Honestly, it is the amateurs and lower level pros where I still feel like a true MMA fan; where I can know the guys (sometimes personally) and follow their progression. These are the guys and gals with awesome stories, drive & personalities - people I can invest my time and energy into following. It is in the amateur ranks where I feel most excited and engaged; like I felt back in the day when the sport was new. It still feels like a personal experience.
This is why I care so much for getting amateur MMA properly regulated. These are the folks fighting simply for the love of it, but neglected by our state. To me, regulation of amateur MMA is way more critical than pro in New York. It affects vastly more people. I love this sport and it is with the up-and-coming guys where I see the same love, passion and self sacrifice... just to fight for free. Amateurs may not bring in big money to our state, but these guys are the bedrock of our sport. They are who keep the sport exciting for me. They are the folks who still make me feel like a true fan.