While the UFC stands head and shoulders above all other mixed martial arts events on the North American circuit, it can readily be admitted that a talent pool as rich as there is, is never fully home grown.

Make no mistake about it, there are fighters that have earned their stripes in the Octagon. Lightweight Champion BJ Penn, who debuted in the sport at UFC 31, has used his “silver spoon” experience to climb the pound for pound ladder, but most are not so fortunate.

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Fightnews - Free agent Markham lands in UFC

While the UFC stands head and shoulders above all other mixed martial arts events on the North American circuit, it can readily be admitted that a talent pool as rich as there is, is never fully home grown.

Make no mistake about it, there are fighters that have earned their stripes in the Octagon. Lightweight Champion BJ Penn, who debuted in the sport at UFC 31, has used his “silver spoon” experience to climb the pound for pound ladder, but most are not so fortunate.

 

Story by Brady Crytzer

While the UFC stands head and shoulders above all other mixed martial arts events on the North American circuit, it can readily be admitted that a talent pool as rich as there is, is never fully home grown.

Make no mistake about it, there are fighters that have earned their stripes in the Octagon. Lightweight Champion BJ Penn, who debuted in the sport at UFC 31, has used his “silver spoon” experience to climb the pound for pound ladder, but most are not so fortunate.

The UFC has proved to have one of the best scouting programs in the industry with its unique ability to make fantastic fighter acquisitions from all parts of the globe. Although the NBA Draft is now in the rearview mirror, the sporting world can readily look ahead to seeing a new group of UFC first timers square off on Saturday, July 19th live on Spike TV. One of those newcomers is Chicago’s Rory Markham.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the UFC is biggest stage in the world,” Markham said. “A chance to fight in an organization like this is everything to an aspiring fighter. To me everything in life is cyclical.”

“I have fought in a lot of different organizations, but I am really hoping on making the UFC my last stop.”

A veteran of eighteen professional bouts, Markham has made a name for himself as a gutsy slugger with reliably heavy hands. Though he has never fought in the UFC, Markham’s track record speaks for itself. A consummate finisher, this Midwestern standout has never been to a decision.

“It’s just the way that I fight,” Markham said. “At the end of the day we are in an entertainment sport. People pay money to see these fights because they want to be entertained. I feel very fortunate that my style lends itself to making exciting fights.”

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