When people talk about MMA the first name that comes up to mind is UFC, but several other promotions have been delivering for many years. There are many MMA organizations in the world, and through history, there were even more of them, but not all have been successful.
Fans tune in to MMA for the fighters, but somebody has to let those fans know about the events and bring them in to generate interest in the competitors.
That role is filled by the promoters. Some have been more successful than others, with a select few promotions being considered major organizations and others having trouble staying afloat more than a couple of years. While the Elite XC and International Fight League received plenty of attention, promotions like them didn’t last long. Lesser-known companies have had more success by simply being good feeder leagues for the UFC, Bellator, and others.
The UFC has been the biggest MMA promotion and the leader in the Fighting world for over two decades now. It’s hard to think of any promotion that can match their success or even come close to it.
When an organization becomes as big as the UFC has, it will have some detractors. However, MMA would not be where it is today without the company created by Campbell McLaren, Art Davie, Rorion Gracie, and Bob Meyrowitz in November 1993.
Now under the supervision of Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White, the UFC is near to MMA what the NFL is to football. The organization has promoted the best, Silva, and has been home to almost all the greats to have competed in MMA over the years.
This is because UFC is a powerful brand and the first-ever promotion in the west. And of course, it is the home of the best fighters and its events are huge. All the MMA talents in the world will, at some point, end up fighting in the UFC. That’s just how this game works.
But all these fighters need to work their way up in some other promotions before the UFC recognizes their talent and potential. Even though they are not as popular as the UFC, these promotions offer good entertainment. And trust us, the fight game is a fast-rising one and we may see some promotions listed below emerging and challenging UFC in the future.
Bellator is, perhaps, the second-best promotion in the world. Like some others from this list, Bellator also features kickboxing matches, MMA matches as well as MMA tournaments.
Once Strikeforce was purchased by the UFC and folded into the top promotion in MMA, Bellator was left standing as the next biggest organization around. Bellator wasn’t immediately equipped to challenge the UFC and its market share, but it is quickly developing into a strong second option.
Some of the biggest names in fighting history have been performed under Bellator, such as Michael Chandler, Ryan Bader, Gegard Mousasi, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, Paul Daley, Lyoto Machida, Patrício “Pitbull” Freire, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Michael “Venom” Page, Douglas Lima, Cris Cyborg, and many, many more.
C.) ONE Championship
ONE FC is the fastest-growing promotion on the east. And many people see it as a promotion that will challenge UFC in the future. Founded in 2011, ONE features MMA, Muay Thai, and kickboxing fights which are very popular all across Asia.
Further, it is made up of ten weight classes out of which four are female divisions. Unlike in other promotions, ONE FC has a much different weigh-ins format. After the death of a 21-year-old Chinese fighter in 2015, ONE FC banned cutting weight by dehydration. As a result, the weight cut process is much healthier and fighters cut less weight.
ONE FC is also stacked with talented fighters from top to bottom. In the last few years, we have even seen many UFC fighters joining ONE. The best-known fighters in ONE Championship are Demetrious Johnson, Regian Eersel, Yodsanklai Fairtex, Eddie Alvarez, Nieky Holzken, Angela Lee, Aung La N Sang, Sage Northcutt, Martin Nguyen, Eduard Folayang, Giorgio Petrosyan, Roman Kryklia, Andrei Stoica, Tarik Khbabez, Kevin Belingon, Bibiano Fernandes, Roger Gracie, Brandon Vera, Shinya Aoki, Xiong Jingnan and Vitor Belfort.
D.) Brave CF
BRAVE Combat Federation is the largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in the Middle East and the fastest growing global MMA promotion. The organization was established on 23 September 2016 by Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa. BRAVE Combat Federation features mixed martial artists from more than 40 nations located on five continents. BRAVE Combat Federation events are aired through multiple media partners including El Rey Network, Combate, Myx TV, S+A ESPN 5, and Bahrain Radio and Television Corporation. BRAVE Combat Federation produced six pay-per-view events apart from announcing events in Abu Dhabi and Brazil.
The organization was formally launched in 2016 and has established operations in Dublin, São Paulo, and Mumbai before launching events and for talent relations. BRAVE Combat Federation, alongside the holding company, KHK MMA and Bahrain Mixed Martial Arts Federation hosted the IMMAF World Championships in November 2017. a partnership that was renewed for 2018 and 2019.
Brave CF has proved to be a platform for rising MMA fighters from around the globe.
Winner of the Promotion Of The Year
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has been the world leader in MMA for many years. It has grown to the point that some even call the promotion a monopoly.