Make no mistake, the term is a fitting title to the UFC’s new pay-per-view opening montage. As the sport of mixed martial arts continues to grow and expand, its combatants are improving and maturing along with it.
From cagey veterans who have held belts in other promotions, to rising contenders just beginning to make their mark inside the famed Octagon, every fighter in today’s MMA landscape is forced to learn and drill techniques day in and day out to keep up with their opponents.
While many of the sport’s champions are naturally-talented athletes, they have put in countless hours in the gym to get to where they are. Let’s take a look at some of the fighters who are taking steps toward the next level.