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Rags to riches has an interesting article out called “How San Jose became a mixed martial arts hotbed”. It doesn’t really explain that ‘how’ very well, but it does have some interesting stories from Frank Shamrock and several of the guys from American Kickboxing Academy:

Fighters arrive with big dreams — and often little money.

When Purdue graduate Jon Fitch showed up in 2003, he tended bar and worked as a bouncer to make ends meet. He ate Ramen noodles and tuna fish twice a day.

“If I wanted to give myself a little extra treat, I’d put some egg in it,” said Fitch, now a successful UFC fighter who can afford as many eggs as he wants.

It took Houston native Swick two years to save enough to move to San Jose. Once here, he worked odd jobs and lived in an apartment so tiny that Swick claims he could run bath water, turn on the stove and change the TV channel all without moving his feet.

Now, Swick (14-3) owns a home and can earn a six-figure paycheck tonight. He also has achieved a measure of celebrity. After a recent workout, Swick autographed boxes of his UFC action figure.

“Look, they even added some cool muscles,” Swick said.