The pressure that comes with professional fights can be overwhelming. Gaining experience through amateur fights helps you deal with the pressure of fighting in front of family and friends and perform to the best of your abilities.
Why fight in novice events?
With my own experience of 5 Olympic Games, multiple World Wrestling, Grappling and Jiu-Jitsu titles all under my belt, without a doubt one of the hardest things I have ever faced as an individual was to jump in a ring or a cage.
First thing is your facing so many individual fears as an athlete and as a human being.
Secondly you are doing this in front of your friends, family and so many strangers that in your mind, will judge you as winner or a loser. The fear of failure is very real and in your face. I remember the first time I entered a ring for an MMA fight. I had a crowd of 1000 plus people watching me, after all my years of experience I had never felt fear like it and it was very confronting.
My fear was that no matter what previous experience I had this was my first time in front of a huge crowd of family, friends, supporters and knockers. This was my first MMA fight as a professional.
This is the reason the Novice shows are such a good idea. It gives the athletes a chance to test their skills in total safety. With shin guards, thicker MMA gloves, head guard (optional) and rules that will favour caution, such as the standing 8-count. This experience will be paramount in their growth as athletes.
Another point, these fights do not go on the competitors records. Once you begin an Amateur or Professional career your record really matters.
All in all the competitors get to experience something they have dreamed about and they don't have to be anything near superstars to do it.
I have guys entering that have only had 3 to 6 months experience in MMA. It gives them a goal to work towards, they feel the excitement, the nerves and fear in front of a small crowd of friends and supporters.
They will all shake hands after the event, have something to eat and drink and talk about the experience. Win, lose or draw, they will do what many would love to even try to do, whether they go on to become superstars or not.
We don't care for winner or losers it's about giving the competitors as much experience in small shows as possible before they have fights in front of bigger crowds which is so hard to do and perform at your best from the start.