On Monday, Jan. 25, 2010, I got a call from Pro MMA Now VP Denny Hodge that Eddie Constantine had died. I thought it was some cruel joke. “Fuck you man,” is I believe what I told him. “Don’t even say that shit,” I said.
Denny said he would not joke about such a thing, and he was right, he wouldn’t.
This is the third day and my eyes have been wetter than they have been in three years (times three years). He was the first thing I thought of when I woke up early this morning. I looked at his Facebook page again to see who was the most recent person to express their condolences. The tears started again upon reading the words of a friend.
I’ve read so many things from people all over this country and world about how he touched their lives. I love hearing the stories from others of how he impacted their life in some way.
Honestly, I can’t even remember how we met. I was looking back over my emails from him and from the past couple of years he was just there. Always there. I know we met through the Tagg Radio forums, but I can’t recall the situation.
I know it had something to do with me starting an MMA website and looking for a few people who may be interested in helping out – a novel idea I know. It actually almost was a novel idea a couple of years ago – or at least we thought. You couldn’t have told us any different anyway. It was what we wanted to do. It is what we loved to do.
And so it began…
I’m not going to list all the great things he did for this site. A few quick searches will open the flood gates of his work here. One thing is for sure, all of it is filled with his passion. From the up-and-coming fighter to the big UFC star, they were all relevant to him, and he approached each interview with the same passion.
“Fighter Relations Manager” is the title he chose for himself. I said, “Pick a job title,” and that’s what he wanted. It fit perfectly. He was so good with people. He would set up all the interviews for The INFO radio show as well as co-host it with Matt De La Rosa.
Somehow we ended up with two guys in San Jose, Matt and Eddie, and when we put them together it was almost magical what they accomplished. Aside from the radio show, when they would go to cover Strikeforce or another event, they would always come back with so much great content.
Their video interviews, from the production to Eddie’s interview skills, still makes me so proud to see. You could tell it was a craft that, although it came naturally for him, he wanted to perfect.
Eddie had the idea for the first ever all-female women’s MMA show. He even brought on professional fighter Miesha Tate to co-host. His girlfriend Kim, was the host, and they had one more girl, Laura McKinney, a rabid MMA fan, also as co-host.
It was a genius idea as far as I was concerned. He set it up, put it together, lined up the guests, produced it. Matt was right there too helping with all the technical stuff. There are so many MMA podcasts and radio shows out there but this was different. It was totally focused on women’s MMA.
Just the idea of doing an all women’s MMA show says a lot about who Eddie was and the respect he had for women. He didn’t show this side to us a lot, but from looking at his photos and seeing him with his girlfriend, you could tell he was, for lack of a better word, a “romantic”.
His girlfriend had moved in with him. They were doing the show together. They got four episodes of Cage Divas in the books. Life was grand. However, somewhere along the line something happened, and I don’t know what.
He wouldn’t really talk about it except to say his girlfriend was moving out and it looked like the Cage Divas show was over. The INFO was also on hiatus due to an illness in Matt’s family.
I tried to get him to talk about the situation with his girlfriend because of the changes I saw in him. One day he did tell me he “did something” to piss her off, but would not say what. He did say he did not cheat on her – he did not strike me as a type of person to do that anyway. I was like, “If you didn’t cheat on her Eddie, how bad could it really be?” He wouldn’t say. I told him if he needed to talk, not to hesitate to call – but I didn’t expect him to. As Danny Acosta said in his eulogy for Eddie, that was not him, he didn’t want to burden others with his troubles.
You always think about “what you could have done.” I think about what I could have done differently. The only thing I can come up with is maybe I could have been more “present”. Maybe it’s all any of us can do, at any time I think. If I was more “present” maybe I could have picked up on something, said something differently, done something differently.
Hopefully, I will learn from this. Hopefully, it will make a positive change in my life. I think we make things too complicated at times. I really don’t think life should be so hard. I’m probably wrong.
We’re going to pick up the pieces here and move on as best we can. I would ask you to look over Eddie’s work. He has left us a lot to remember him by. So what if the interviews are at events that already happened, I promise you there are lessons in those videos and radio shows.
If you are a BJJ or grappling student, check out “Fast” Eddie’s Lessons in Humility. They were one of the first series of videos he did for us where he would roll with black belts and pro fighters. Eddie was the epitome of a martial artist in my book.
The teachings of Dave Camarillo and the differences between a fighter and a martial artist really resonated with Eddie. In fact, at the end, he had brought Dave on board as a semi-regular co-host of The INFO, that’s how much it meant to him. How he was able to bring one of the top coaches in the MMA world on our little radio show I will never know – but that was Eddie man. He connected with people.
He’s still connecting with people. And somehow I believe, in some way, some where we will meet again.
These words in no way sum up all of who Eddie was. There was so much more to him, but I wanted to say something and this is what came out. I apologize ahead of time if some have felt that I said too much (or not enough), but these were the circumstances as I saw them to the best of my recollection, and I wanted to try and convey some idea of the impact he had on myself and the work we have devoted ourselves to here at Pro MMA Now (formerly ProMMA.info) .
For some reason Eddie believed in what we were doing and he stood by me from the very beginning. With his talent and knowledge of the sport, there are plenty of other MMA sites and publications I’m sure would have loved to have had him, but he liked the idea of being part of something at the ground level and helping it grow. He helped me grow. I will never forget you Eddie.
By: Jack Bratcher
You can see a ton more of Eddie’s work on his Youtube page.
Here is a link to Eddie’s obituary and details on the “Fast” Eddie’s Fighters fund.