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History of MMA in United States: Idaho

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This is the 12th of a 50 part series documenting the history and the current state of MMA for each of the 50 states in the United States of America. Each part will chronicle the history of MMA as well as several notable fighters and camps in each state. States will be completed in alphabetical order. This is the history of Idaho MMA. Be sure to check out the previous part on Hawaii.

History of Idaho MMA

Idaho, the 43rd state to join the Union, has one of the smaller populations ranking at the 39th most popular state, despite its land size. The state has hosted one Bellator event and hosted its first UFC event on July 14, 2018, UFC Fight Night: Dos Santos vs. Ivanov. King of the Cage has also held several events within the state.

Idaho Athletic Commission

The Idaho Athletic Commission is a four-person board responsible for sanctioning MMA events within the state. The commission, per state laws, must review any application for licensure if the fighter is under 18 years of age or over the age of 36 to determine if they wish to even license. The commission will also deny a license if a fighter is legally blind in one eye or whose vision is so poor, the physician advises against it.

MMA Events and Moments in Idaho

Bellator made it to The Gem State over two years before the UFC. Bellator’s one and only event in Idaho was Bellator 155 which took place on May 20, 2016. The event occurred in Boise at the CenturyLink Arena. The 6,100+ in attendance saw a very close split decision title defense. They saw Rafael Carvalho as he defeated Melvin Manhoef to keep the middleweight title. The co-main event featured former featherweight champion Pat Curran defeat the former WSOF featherweight champion Georgi Karakhanyan.

UFC’s First Venture to Idaho

The UFC made their debut to Idaho on July 14, 2018, for UFC Fight Night: Dos Santos vs. Ivanov. Junior Dos Santos defeated Blagoy Ivanov inside the CenturyLink Arena in Boise by five round unanimous decision. Sage Northcutt won his third in a row with a second-round knockout over Zak Ottow. Chad Mendes also made his long-awaited return after serving a two-year suspension, defeating Myles Jury by first round knockout.

Fighters and Fight Camps In/From Idaho

Not many names come to mind instantly when you think of MMA in Idaho. The one name that any MMA fan can tell you that is associated with Idaho is the three-time All-American wrestler Jared Rosholt. Rosholt grew up in Idaho and moved to Oklahoma his junior year of high school. Rosholt later attended Oklahoma State University where he earned All-American honors three times and was the 2010 national champion runner-up. He has a record of 16-4 with his last victory being a decision over Valdrin Istrefi in PFL 1.

Another name that grew up in the state is former UFC bantamweight Scott Jorgensen. Jorgensen won two state wrestling championships at Eagle High School in Eagle, ID. He would continue his wrestling career at Boise State University earning three Pac-10 championships. Jorgensen trains at Combat Fitness/SGB Idaho. The team is home to one of the best BJJ schools in the state and Veta Arteaga who defeated Emily Ducote at Bellator 202: Budd vs. Nogueira.

Part 13 of the 50 states series will be the state of Illinois. Check back with MMASucka to keep up with the series.

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Matt's love and passion for martial arts began at the age of four with Taekwondo. Matt later trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu while serving nearly ten years in law enforcement. Matt has just recently discovered his passion of writing on mixed martial arts.

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