The journalist’s personal brand – Ash’s Sports Talk


John Morgan, commonly heard asking the first questions at UFC Press Conferences, is a leading journalist personality in the MMA community. He’s got many accolades to brag about his credibility, including 2009 seeing him win MMA Journalist of the year alongside receiving consecutive nominations during 2010-2019. John is a contributor to MMA Junkie, editor-in-chief for, and the host of the MMA roadshow. This blog will break down how John utilises his personal brand, and his content streams amplify his tone of voice.  

MMA Junkie

MMA Junkie has grown into a global hub of MMA news, predominantly focusing on updates across the UFC. Typical content involves news, interviews, videos and live blogs across the MMA landscape. MMA Junkie currently acquires over 2.5m social media followers and 253k+ YouTube subscribers; its credibility shines through social media via multiple journalists referring to MMA Junkie frequently when fresh news is coming from the sport.

Despite it being a news platform, MMA Junkie has become a channel where MMA fans can purchase tickets for MMA-related events, including occasional fight nights, casino nights, guest appearances, etc. It’s a great opportunity to open a monetisation stream, although it’s more than that for the channel. It’s a chance to build a better understanding of MMA Junkie fans and consumers through third-party data collection. There are many chances to capitalise further traffic through this initiative, such as offering fans buying tickets to receive discounts from their subscribers of MMA Junkie newsletters or even offering prize draws for those following MMA Junkie on particular social media platforms.

Being a recognised contributor for this platform, John has enhanced the brand to outperform its purpose. For this reason, for upcoming journalists, when building an audience, it’s important to think about how your brand can pivot similar to MMA Junkie to keep your audience monetizable.

John is the editor-in-chief of, another platform that oversees the latest news across MMA. Aside from general news, the website has a fans forum page that allows MMA supporters to interact with each other under the brand. News pages offering forums is an effective opportunity to build fan engagement through supporters discussing various topics through your brand. It can also strengthen your online community and relationships fans have with journalists contributing to the platform.

MMA Road Show

The MMA Road Show is a podcast where John shares his perspectives on the MMA landscape, rather than reporting from a non-bias point of view. Ariel Helwani, Josh Cohen, Din Thomas, The Schmo, Helen Yee and more also have their own podcasts to express their perspectives, proving an effective opportunity to build fan engagement.

Thus far, John contributing for MMA Junkie is what he’s most widely recognised for; is a project where he’s got a chance of building a solid online community, and the MMA Road Show allows his fans to make personal connections with John not as a journalist, but as a fan.


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