What modern sport would allow a former prisoner to rise up in its sport from an online video posted on Youtube.com in which the person did not look good in the sport he was partaking in?
Well, that's MMA.
And the man I am talking about is Kevin Ferguson, better known to the world as Kimbo Slice, the man that fought a former police officer in an underground MMA fight and lost because he couldn't respond after a 30-second countdown.
This video is very well known online, but it is not the organized form of regional MMA I am referring to.
The organization known as Bellator Fighting Championships is one example of what I am referring to. Bellator is an organization that has come to be very popular not because of it's bloody, mano-a-mano fighting, rather for its exciting fights, and technical fighting.
In the Northeast, there is the organization called the WCF (World Championship Fighting) that drives locals crazy because of their fast-paced, in your face fighting, mixed with celebrity presence.
In the Midwest, the Cage of Fury promotion appears to be on the rise, as they partner up with ABC to air their new television program.
The Southeast, as aforementioned, seems to be on lockdown with Bellator's rise to fame. Bellator's second season is expected to air sometime in the fall on ESPN Deportes as last season's shows did.
In the Northwest, the Northwest FightScene organization appears to be the real deal, in everything and anything MMA. If they aren't promoting MMA in the Northwest, they are at the very least showcasing the goods to fight fans.
The West Coast has a very appealing organization called Sovereign Nations Mixed Martial Arts (SNMMA) which promoted its previous event entitled "Extreme Beatdown" by enticing fight fans with guests like Brock Lesnar, Efrain Escudero, and Chris Tuchscherer.
Overall, what fans are missing is that today's fighters came from somewhere. That somewhere is local MMA. The 10-0 Demian Maia had to start from somewhere. Where did Shane Carwin start? Try fighting in shows like "Ultimate Texas Showdown."
Jon Jones? The WCF was an organization that helped him on his rise to stardom. What about Forrest Griffin? Well, The Ultimate Fighter show really showcased his skills, but before that he fought for organizations like the International Sport Combat Federation in Georgia.
There are many young talents to be had from today's generation of regional MMA as well.
Fighters like Luke Rockhold, Alexandre "Vaca" Moreno, Justin Torrey, Ben Askren, Wilson Reis, Evan Dunham, Daniel Puder, Jeff Lawson, Dan Bonnell, John Benoit, Greg Soto, and T.J. Grant all are all future athletes that could be tomorrow's Brock Lesnar, or Georges St. Pierre.
My hope is that this article will remind fight fans how important the young guns are to MMA, and how important they will remain for future years.
Don't give up on regional stuff fans. Attend every show you can.