co-founder Ryan Bennett co-founder Ryan Bennett

Hard to believe, especially for those of us that new him well, but today marks five years since the death of co-founder Ryan Bennett.

Ryan was an amazing man with a zest for life that was hard to match. Even more importantly, however, was the effect he had on everyone he came into contact with. It didn’t matter your station in life or what your passion was, Ryan always found a way to draw it out of you and inspire you to heights you hadn’t ever attained.

Just how much of an effect Ryan had on others throughout his life I never fully realized until his passing.

Sure, I knew the effect he had on my life, and the immense change he inspired in me and some of the other people that we were both close to in our little circle of mixed martial arts. But after he died, I can’t tell you how many people I met from outside that circlethat he had the same effect on, whether it was a childhood buddy, someone he worked with at broadcasting, or his neighbor down the block… Ryan Bennett was an inspiration to everyone he touched.

MMA was one of Ryan’s greatest passions. He even spent a brief stint working for the UFC, interviewing fighters in the Octagon after their bouts.

With today, May 31, 2011, being five years since his passing, we’ve put together a special radio show in honor of his life, and leading up to that, we were fortunate to talk with UFC president Dana White, who gave us a few of his thoughts on Ryan.

Be sure to listen to tonight’s radio show, which will be available at 9 p.m. ET.

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