By Edward Carbajal
Photo: Edward Carbajal/Frontproof Media
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has always been able to gain fans on the internet. The early days, before it was even given a name, fighters could be followed and even interacted with in what people know now as “The Underground”, which used to be MMA.TV for older fans. The high profile fighters made their names in a sport people were calling “no holds barred “(NHB), or “cage fighting”. There were no TV deals, just pay-per-views and a few web-sites that helped grow the sport to what it has become today.
Technology has advanced faster than the acceptance of MMA as a sport, but using the internet is MMA’s biggest asset still in the growing sport and learning about new talent. Streaming video is the way of the future and getting it anywhere means more eyes on events no matter where people are. UFC Fight Pass, FloCombat, GoFightLive, Kiswe and countless others have already jumped on the action of local regional and behind the scenes for various MMA promotions.
This weekend Angela Hill (6–2) will be fighting on the UFC and she was there before but what makes her brand new happened in a promotion that streams its events through UFC Fight Pass. Invicta FC is one of many promotions on the streaming service where talent gets found. Hill went there to evolve and win a title, now she is back in the UFC. Michelle Waterson (14–4) lost a title in the same promotion but came to the UFC and won her last two fights, beating Paige VanZant in her last bout. The Ultimate Fighter Season 24 is probably the best example of how deep the pool of fighters goes in MMA. All those champions, the average MMA fan had not heard of but those fighters are in their radar now.
“A rising tide lifts all boats”, holds very true in looking at the future of MMA and where the future stars come from. The fight fans, odds makers, and matchmakers would be wise to look into promotions on these services, more so at the ones not signed to any of the providers streaming their events. The four billion dollar sale of the UFC certainly made the sport a noticeable business to invest in.
The opposite will become true too for fighters, because as the tide raises the talent pool will only get deeper. Either way if MMA is in your life, you should try to watch all of it.
Frontproof Media follows some very exciting prospects using the above services like:
Gustavo Lopez: Combate Americas
Those are just a few names to keep in mind that are bound for greatness in MMA. Who are you watching and where? Please share in comments below or tag us on Twitter @FronproofMedia