Game Over PunchDrunkGamer
By Dave Carpinello
A little more than seven years ago following Mirko Cro Cop’s crushing defeat at the hands of Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 70 and a few too many drinks. I posted a long explanation/opinion piece on a Croatian website’s forum outlining why I thought that Cro Cop (who I had followed since his loss to Andy Hug at K-1 Fight Night 2000) would return to the Octagon better than ever and that defeat was nothing more than a bump on the road to him attaining the UFC heavyweight belt. That website was the now defunct Nokaut.com. Soon afterwards I was approached by the site’s owner asking if I wanted to write articles for the website. I told him that I knew nothing about writing, as I work in the investment banking industry, but thanks for the opportunity. The persistent owner then asked if I would like to interview fighters.
I said sure, why not, I’ll give it a shot and the next week my first ever interview was published. The fighter – “The King of Rock ‘n Rumble” Elvis Sinosic. Visitors to the website seemed to like it and encouraged me to do more. The second interview was with Kevin “The Monster” Randleman and was a huge success as it generated some 30,000 hits/views in the first week. I continued to do the interviews for Nokaut for a few months and then had a falling out with the site owner. I asked if he was eventually going to pay me for the interviews that were driving traffic to his site. His response was less than cordial. So that lead to me and a buddy buying some website development books and after a long weekend we had created PunchDrunkGamer.com (Looking back we probably should have came up with something better for mainstream purposes). The purpose of PDG was to mix MMA, kickboxing, video games (FPS, RPG, Mature Action Adventure, none of that Mario Kart shit) and sexy girls from combat sports and the video game genre!
What started as a weekend hobby quickly became a second full time job, not a well paying one though!
Over the last seven years, we have published over 600 interviews, covered nearly 1000 MMA, kickboxing and Muay Thai events, reviewed some 250 video games (some that kicked ass and some that down right sucked), featured over 150 different photo galleries from combat sports events, sexy ring girls, sexy gamer girls and cosplay babes and more.
I have been sued, along with half of the sports blogs that cover MMA and two former MMA superstars by a disgruntled former trainer. I have been threatened with numerous other lawsuits for something called “Copyright” and I have been through more so-called “Web Experts” than I can even fucking remember. I have had several fighters who provided information/opinions to PDG only to claim that their email, Myspace, Facebook, etc was HACKED!
I attended at least 25 MMA and kickboxing events over that time and even was the primary sponsor for a local show here in Colorado, King of Champions, that spawned several UFC fighters including Chris Camozzi, Jesse Taylor and more. I watched so many K-1 and JMMA events in the middle of the night that I could possibly qualify as an insomniac. I hung out with “The Monster” for a weekend in San Jose where he presented me with a bloody Sean Salmon fighter credential pass as Salmon was brutally knocked out. But on the gurney before his trip to the hospital, Randleman somehow obtained his fighter pass. I played more hours of Halo with “The Queen of Spades” on Xbox Live than I could possibly even count and I met a ton of other fighters along the way. Some real cool guys (you know who you are – Cheers!) and some self centered assholes that you wouldn’t take your foot off of their head if they were drowning. I spent a weekend in St. Louis with Team Hammerhouse, pissed off a highly popular future UFC women’s bantamweight champion before the UFC allowed WMMA leading to hundreds of threats over the internet from her minions. I have had enough “off the record” conversations with fighters that the tapes could fill a book the size of the Bible. We had immense support from fighters/coaches/special guest who participated in exclusive blogs and that gave their predictions for our event previews. We held some of the best highlight video contests of all time featuring producers like Machinemen, Genghis Con, SHOGUN90, DETKIMBLE, HRVMAN, Boondock, RIP_DOREY, JSSVIDEO, BESTRAFER7, shunsuke, FlyWin Evolutions and more.
We had the opportunity to sponsor a ton of great fighters including Jamie Varner, Jim Miller, Jon Jones, Benson Henderson, Nik Lentz, Joe Lauzon, Cole Miller, Dan Miller, Paul Bradley, Chris Bradford, Anthony Njokuani, Pete Spratt, “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, “The Queen of Spades” Shayna Baszler, George Roop, Bryan Baker, Nate “The Rock” Quarry and more as the PDG logo has graced the Octagon, Muay Thai rings, cages and even the DREAM ring. Luckily though, we were able to avoid the Yamma Pit.
Along the way PunchDrunkGamer was aided by some great people in the business including Oren Hodak from KOReps, Scott Casber from Takedown Wrestling Radio, Bas Boon from Golden Glory, Mike Afromowitz, the initial investors, Kahl from Directwiz, supermodel in the making Heather Shanholtz and many more that without their help and contributions, PDG wouldn’t have made it this far. Not to mention all of you who came to this site daily, weekly or even casually, and all of the fighters that took time out of their schedule for our interviews and guest panel predictions – THANK YOU!
With that being said, it was one hell of a good time but unfortunately this version PunchDrunkGamer has come to an end. Due to several extenuating circumstances I can no longer devote the time and effort needed to provide the readers of PDG with an enjoyable experience when they visit the site. Is PDG dead? No. Will it return? I honestly cannot answer that question but you can never say never.
For inquiries about PunchDrunkGamer.com, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org