UFC bantamweight Mike Easton
There are rumors that UFC 172, scheduled for April 12, might go down in Baltimore. The event also is purportedly being headlined by a title fight between light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and challenger Glover Teixeira.
The champ and Charm City have a connection. Though Jones is a native of upstate New York, his older brother Arthur is a starting defensive lineman for the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
Baltimore is not generally considered an MMA hotbed, although the city's blue-collar, sports-happy population does have some interest in the sport.
Here are three local fighters who should join Jones and Teixeira on the card.
As the only active UFC fighter based in Maryland, the high-energy bantamweight grinder faces Team Alpha Male's T.J. Dillashaw on Jan. 15 at UFC Fight Night 35. If UFC 172 does go down on April 12, that would be a quick turnaround for Easton. But it's doable. He is closer to D.C. than Baltimore, but he'll surely get plenty of local love from the crowd. I would personally give him the local guy a chance here, even if he loses to Dillashaw next Wednesday—a loss that would be third straight in the UFC octagon.
"Shorty Rock" is one of the top flyweight prospects outside the UFC. What better time to snap him up? The New Jersey native is only a short drive down the I-95 to Baltimore, and he would add a big spark to a thin—but expanding—125-pound division. Personally, I'd enjoy watching him tangle Jussier Formiga.
Plenty of Marylanders head to State College for their higher education. So Davis, a Penn State alumnus and wrestling champ, would resonate with the locals. And as it happens, he doesn't have a fight scheduled at the moment, although he is dancing around Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. That matchup would make UFC 172 a true feast for light heavyweight fans.