Folding chairs, cheap beer, mostly crappy venues and fights that never seem to start on time are all things I associate with local MMA promotions. Yet I still flock to a show every single weekend (sometimes twice if I plan my weekend right) because it's the love for the sport and the following five reasons that make my attendance mandatory.
1. Discovering New Talent
One of the main reasons I still attend local MMA shows is because I like to scope the talent. It's seriously a pride thing for me to say "I saw them when..." Plus I will get to watch a star rise, and that makes it even more exciting.
You may think these men and women are nobodies, but even the somebodies had to start somewhere, right? No one walks into a fight in the UFC unless you're CM Punk, of course.
Imagine if you had been able to see Ronda Rousey's first fight, or even Conor McGregor's? Not to mention ticket prices are usually so affordable you can sit practically cage side for the price of a UFC souvenir program!
And in case you've never see it, here's Rousey's first ever MMA fight.
2. Supporting Your Favorite Fighter
Most of these guys make their money off ticket sales, and I understand the costs associated with training full time. This means when you are staying at home and watching videos after the fact, you really aren't helping the athletes out.
Tickets to these shows are usually reasonably priced and make for a good weekend night out. What could be better than grabbing some friends and watching some fights? Who cares if you don't know who is fighting... you soon will!
3. You Might Run Into A Famous Fighter
Often times when I am at local shows I spot a UFC fighter in attendance or in the corner of a lesser known fighter. I've run into Miesha Tate, Tony Ferguson and Frankie Edgar all while at local shows.
The plus is they are much more approachable at these fights as well, so often times you can get a photo or an autograph and see your heroes up close.
This alone is reason to go!
4. You Are Going to See the Best Fights - EVAH!
Some of the best fights I have ever seen have been on local fight cards. I think the reason behind this is that the fighters are much hungrier, and know that they have to do something really special to be noticed. They are much more willing to take risks and when that pays off, it's usually pretty spectacular.
Here's an example of one of my favorite local Southern California promotions. This is BAMMA USA, and I've always been impressed with the fights I have seen them put on.
5. You Call Yourself a Fan?
This going to sound snobby, but I don't care. If you only watch UFC and nothing else, I can't say you are an MMA fan. Yes, you are a UFC fan, but not MMA.
A true fan wants to see everything, all aspects of the sport. Not just the big leagues.
For example, I am a Dodgers fan, but I don't call myself a baseball fan because I won't watch it unless the Dodgers are playing.
I urge you to at least try a local promotion just once. There is a show every weekend if you know how to find them!
I want to hear your POSITIVE local MMA experience. Leave it in the comments below.