TJ De Santis is a free agent
It Ain’t Over Until It’s Over.
For the last 12 years of my life, I have been a part of the most important mixed martial arts website in the sport’s history. While I have been a part of Sherdog.com it’s fair to say that Sherdog has not only be a part of me but it has helped define me. Not just as a professional but as a human being.
It’s probably not good to allow a job to define you. As humans work is an essential part of life. Without a job we can’t make a living or provide for our loved ones. When I started working for Jeff Sherwood on December 9th, 2005 I didn’t work to provide anything for anyone, not even myself
At 21 years of age my life revolved around rock concerts and mixed martial arts. If I wasn’t at home browsing the forums I was at my radio station browsing the forums. MMA consumed me.
When Jeff brought me aboard he gave me an opportunity to change mixed martial arts radio. Prior to launching “MMA Evolution” on InsideFighting.com the only radio options came from MMAWeekly.com and Eddie Goldman. There were some other players out there but nothing all that notable.
I was excited to work for Sherdog because it helped shape the sport in so many ways. Just having my show available on Sherdog was a true honor. Sherwood didn’t just want my show though. He told me that he wanted a radio station. The only thing I loved more than MMA was radio. To be given the opportunity to run a station dedicated to mixed martial arts was truly a dream I never thought possible.
Over the last 12 years the Sherdog Radio Network has written many chapters. While I would be lying to you if I said we are the end all be all of podcasts, I don’t believe I am lying when I say we helped shape the MMA podcast landscape into what it is today.
My broadcasting career has seen many high spots over the last 18 years. My teenage years resembled something you would only see in the film Almost Famous, I conducted the first ever interview with Wanderlei Silva where he spoke English, and I enjoyed helping many recognized personalities move into broadcasting. From Bret Hart to Ian McCall, Bruce Buffer to Jon Anik and Kenny Florian. The journey has been one I never in a million years thought possible.
Broadcasting is a huge part of my identity. I look at broadcasting technique like martial artists look at their own craft. I’ll never stop learning. The journey never ends.
Unfortunately, chapters in our lives do end or at least change.
It’s extremely difficult for me to tell you that the Sherdog Radio Network as most of you know or remember it as will be coming to an end. While it’s not gone yet starting December 1st it will be reduced to an offering only once a week. This will be the extent of my responsibilities to my beloved Sherdog.
The SRN is easily my greatest accomplishment as a professional. It has allowed me to refine my skills in many areas of broadcasting. Repetition is the recipe for success in many fields. I don’t have an accurate number. But some quick estimates would lead me to believe we’ve pushed out well over 10,000 hours of content. Because of that I have been able to parlay my skills as a broadcaster into other areas of my field. Including the play-by-play chairs of Invicta Fighting Championships, Tachi Palace Fights, The Eddie Bravo Invitational, and last night’s inaugural Combat Jiu-Jitsu Worlds event.
Sherdog.com and most importantly Jeff Sherwood gave me the opportunity that has allowed me to become better at my craft and better as a human being.
The most difficult thing I now face is trying to figure out how to maintain my role as a provider for my family.
I’m very fortunate to still work for some of the great personalities and promotions I listed above. However, I have a big task ahead of me in figuring out what my next step in life will be. The biggest priority in my life will be to take care of my family. The next is trying to find a way to continue to produce the content so many of you have come to enjoy while also continuing my play-by-play career. One way or another I’ll make it happen.
It would mean a great deal to me and everyone involved with Between Rounds if you signed up for our service. With some time opening up I now hope to bring more content to the platform. Pre and post-fight analysis for more events, more content with interviews, new projects that you’ve never heard before. There are exciting things that can come from this. Exciting things need to come from this.
So, in closing, it isn’t over. The Sherdog Radio Network remains my greatest accomplishment in two decades of broadcasting. It will still be a destination for listeners to grab content from. However, my main focus will be spent seeking out opportunities and continuing to grow this platform while also trying to remain one of the busiest broadcasters in the space.
To everyone that has supported the Sherdog Radio Network and myself, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, seriously, thank you. You’re the reason for so many great memories.
Over the next few days, I will be moving my studio out of its current space. I will be back up and running as soon as possible. Please be patient with me as this process is going to be much more rigorous than I would like it to be. Once that is done we’ll get back on the ball with more content. I hope to produce one final show in the studio within the next day or two.
I’m always available on Twitter @TJDeSantis. You can also send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m available now more than ever to produce your podcast. If you’re someone who would need a play-by-play guy or think there is an opportunity out there for me please reach out to me or pass along my info to someone else.
TJ De Santis
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