It’s no secret that highly anticipated pay-per-view UFC matches as well as boxing bouts are one of the biggest draws on television. Fighters such as Khabib, Nate Diaz, Isreal Adesanya and Connor McGregor have become larger-than-life celebrities, with their dominant performances and their antics in and out of the Octagon. Now, the craze of mixed-martial arts is sweeping across the younger generation.

The California-based United States Fight League is looking to expand regulation of youth mixed martial arts. According to the USFL they are, “a non-profit athletic organization that fosters and supports Youth, Military, and Public Safety Pankration competitions. Modern Pankration is an alternative for Mixed Martial Arts that develops all skills in a safe and responsible manner. While some of our athletes develop into elite MMA athletes, far more become productive citizens. Our goal is to build their character and keep them safe until they can make an educated decision as to which avenue to pursue.”

The USFL has continued to expand and gain popularity amongst amateur and professional fighters. Founded in the early 2000s by former Marine Jon Frank, the USFL is providing opportunities for youth 8-17 to have organized fights and competitions. Since there is no national governing body for youth mixed martial arts, the sanctioning of such events relies solely on the individual state athletic commissions.

The USFL has had success in the development area as well. It has helped develop three top MMA fighters including Angela Lee of ONE Championship, the current 115-pound champion, and Christian Lee, a former champ in the 170-pound class.

As of now, the USFL is the only organized league for fighting at the youth level, but the number of kids interested in the sport is only expected to grow.

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