MMA 2011 How far we have come

I almost have to pinch myself as I write this. I've been an avid follower of MMA since its inception and when I look at how big the sport has become it boggles the mind.

Let's take a look at the year of 2011 and what MMA fans have to look forward to.

First of course we have the UFC. After merging with the WEC we will get at least 30 UFC cards in 2011.

The undisputed the top promotion in MMA will continue with its expansion efforts and it will be interesting to see how successful they can be in new markets.

Strikeforce is planning on stepping up in 2011. Aiming for 20 live Strikeforce events on Showtime in 2011 and featuring a HW GP. Last year I was dissapointed with Strikeforce's seemingly rudderless promotion but I see 2011 as a breakout year for the promotion.

Bellator FC is back in 2011 with a shiny new TV deal and plans for broadcasting 25 live events in 2011 on MTV2. Their season 4 tournaments look stacked and fans can get excited that the promotion will be around for the long term.

HDNet has become an MMA fans dream on Friday nights. K-1, DREAM, Sengoku, MFC, XFC, Ultimate Glory, Titan FC and other events give fans plenty of quality MMA to watch between UFC and Strikeforce cards. While not a promotion, HDNet provides the North American market with plenty of quality MMA. I'd expect at least 20-25 live MMA events on HDnet in 2011. Not to mention programs like Inside MMA, Fighting Words with Mike Straka and HDNet Fights Vault.

Regional Sports television is showing MMA like never before. Stations like The Score (Canada), FSN (USA), Comcast Sports (USA), The Fight Network (Canada), Samurai TV (Japan) are but a few of the places to get your MMA fix.

Finally I'd mention the countless promotions who make their shows available to watch via web stream like Tachi Palace Fights, M-1 Global and It’s Showtime. We've reached a day and age that if you don't have any MMA to watch, you're not trying hard enough.

Well said. It's a great time to be a fan.