questions we could think of which Ben was happy enough to help us out with. AddictedMMA must be the biggest publication of there kind and one who anyone serious about there MMA should keep an eye on. So this is what he had to say when we asked him to do an interview for our MMA Paparazzi section of our site.
 
Hi Ben and thanks for the interviews here's a few questions for you 
 
 
Q/ Can you please introduce us to the AddictedMMA team and the roles they play?

A/ Ah! the team. Well firstly there is our South West expert and arguably themost active MMA journalist in the UK Steve Wickett. He`s like a hungry pitt bull when it comes to sourcing exclusives and getting quality media delivered to the masses. If you have never seen Steve`s work out there on the interweb then you’re just not looking hard enough, the guy is a beast. Then we have Lee Rabey. He is our news reel guy. Always scouring the internet for a good story and once again exceptionally active. Lee has been a major part of AddictedMMA`s success with his high work rate and his love of chatting on the forums. Lee`s dedication to keeping the news reel fresh has played a major role in allowing the rest of us time to go out there and be creative with ideas. If we were a tug of war team Lee would be our anchor. Also Lee writes a couple of regular blogs. "Rabey recommends" and "I`ll take this one Joe". Both are highly popular, check 'em out.
 
Ben Farelly
My younger brother Ruarie is our head editor. He is our only qualified journalist. He tries to keep an eye on our written word and acts as our one man in-house grammar security team. He enjoys covering the shows and produces some cracking interviews.
 
Then we have Jasyn Zangari. He is our most recent addition to the main team. He is head of our North American office. Truly passionate about the sport and very strongly opinionated about the purity of its future. Jason has been building a team of budding writers on the other side of the ocean and producing consistent quality articles to keep our site users content and obviously keeps our North American friends just as happy with plenty of oversees exclusives.
 
Then there's me. Although I am mostly known for my stunning looks and granite chiselled body I'm also a pretty good organizer. I also enjoy doing a bit of cageside photography and the site allows me to quench my addiction to martial arts. An affliction that I have suffered from for nearly 30 years. I know, I know, you’re thinking surely he can’t be that old with looks like that? But it's true.....I'm pretty old and very handsome. ( you forgot and very modest Jon P )
 
Q/ Addicted was an idea based on your very popular UFC group, Can you tell us about the early days and what inspired the idea of AddictedMMA?
 
A/ Wow yeah, long story really, I will try to keep it short. Several years ago I was made an admin on the Facebook group “Addicted to the UFC”. This group really blew up around the Griffin vs Bonner match up. Before we knew it there was about 60,000 members and it was an incredible movement to be a part of. I have never known a more active forum. Even including the likes of the Underground and Sherdog. Dudes were pulling sickies just so they could stay at home and post. The problem was Facebook was always changing the group format and sometimes it would really upset the group users. This was when I started to think “Hey! We have got a really strong foundation here, we should create our own website for our community”. That’s how I remember it going down, but those were great days, I have a lot of wonderful memories of that group. Even on the bad days. But the group is still there and although it doesn’t have the legs that it used to there is still fun times to be had posting there.
 
Q/ When did you stop working on your old job and move full time to Addicted and this must be a dream job for you? 
Ben Farelly 
A/  Well that would be about eight months ago. Conveniently when my second son Evan was born. I'm splitting being a stay at home dad and looking after the site full time. Obviously to make a move like this you have to make sure that you are financially stable otherwise you are going to end up broke. Before I stopped working I was a self-employed masseuse mostly targeting weight loss and improved lifestyles. I loved it but time was no friend of mine. The site was growing rapidly and I needed to look to the future. In my heart this is what I want to do more than anything, so I have taken a gamble. Right now things are looking pretty good. But as in any job you have to stay dedicated and focused and believe me, it can be hard to keep the writing flow going if your changing pooey nappies and you have the baby channel on your TV.
 
Q/ How much effort goes into your site. I know you work many hours but I do not think people realise the time we put in?
 
A/ Yeah for sure man, I don’t think many people realise the time and sacrifices we actually have to make. For starters I will get up between 7 and 8am and get  my 5 year old son off to school. The wife always wakes me up with a cup of tea so that’s a bonus. Then it’s back home with the little one and I will open my email account. Sometimes to my horror there will be anything between 20 and 50 emails waiting for me. It can take anything up to 4 hours to address those. Then in the afternoon it's all about updating the social sites and sharing the news and blogs that the addicts and contributors have provided. From there I will do the school pick up and it’s all about getting dinner on for the family followed by getting the boys off to bed. So its about 8:30pm now and I like to try to give my wife a couple of hours of my time. We are usually pretty tired by now so we normally chill out with a glass of red and a movie. From then on out its back to hard graft for the site, interviews, image editing, learning new skills, working out campaigns with the team, you name it we are at it. All this normally with fights on the TV in the background. I swear I average about four hours sleep a night. I certainly wouldn’t call it a healthy lifestyle, but it’s a path I'm more than happy to follow for now. Every day brings new and exciting things.
 
Q/ You have been involved with the UFC, tell us about that?
 
A/ Nothing too crazy in fairness. We are lucky that they call us up from time to time to interview fighters and listen into media calls with the fighters and things like that. We also have the honour of doing press for them at the European shows. They are great people to do things for and they are very professional as you would imagine. Hopefully we will be able to do a bit more with their North American market and shows soon, but we will have to see.
 
Q/ You have an office in the USA now. Big move for addicted?
 
A/ It’s actually in Canada and a very exciting move for us. We had tried a few different things over our first twelve months over the pond and actually wasted  a lot of money on failed projects. We just couldn’t get anybody in charge of it who was dedicated enough. It was frustrating to see how hard we were working in the UK and the speed we were growing over here compared to Canada and the States. There was a fair bit of drama and that started to affect the UK guys work rate and wasn’t very good for morale. We wanted to bring in a new guy to try and stimulate that team but some of those guys just didn’t want that, yet at the same time were still not interested in picking things up. In the end some of  those guys just vanished and others left. We ended up bringing in the new guy Jasyn and he just took to it like a duck to water. He has the same hunger as the remaining members and has been achieving some remarkable things. Jasyn had also been a pivotal member of the addicted community since day one so knew what we were all about. One of the best decisions we ever made as a team at the end of the day, unfortunately there was a dark cloud of politics surrounding it at the   time. Fortunately we don’t seem to have those issues anymore so we are able to keep our eyes on the road ahead.
 
Q/ You have grown incredibly fast. What does the future hold for AddictedMMA?
 
A/ Man I wish I could answer that. Yeah our growth was incredible, in fact at first it was hard to believe. When we first announced our arrival there was a mixed reaction. Some people were saying things like “Here we go again, another poxy MMA site that wont last two months”. And on the other hand some well established and respected members of the MMA community such as Ben Cartlidge gave us supportive words that really helped at times when we felt we were being forcibly ignored. We knew we had to prove ourselves and to this day we still   have that feeling, it doesn’t go away and you will not get anywhere in this sport if you take your foot off the pedal. As for the future, who knows? I mean new opportunity’s present themselves to us everyday but you have to work through them and really decide what directions you want to take. At the moment we are  still having so much fun growing and attaching ourselves to the mediums that we feel bring an air of excellence to the sport, that is the magic with this sport. It`s positively brimming with exceptional individuals who are doing or are capable of doing great things. You've just got to work out who they are and separate them from the not so good people.
 
Q/ Anyone you would like to thank for helping Addicted grow?
 
A/ Well there’s a lot of good people behind the Addicted community so if I  forget anybody I apologise, people that are directly involved with the site are: Matla, Pete, Brad, Ricky, Millsy, Ledger, Zannatta, Timur, Little Red, Short and Round, Impact LPA, Alex G, Len, Iddon , Vlad , Socrates, Bobby , Big Danny Rhodes, Elsby, Jayvee, Kick Double, Finley, Martin Dell, Scully and Calvin. These are all people that have been directly involved with the site. I would also like to thank everybody that visits the site and everybody else that lets us give them media coverage in one way or another.
 
Q/ You did a great interview with Bisping in London on video, tell us about that and the lady that interrupted?
A/ Ha Ha! Yeah I got an invite from the UFC to pop down and interview The Count in the run up to the last T.U.F that he was coaching on. We did the interview with a little flip camera in the restaurant of a rather swanky hotel in central London. Mike was on great form and we had a good laugh. The problem was there was a table of rowdy senior citizens enjoying tea and scones. The head of that table was an incredibly loud old American lady that didn’t like hearing Bisping`s voice as well as her own. I mean these goldies were savages, they came in about 5 minutes into the interview clashing their tea spoons on the china and dropping their false teeth all over the tables as well as slurping away at their cups of tea. But like polite folk we just continued doing what we were doing. That was until the leader of that table stood up and shouted across the room at Mike in no uncertain manner to SHUT UP! I can honestly tell you he was not half as loud as she was and her rudeness left us in absolute shock! But you know how it goes with Bisping, he was unfazed and fired back, he was applauded with a round of tutting from the table in question and the interview resumed. As we left the restaurant at the end of the interview the lady in question stabbed her finger into my rib and said “You do realise I’m a guest in your country don’t you”. For once I was lost for words so I apologised and left. Lol.
 
Q/ What do you rank as the top MMA show in the UK?
 
A/ Well at this point in time it would be Cage Warriors. They have a very driven man in Graham Boylan behind them and also play host to the number one matchmaker  in Europe in the form of Ian Dean. They are building themselves a worldwide audience and simply putting on incredible show after incredible show, all of which are easy to view. You could say that last year belonged to Dave O`Donnell`s UCMMA but this year CW has jumped ahead of them. The thing is the tide is easily turned in this industry and UCMMA could finish the year very strongly and hop back in front again. Both promotions have an ocean of talent and appear to show each other a great deal of respect. Both are also very different from each so as far as I’m concerned they complement each other. These are both promotions that never rest on their laurels as they are not daft and they know there is a whole host of up and coming promotions that would love to be the leading show in the UK. It leaves us with a very exciting playing field. So at the end of the day both deserve a tip of the hat and a big thank you from the rest of the industry and fans alike.
 
Q/ Please give us a tip on a future UK star?
 
A/ Jeeeeeeeez!! There are so many great up and coming fighters. Right I’m going to keep out of the pros and I will give you the names of three beasts to keep your eyes on. Firstly you have Matt “Short Fuse” Hughes from GYM 01 in Portsmouth, this kid is a killer, his wrestling is very high level mixed with his GNP and he has cardio for weeks, he is turning pro and this kid will give  guys he fights nightmares for years to come.
 
Secondly fighting out of Tillery combat you have Ash Beaumont. He hasn’t been fighting long but this kid stinks of success, a gifted fighter with power to boot. This lad from the valleys has what it takes to get to the top if he stays focused.
 
And thirdly another lad from GYM01 in Pompey. I say lad but he is more of a beast and he goes by the name of Luke Killick. This man beast is a powerhouse that smiles when he gets punched in the face and then quickly turns alpha and hammers his opponents two foot into the mat. Keep your eyes on all three of these guys, they are going places.
 
Well thanks for letting us take a chunk of your time Ben I know your a busy so i'll let you go and get on. Anyone who does not by now that was Ben "Boogyman" Farrelly from Addicted MMA
 
Feature Written Approx 23rd July 2012

    

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