Great news for up-and-coming fighters who want to strut their stuff, but don't want to have to spend three months locked in a house on FX Channel to do it.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) stars Urijah Faber and Phil Davis have collaborated on MMA Draft, a website for amateur fighters to register and get their names into a national database for future opportunities, including exposure through various media spotlights online.
That's not all.
MMA Draft is also bringing the first-ever MMA Combine to the upcoming UFC Fan Expo on July 6, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada, which will give select participants the opportunity to grade themselves against a litany of physical and mental tests to gauge if they are
TUF tough enough to make it as a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter.
Faber elaborates to Bleacher Report:
"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. 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."
Getting a credible, one-stop shop for amateur fighters is not a new concept, but has proved to be difficult to execute. Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz established Fight Club MMA "Rising Stars" in an attempt to groom up-and-coming fighters for a career inside the Octagon.
Fight Club MMA was announced last September and that's about all we've heard of it since.
While new opportunities, obtained through increased exposure from outlets like MMA Draft are sorely needed, amateur MMA still needs to concentrate on cleaning up its tarnished image, which comes from a lack of regulation, shady promoters and unfortunate tragedies like this one.