First-Ever MMA Combine to Be Held at Upcoming UFC Fan Expo in July
The NFL Scouting Combine has become a staple in the football world where college athletes compete in a series of events hoping to raise their draft stock for potential suitors as they get ready for the NFL draft.
While it's never an exact science on how good a player will ultimately be in the NFL, the combine gives prospective teams a good look at prospects while matched up with the best of the best at their particular position.
For the first time ever in MMA history, a fighting combine will be held at the upcoming UFC Fan Expo on July 6 in Las Vegas for amateur competitors to be tested in a series of events with the eyes of the fight world shining down upon them.
Former WEC champion Urijah Faber and UFC light heavyweight Phil Davis recently started a new amateur-led website called MMADraft.com, and in coordination with the UFC Fan Expo they will hold the first ever MMA combine for up-and-coming fighters in the industry.
"It's the first time we're going to do it and it's going to be limited to 100 people. We're going to have a bunch of professional fighters there. We're going to have sports psychologists, physical therapists, and strength and conditioning guys. We've got a whole curriculum that we're going to run through with these prospects and take their time," Faber revealed to Bleacher Report on Monday.
"Some of it will be comparable testing to what they use in football, soccer and basketball combines and some will be unique to the MMA world. It's going to be an awesome ordeal."
Details are still being gathered, but Faber did specify that the event is open to amateurs only. They will have representatives there from his camp at Team Alpha Male as well as trainers and teammates from Davis' gym as well.
Faber also expects several other top UFC fighters to get involved with the combine, including top featherweight contender Anthony Pettis and former WEC title challenger Scott Jorgensen.
"The combine is basically going to see where they're set, this testing is going to be done by a lot of our professionals and you can kind of see where they stack up," Faber said. "It's going to be an opportunity for guys to stand out. It's going to be a real data-heavy thing and see where they stack up as an athlete, where they stack up as a mixed martial artist. It kind of adds to your rising stars."
The event is still being organized right now, but the plan is to invite media members, fighters, managers and sponsors to watch the next wave of mixed martial artists go through a series of events similar to the NFL combine to test where they are at athletically, physically and mentally.
Fighters can register and create profiles and then look to register for the combine via MMADraft.com, which will come with an entry fee.
"It's a limited amount of participants so we're going to be pretty selective," Faber stated. "You have to have a profile on MMADraft.com and just kind of jump through the hoops. It's the first of its kind, it's going to be cutting edge and we're excited about getting this off the ground."
The UFC Fan Expo will happen on July 5 and 6 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas during UFC 162 weekend. The MMA combine is expected to take place on Saturday, July 6 prior to the fights happening later that evening.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.
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