Happy Turkey Day to all of my fellow Americans! To the rest of you, well, I hope you have an excellent November 24, 2011 too! In the spirit of the holiday I thought I’d provide a list of MMA-related items I’m thankful for. Some will be serious, some perhaps a bit comical, but all are most certainly genuine.

I am thankful for…

  • The UFC signing a deal with not just any network but FOX, a place known for hosting major sporting events and with a true passion for delivering an entertaining product.
  • Athletes who personify some of the greatest attributes any of us can aspire to possess – courage, honor, dedication, compassion, respect but to name a few.
  • The continued drive of Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta.
  • Fighters like Wanderlei Silva, Jon Jones, Dan Henderson, Junior dos Santos, Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva, Brian Stann, Frankie Edgar, Tim Kennedy, Cain Velasquez, Daniel Cormier, Randy Couture, and a slew of others whose names could fill this page if such time was dedicated to the endeavor.
  • Online outlets for fans, fighters, promoters, and journalists alike to come together on a social level such as Twitter and the numerous forums out there like The Underground.
  • HDNet for giving a stage for smaller MMA promotions to shine on.
  • Bellator for aspiring to be a solid second option to the UFC through a unique format and informed scouting system (not to mention Jade Bryce and Mercedes Terrell demonstrating grappling techniques but I digress).
  • The passion of fans who, while not always the best representatives of the sport, care a tremendous amount about seeing MMA succeed.
  • You readers!

What do you think about the subject on today’s “Opening Round”? Tell us on our Twitter account (@mmatraining)!