Here is a selection of some of the recommendations made by colleagues and contacts I have worked with, for, or alongside during my career.
“Few people get to genuinely say they have played a significant role in the growth of a sport that has since become a global phenomenon, but when it comes to the U.K.’s love of MMA, Simon should take a huge amount of credit.
“Simon led BT Sport’s MMA coverage single-handedly during a time that the UFC hadn’t even grabbed the attention of those inside the BT Sport offices.
“Simon worked tirelessly and selflessly to promote MMA and in particular the UFC, helping to build a U.K. audience that coincided with the meteoric rise of the sport.
“Immersing himself in the authentic storytelling of the UFC, building relationships with fighters, officials and insiders alike, BT Sport’s UFC reputation was built on the foundation laid by Simon.
“Towards the end of Simon’s time with BT Sport he showed his adaptability and transferable ability by leading on our MotoGP digital coverage.
“The UFC now sits in a global spotlight, but back then in the early hours of the morning, when few others were watching, Simon was giving the UFC the attention he knew it deserved. Turns out he was right.”
– Leigh Moore | Founder, Creative Players, and former Digital Lead, BT Sport
“Simon and I have been working together covering MMA events in Europe and North America for over five years, and he’s one of the most respected and knowledgeable people covering this sport.
“Whether it’s writing, editing, reporting from cageside, or working behind the camera, Simon is a one-man outlet who can cover all the bases during a fight week. And he does it all with an unbeatable work ethic and good humour.
“He’s a proud father and a legend of the game, and he’s an asset to any team he’s a part of. He’s ‘one of the good ones.’”
– Abbey Subhan | Editor and Videographer, MMA Junkie/USA Today
“Simon is up there with the best when it comes to storytelling and reporting in the world of sports journalism. I have worked with Simon for many years and will always take his call when he is looking to do an interview etc.
“One of the best recommendations that anyone can give to Simon is the fact that every athlete I know feels the same way.
“Humble, likeable and trustworthy. One of the good ones, if not the best.”
– David Allen | Former Senior Vice President and General Manager (EMEA), UFC
“Simon is one of the most respected media members in the fight game. Hard-working, trustworthy, reliable and dedicated to the craft.
“It’s always a pleasure to see him on the road, and I know the rest of media corps feels the same.”
– Ariel Helwani | MMA Journalist
“I have been in this industry for over 15 years and in that time I have only come across a handful of people that I could fully trust. Simon Head is one of those people.
“Simon is a great team member who adjusts to all situations. His work and knowledge of the game are top-notch. He always has a smile on his face and greets every task with a great attitude.
“In short, Simon is that piece you build around, he makes everyone near him better.”
– Brian “Goze” Garcia | MMA Junkie Radio Host
“Simon is a true pro in this business. Knowledgeable and fair in his reporting, he’s a rarity these days and would be an asset to whatever outlet brings him on board.”
– Thomas Gerbasi | Editorial Director, UFC
“One of the best journalists in the game and an outstanding teammate, Simon can quite literally do it all. The epitome of a one-man band!”
– Chamatkar Sandhu | Social Media Specialist, BT Sport
“Simon and I have moved in the same professional circles for many years now, with him reporting on dozens of MMA events that I have been working on the comms side for.
Incredibly knowledgeable, always professional and very personable, it’s always a pleasure having him at our media events and fight nights. That’s not to say he doesn’t ask the tough questions when necessary – because he absolutely does – but you know his content will be accurate and fair.
“As a result, he has an unrivalled contacts book across his beat and everyone I know thinks incredibly highly of him.”
– Katie Matthews | Partnerships Director, Sports Division at Little Dot Studios and former Head of Sport, PHA Group
“Simon has been one of the U.K.’s most respected figures in the coverage of mixed martial arts for the last decade.
“Through his coverage of the sport, often working solo for U.K. and international outlets, Simon has earned a well-deserved reputation within the sport for his professionalism, integrity, and tireless work ethic, as well as the significant contribution his coverage has made to the growth of the sport in the U.K.’s mainstream media.
“Working as part of USA TODAY’s MMA Junkie team, one of the most respected international MMA journalists is working with one of the most respected MMA outlets in the world, where his skills and experience have further enhanced MMA Junkie’s industry-leading output.
“However, Simon’s expertise in sports content extends far beyond MMA, and his resume, working for some of the biggest sports and media brands in the U.K., speaks for itself.”
– Eric Winter | Former Senior Vice President and General Manager, UFC
“Simon has been writing reports and features around major UFC events for the BBC for the last few years. However, I’ve known him longer than that.
“When I was a young 23-year-old with little experience in overcrowded sports media scrums, he’d always offer me a pathway through the chaos so I could ask a few questions to the fighter, despite having no affiliation with the BBC at the time. It’s just one of the characteristics I’ll always remember about Simon – someone who’s a professional through and through, but also someone with integrity and grit.
“His knowledge of MMA is second to none and he’s been waving the flag for the sport since the early days of the UFC, making him one of the most experienced and enthusiastic MMA journalists out there.
“It’s been a pleasure covering dozens of events alongside him and I’d recommended him to any employers in need of a hardworking sports reporter with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the game.”
– Jagroop Shinbt | Producer and MMA Lead, BBC Sport
“Simon is the leading journalist in his field and a pleasure to work with. Indefatigable, unflappable and with unmatchable insight, MMA in the UK and beyond owes a lot to his dedication and flair.
“He’s an excellent colleague and worker and always one of the very first names on the team sheet, no matter the project.”
– Rob Leigh | Former TV and Entertainment Editor, Daily Mirror
“Simon has combined his writing talent, knowledge and dedication to become a hugely successful Sports Production Editor at Mirror Online and is somebody who has – and continues to have – a huge influence on my career and no doubt others as well.
“Here’s a snapshot of why. Firstly, he’s an excellent writer with the ability to seamlessly change style to write news, blogs, features and reviews across a wide range of – and sometimes lesser-known – sports.
“Secondly, his wealth of knowledge on these sports, combined with his eye for a story, mean he is a first-rate editor who delivers the content people want to read about.
“Thirdly, his grasp of how technology can improve a news website is second to none. … Simon is always two steps ahead and, in the digital age, that’s priceless.
“All of that, along with his meticulous planning and good humour, mean he is a pleasure to work under and somebody who continues to be at the top of his game.”
– Ben Curtis | Digital Sports Editor, Daily Telegraph
“I had the absolute pleasure of working with Simon for over a year at USA Today Sports and MMA Junkie. His value to team morale, content creation, and day-to-day workflow was understatedly valuable.
“As the early morning editor during his time with MMA Junkie, Simon often worked solo, yet site content and social media were run flawlessly. One of the most professional and personable people I’ve met in sports media, Simon provided a level of flexibility due to his well-rounded and versatile skillset of writing, editing, social media, and video.
“He is beloved by colleagues, fighters, and readers alike with his passion never in question.”
– Nolan King | Reporter, MMA Junkie
“Simon is a talented, diligent and perceptive journalist, with a deep understanding of the publishing side of the business.
“Always a pleasure to work with and has an ability to develop numerous high-quality content streams across a number of different platforms.
“A great exponent of sports journalism in the digital age.”
– James Elliott | Former Vice President and General Manager (EMEA), UFC
“Simon is a top operator and one of the leading MMA experts in the country.
“He was invaluable to The Sun’s UFC project four years ago which involved not only providing copy but helping organise ticketing for readers and the general promotion of the sport.
“His enthusiasm shines through and I would highly recommend him to any future employer.”
– Shaun Custis | Head of Sport (The Sun), News UK
“I worked with Simon while at Trinity Mirror and he was a great addition to the team.
“At the time pushing us to think outside the box in our sports coverage his early identification of MMA as a growth sport, saw him build and establish our entire focus on MMA and the UFC – putting the Mirror Group at the forefront when the sport was in its infancy.
“His passion and enthusiasm, supplemented with innovative thinking, saw us develop our video & audio propositions across a number of sports well ahead of many other media organisations – digital products that are now the given in any media organisation.
“His day-to-day ops of the digital sports desk provided quality, agility and innovation enabling our sports coverage to be industry-leading, delivering audience uplift and commercial return.
“I would highly recommend Simon and wouldn’t hesitate to work with him again.”
– Sumeet Vermani | Former Digital Marketing Lead, Mirror Nationals