Attending a regional mixed martial arts show is one of the most entertaining things a fight fan can do on any given weekend. I’ve been involved in regional MMA since I first started training at Gracie 717 in 2013. Whether I am fighting on the card, cornering fighters, or attending as a fan, I thoroughly enjoy being a part of the shows.
No matter where you are, you are almost guaranteed to see the following 5 things at a regional show.
5 Things You Will See at Every Regional MMA Show
Every fan enjoys a good slugfest, and regional promoters do an excellent job of matching two fighters who love to stand and bang. You know how these fights are going to play out from the sound of the opening bell. Both fighters will run at each other and start swinging for the fences in the middle of the cage. There’s no threat of a takedown, and it almost seems like there is a mutual agreement between the fighters to keep it standing. These fights rarely make it out of the first round, but if they do, you’re sure to see more of the same strategy in rounds two and three.
The Drunkest Girl (or Guy) at Party
You’ll be hard pressed to find an MMA show where alcohol is not being served. There is always someone in the crowd who pre-gamed a little too hard or drank a few too many at the show. This person is usually closely related to someone fighting on the card, and they most likely decided to throw a few back to calm their nerves. The once nervous, shy fan turns into a super supporter as their fighter makes the walk to the cage. Everyone in the building can hear this person as they cheer wildly through the entire fight yelling things like, “Punch him in the face!”
A Championship Fight
Regional championships are an important part of marketing the fight card. Just like in every promotion, you have to be more than a good fighter to get a title fight. There are a ton of good fighters in the area, but many of them may never fight for a regional strap. You need to be exciting and have a strong following of supporters to even be considered in the championship discussion. Adding belts to your resume as a fighter is an important part of climbing the ranks, and once you hold one, everyone in your division is gunning for you.
Mixed Martial Arts has come a long way in the past few years, and the quality of fighter on the regional scene has progressed with the sport. Local camps are full of studs who enjoy fighting and putting on a show for their friends and family. The way fighters train today is vastly different from how they used to train, and this new mindset has helped raise the bar across the board in regional MMA. You can expect to see some extremely skilled professional and amateur fighters at any regional show across the country.
Passion for the sport is the lifeblood of regional MMA. From the promoter to the fighters and coaches to the fans in the stands. Everyone is passionate about something going on inside the building that night, and it brings together people from all walks of life. This passion is one of the reasons I can’t get away from the sport.
Next time you’re at a regional MMA show, take a step back and look around. At any given show you’re going to be surrounded by over 1,000 people who you may only have one thing in common with, and it is that cage in the middle of the room.