One of the orgs effected was Terry Trebilcock's King of the Cage. KOTC provided an early stage for stars such as Rampage Jackson, Rashad Evans, Diego Sanchez, Keith Jardine, Paul Buentello and Mac Danzig.
I'm happy to see that they're back up and running. Watch Kalib Run has a report from a show a KOTC affiliate ran this weekend in Youngstown, Ohio:
On Saturday night King of the Cage went to Youngstown for six professional bouts and 10 amateur bouts.
The night was a cornucopia of submissions. Five of the six professional fights ended by submissions, all early in the first round. Only one fight made it to the second round and that was stopped due to a cut.
The main event of the evening featured Micah Bender and Mitch Whitesel. This fight went like all the others, with a quick submission victory by Whitesel. The Youngstown crowd was clearly behind Micah Bender, but it was to no avail as the veteran Whitesel handled his twenty three year old opponent easily with guillotine choke at the one minute mark.
There were two standout professional fighters in Victor O'Donnell and Brandon Ezzo. Both appear to be headed for bigger and brighter things at 185lbs. O'Donnell moved fast in his fight against Jim Bundy, landing several punches before taking the fight to the ground, where he finished Bundy with an armbar. O'Donnell's victory over hometown hero Jim Bundy moved his undefeated streak to five in a row, O'Donnell has yet to lose a fight.
Regional MMA is the future of the sport. Its where the stars of tomorrow get their start, but more importantly, the broader participation on the part of more athletes, coaches and fans builds the knowledgeable MMA audience which is essential to the growth of the sport.
The KOTC upcoming events page is exciting to see -- like a phoenix they are rising from the ashes -- five events planned in Febuary alone in five different states: TX, MN, CO, FL, and CA. March will take them to NM, NV and GA. That's what I like to see, regional MMA alive and well at the grassroots level.