What are the best MMA promotions in the world?
Mixed Martial Art (MMA) is one of the oldest sports known to man, and its prominence has been preserved from generation to generation to date. In recent years, an average of 1.5 million people view fights worldwide, in the allocated venues, via online streams, or through their accredited cable TV channels.
Since the 20th century, MMA promoters have existed to preserve and popularize the sport. They function as sponsors to fighters, play a large part in their successes, build upcoming talents, and merge potential stars to legends. These promotions also organize shows either monthly or quarterly, depending on their size and net worth.
In this article, the top-15 best MMA promotions have been revealed. These promotions are ranked based on their quality of events and top fighters.
The Best MMA Promotions Ranked
15. Cage Warriors Fight Championship (CWFC)
- Founded: 2002
- Headquarters: London, UK
- Top Fighters: Samir Faiddine, Jack Cartwright, Mads Burnell, Mason Jones, Nathias Frederick
The CWFC was established by Dougie Truman in 2002 and had its headquarters in London, England. It debuted its 1st event in 2002 themed Armageddon. The CWFC is usually broadcasted predominantly by UFC FightPass and BT Sports, although it has signed broadcast deals with 18 media firms in 15 countries. It has hosted 143 events and would be expected to host 4 in the coming year. Its flagship fighters include Michael Bisping, Conor McGregor, and Bigfoot Silva.
14. Road Fighting Championship (Road FC)
- Founded: 2010
- Headquarters: Wonju-si, South Korea
- Top Fighters: Yang Hae-Jun, Mighty Mo, Lee Jeong-Yeong, Mansour Barnaoui, Kim Min-Woo, Ham SEO-HEE
The Road FC is one of Asia’s most popular and biggest MMA promotions, and it is based in South Korea. Over the last ten years since its founding, the MMA promotion has produced such notable fighters. Some of such fighters include the American Siala-Mou Siliga, who has won six fights out of his last seven, and Aorigele dubbed the ‘Heavyweight Supernova’ who has recorded six wins last seven. It has signed broadcast deals with a Korean local media firm, MBC Sports, and their fights streamed on YouTube.
- Founded: 2001
- Headquarters: Nagoya, Japan
- Top Fighters: Mizuno Tatsuya, Sumimura Ryuchirou, Koji Takeda, Yamitsu Dominator Satoshi
Deep mixed martial arts promotion was founded in 2001 and is based in Japan. It is among the biggest Asian MMA promotions. Some famous MMA fighters such as Chan Sung Jung and Ryo Chonan started their careers in Deep. Deep promotion fights can bee streamed directly on Abema TV.
12. Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki (KSW)
- Founded: 2004
- Headquarters: Warsaw, Poland
- Top Fighters: Michal “Magic” Materla, Mamed “Cannibal” Khalidov, Antoni “Antonio” Chmielewski, Lukasz “Juras” Jurkowski
KSW is a Polish-based MMA Promotion that has gained popularity around Europe since its founding in 2004. It is famous for its fighters’ exchange and was supposed to host the KSW 53 championship in March 2020. The fight has been postponed till July due to the coronavirus pandemic. The match will feature Mateusz Gamrot and Norman Parke to battle for the unified lightweight Championship. KSW fights can be streamed on YouTube for viewers outside Poland, and local viewers can watch the bout live on the Polish local TV Polsat Sport.
11. World Fighting Championship Akhmat (WFCA)
- Top Fighters: Rakhman “The Warrior” Dudaev, Abubakar Vagaev, Beslan “Tiger” Ushukov Ahmed Shervaniev
The WFCA is a Russian based MMA promotion firm boasting about 900 fighters who competed in 754 fights under 70 events.
10. Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA)
- Founded: 2017
- Headquarters: Houston, Texas, US
- Top Fighters: Damon Jackson, Mauro Chaulet
The LFA is an American based MMA private promotion firm established in 2017 by Ed Soares. It is regularly broadcasted on AXS TV Fights and can also be streamed on YouTube. The LFC has organized 84 events and has successfully hosted 714 bouts, the last which was between Damon Jackson and Mauro Chaulet in March 2020. For the rest of 2020, 4 more matches are anticipated; the soonest is to take place between Gonzales and Childers on July 10 at the Sanford Pentagon in South Dakota, USA.
9. M-1 Global
- Founded: 1997
- Headquarters: Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Top Fighters: Sergey Morozov, Nate Landwehr, Roman Bogatov, Shavkat Rakhmonov, Bruno Silva
- Website: m1-global.com
The M-1 Global is a European top-flight MMA promotion firm based in Russia and most famous in the region. Fights can be streamed on their website and mobile application.
- Founded: 1993
- Headquarters: Shinjuku City, Tokyo, Japan
Pancrase is a grand MMA promotion in Japan with over 25 years of existence. It was established by 2 Japanese wrestlers Masakatsu Funaki and Minoru Suzuki in 1993. The establishment has been praised for its unique fighting rules but criticized for its resemblance to wrestling. Fights from this promotion are being broadcasted on the UFC Fight Pass and locally on the Tokyo MX.
7. Invicta Fight Championships (IFC)
- Founded: 2012
- Headquarters: Enka Village, NC, US
- Top Fighters: Kanako Murata, Vanessa Porto, Julija Stoliarenko, Pam Sorenson
The Invicta Fight Championships is the most popular all-pro female MMA promotion in the world. It is an American based promotion that has signed broadcast deals with UFC Pass, and fights can be streamed via YouTube. The establishment has hosted over 39 events with an upcoming one scheduled for July 2020.
6. RIZIN Fighting Federation (Rizin FF)
- Founded: 2015
- Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
- Top Fighters: Ayaka Hamasaki, Seo Hee Ham, Shintaro Ishiwatari, Hiromasa Ogikubo, Bob Sapp, Osunaarashi
RIZIN FF is a Japanese MMA private promotion firm established in 2015. The promotion has over 60 fighters and is broadcasted internationally on FITE TV. It can also be watched on a pay-per-view plan on SKY Perfect TV and can be streamed on YouTube in English through their direct YouTube channel.
5. ONE Championship
- Founded: 2011
- Headquarters: Downtown Core, Singapore
- Top Fighters: Brandon Vera, Roman Kryklia, Aung La N Sang, Kiamrian Abbasov, Christian Lee
- Website: onefc.com
The ONE Championship is a Singaporean MMA promotion firm and, in fact, the most prominent promotion firm in Asia. It has produced big fighters like Brandon Vera and Aung La Nsang. Fights from the promotion are usually broadcasted on Fox Sports Asia and worldwide on YouTube.
4. Fight Nights Global (FNG)
- Founded: 2010
- Headquarters: Moscow, Russia
Fight Nights Global is a Russian based MMA promotion in operation since 2010 and owned by Ziyavudin Magomedov, which has hosted over a thousand matches in about 100 events. They previously hosted K-1 and other martial arts events. It held its recent fight in April 2020 between Armen Petrosyan and Arthur Aliskerov and anticipated another between Shamil Amirov and Dmitry Bikrev under the FNG 98 events.
3. Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB)
- Founded: 2014
- Headquarters: Grozny, Russia
The ACB is a Russian promotion firm since 2014 that broadcasts its matches on Match TV, streaming on social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube.
2. Bellator MMA
- Founded: 2008
- Headquarters: Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, US
- Top Fighters: Ryan Bader, Cris Cyborg, Douglas Lima, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, Patricio Pitbull
- Website: bellator.com
Bellator is an American based promotion firm that was established in 2008 by Viacom. For some MMA spectators, Bellator MMA is just as entertaining as the UFC. It is notably among the top-two best MMA promotion presently. Bellator MMA is broadcasted around the US by Paramount Network as well as internationally on many accredited channels.
1. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)
- Founded: 1993
- Headquarters: Las Vegas, Nevada, US
- Top Fighters: Jon Jones, Petr Yan, Alexander Volkanovski, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Kamaru Usman, Israel Adesanya, Amanda Nunes
- Website: ufc.com
The UFC is by far the biggest, most popular, and the best MMA promotion in the world. Founded in 1993, UFC is based in the US, and its fights are broadcasted on ESPN, UFC Pass, and many other accredited media firms worldwide. The UFC has hosted over a thousand matches in over 500 events. The UFC also boasts of MMA’s most prominent fighters in history, and presently, some of these include Tito Ortiz, Chris Leben, Miguel Torres, and Ken Shamrock, among several others.
What are your thoughts about our article on the best MMA promotions? Which promotion do you think should’ve made this list? Please feel free to share it in the comments section below.
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