“A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death.” – John F. Kennedy
October 15, 2013 was the day I read Jeff Meyer’s Facebook post about the passing of his brother, Barry Meyer. Although we are considered a media outlet I didn’t feel it was our place to report on it. We have this saying, “We are not news media, we are Fight Life Media.” We don’t “report” on things, we let the people we work with tell their own story. Besides, Barry meant so much more to myself and the members of my staff. We owe him so much more than a short article on our news feed. At a complete loss for words, I had been sitting in front of a blank computer screen for five days until I read the above quote by President Kennedy.
To me Barry revolutionized the way we view MMA for women, for amateurs and for business. I have attended his shows as a fan, a judge and behind the scenes in my role with Fight Life Media. When I was burned by a promoter in New Mexico, I decided to learn the promotions game. I sought out Barry for advice and he pointed me in the right direction. When I was trying to gain experience as a judge in MMA, Barry pointed me in the direction of the proper regulating body. When we decided to start up Fight Life Media, Barry was one of the few people who provided us an opportunity to work closely with his company and athletes. Yesterday, at his memorial service it became very clear that I am just one person out of possibly thousands that he inspired. He gave us all a chance to achieve our dreams while living his. Even in his passing I learned something about myself and my responsibility to the sport of mixed martial arts.
For all of us who had the opportunity to get to know Barry Meyer we have a responsibility to honor his memory. He led by example in his pursuit to provide athletes with a safe environment to compete and treated everyone as a professional. We should uplift those around us, believe in their dreams and inspire them to be their best. He has taught us to be trailblazers in our industry and create new avenues to better the sport. Barry was able to set a standard for everyone involved in mixed martial arts to aspire to. Tuff-N-Uff became the pinnacle of success in amateur MMA. Gaining experience in his promotion symbolizes the hard work and dedication to your craft no matter the position held in working with them. It is because of this that we all owe it to him and his brand to continue living his dream through the things he taught us.
While I still feel I owe him so much more than just this short article, the only thing I can do to truly honor his memory is to take what I have learned from him and apply it to my life and business. We are all in a position to leave both this sport and world better than how he left it. He sparked an idea, and although he is gone, Barry Meyer’s influence will always live on. In closing I just want to say, “Thank you Barry. For everything.”