Every champion in MMA history started out somewhere. For those who make it to the highest stage, the journey begins long before they strap on UFC or Bellator gloves. Modern-era fighters progress through the regional ranks with hopes of accomplishing the highest accolades. Many will try, few will succeed. This month, five fighters on the verge of achieving major-promotion notoriety return to the cage for what could be their stepping stone fight. There are dozens of fighters close to making the jump in the coming weeks, but these five are particularly exemplary.