There has been a recent evolution which has impacted combat sports forever.
For many decades, the sweet science of boxing has dominated the landscape, featuring some of the greatest competition and athletes in the history of the sporting realm.
Today, there is a new contender in the proverbial ring.
Where once the pugilist reigned supreme, the mixed martial artist has transformed conceptions with regard to how combat sports are perceived.
Mixed martial arts, or MMA, is rapidly sweeping the world with viral strength and stealing the hearts of countless fight fans.
The power of the surge within MMA and its ability to capture audiences is simply undeniable.
What once was considered to be a blood sport, focused simply around brutality and violence, is now understood to be much more than that.
The intricacies and finer points of MMA have now come to light and the sport has earned a credibility many once thought impossible.
That credibility is focused around the organization, regulation and ultimate quality of competition that can now be found permeating the sport across many levels. The UFC, MMA's flagship, has found acceptance and respect, earning it a groundbreaking position on FOX Sports.
The road carrying MMA from savage havoc at UFC 1 to streamlined world class presentation on network television at FOX has been a long journey.
Yet here today, MMA is exactly where it belongs—featured by various promotions on various networks for fans everywhere to enjoy.
From Bellator on MTV to UFC on FOX and Spike, the sport is readily available for anyone to tune in and give it a chance. The simple math of ratings tells us that more are staying tuned in than moving on to the next channel.
The power of the sport and the fans that follow it is written on the wall and it paints a clear picture.
People are buying in, people respect the game, they connect with the athlete and they represent a powerful demographic of loyal and attentive fans. A fan base that is growing at a relentless pace and shows no signs of slowing soon.
This is a sponsor's dream because the affinity of MMA fans rivals that of NASCAR fans.
So with that in mind that there is no surprise that up and coming organizations find themselves clamoring to make their way from their local venues to television. That transition, made by the right promotion, can spell the greatest of achievements only found in the loftiest of goals...
The key statement being the right promotion.
While the sport is soaring higher than many ever believed possible, not all promotions are created equal. Quite honestly, promotions are a dime a dozen at the regional level MMA. The quality gaps between them can be vast, for both the athlete and for the fan.
So as MMA continues to surge, and networks follow in the footsteps of FOX and welcome certain promotions into the fold hoping to capitalize on the momentum of MMA, it will become paramount that the right choices are made when selecting a brand to feature.
It takes the right mixture of integrity, production and respect amongst athletes and their camps, and appreciation among fan bases to bring the best type of show together.
While fight promotions are many, very few can answer all those questions for a network searching for a promoter to work with.
One that can do it with zero doubt is the staff behind the World Fighting Federation.
WFFMMA represents many of the finest points of the sport both in active practice and aspirations for the future. A critic need look no further than the Tucson fight community for hard proof of the quality found within the confines of the WFF.
Arizona is home to many of the world's top fighters across the entire sport of MMA. Many of the superstars of MMA either today or in the past have called Arizona their home. The fight culture in the desert is an eclectic gathering of unrivaled quality and stature. This community has bred and continues to breed some of the very best in MMA.
More than a few world champions found their roots in the scorching heat of this desert.
Current UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz, current Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren, former UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez, former WEC champ and current UFC lightweight contender Ben Henderson, former Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Dan Henderson and all time MMA legend Don Frye all have ties to Arizona MMA.
That is just the extremely elite short list, the full list of top fighters from Arizona is an article in itself.
Suffice to say the influence of these men on their communities has blazed a path that many aspiring fighters now walk. Many of these aspiring fighters walk that path under the banner of the WFF.
That quality and influence has been extremely apparent and is a glaring aspect to the presentation found on fight night when the WFF and their fighters put on a show. That quality reflects inside the cage, it reflects in the seats among the fans. It radiates from the athletes, the cage girls, the staff and most importantly, the match making.
The athletes are educated and trained under and around some of the very best in the game. The cage girls are high class ladies who shine like the most flawless of diamonds. More than one WFFMMA cage girl has been featured by Playboy, enough said. The staff is a professional group of fight fans who know how to put on a seamless production.
And the match making, well there really are no words to adequately describe the outstanding fights that have repeatedly and relentlessly taken place inside that WFF cage over the years.
Those aspects of this organization reflect a quality that is simply not common among regional promotions. At a level of MMA where most cage girls are strippers, fighters are used and taken advantage of and fans are over charged for sub par shows, the WFF walks a higher path.
They walk such a high path that many who have attended events featured by the very top organizations in the world would tell you the WFF meets if not exceeds the quality found there. M-1 Global, Bellator, and the WEC have all had shows in Arizona.
Anyone who attended those events would tell you WFF shows and the intensity found there rivaled—if not exceeded—any of those brand name events.
That speaks volumes as to where the WFF is headed. That being said, if the right network catches wind of just exactly what is going on at the WFF, they may very well land one of the absolute top organizations on the market today.
The big dogs are all locked up, and it's time to look to a new platform for networks to feature when it comes to the rapidly ascending sport of MMA.
When covering MMA, it is hard not to take notice of this organization when hearing the testimony of some of MMA's tops athletes in the sport today.
Cain Velasquez, Former UFC HW Champion-"The WFFMMA is an exciting show with great fights. When I attended I was on my feet cheering more than once. The crowd is great, and the staff is very professional."
Kyle Kingsbury, UFC LHW-"WFFMMA puts on the best local fight shows. The shows have world class professionalism and always have exciting fights."
Seth Baczynski, UFC MW-"It's always good. I have been to many of their shows. It's always good to see young talent. There have been quite a few throw down style fights. I enjoy watching these shows a lot. You never know what stars of tomorrow are fighting in these shows today."
Aaron Simpson, UFC MW- “Awesome promotion, the best fights in Arizona.”
Ryan Bader, UFC LHW-“Those are good events, they are some of the best shows here in Arizona. They throw some great shows down in Tucson. They have a great crowd and it's a great venue.”
Ben Askren, Bellator WW Champion-”It was good, they had a lot of fans there. The fans were riled up. They had a lot of good fights.”
Chad Griggs, Strikeforce HW-"I like it. The promotion has been real good. They have real good fighters. The WFF is a great promotion."
This article originally featured at Hurtsbad MMA. Follow us on Twitter @HurtsBad