Combined martial arts, higher often called MMA, has exploded in recognition over the past decade, and that’s thanks largely to the Final Preventing Championship (UFC). The Las Vegas-based struggle promotion has grow to be a family title amongst fight sports activities lovers because of its shrewd management and headline-grabbing fighters like Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, Georges St-Pierre, and Anderson Silva.
In reality, the UFC has grow to be so profitable that many individuals suppose it’s synonymous with MMA. You would possibly, for instance, catch any individual referring to the game of MMA as UFC—the identical method they may use the title Kleenex to seek advice from any model of tissue.
MMA, in fact, is extra than simply the UFC. Whereas the UFC is well the largest promotion within the sport, it’s actually not the one one. All around the world, different organizations are selling their very own spins on MMA—and most of them are very a lot price watching.
Focused on seeing what MMA appears to be like like exterior the confines of the UFC’s trademark Octagon? We’ve acquired you lined with among the greatest sources for MMA past the UFC. From Europe to Asia and past, these are the highest world MMA promotions to observe (listed in alphabetical order—we don’t wish to begin any fights).
The Greatest MMA Promotions to Watch That Aren’t the UFC
1. Bellator MMA
Bellator MMA, which is owned by ViacomCBS, could be the UFC’s highest-profile competitors. The promotion, which is led by fight sports activities lifer Scott Coker, airs on Showtime alongside large boxing matches and is residence to among the greatest fighters on the earth, reminiscent of AJ McKee, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, Vadim Nemkov, Gegard Mousasi, Cris “Cyborg” Justino, and Yaroslav Amosov. Bellator additionally often promotes tournaments—a format the UFC gained’t contact—which makes it an fascinating various to the game’s most accessible product.
2. Combate International
Combate International, previously known as Combate Americas, is the brainchild of UFC co-creator Campbell McLaren. The promotion, which is concentrated on the Hispanic market, claims to have cultivated a fanbase that’s utterly separate from that of the UFC, and it appears to have the viewership numbers to again these claims up. Airing on networks like Univision, Televisa, CBS Sports activities Community, and Paramount Plus, Combate International is residence to among the greatest fighters from Central and South America and past.
3. Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki (KSW)
The title Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki is a little bit of a mouthful for non-Polish audio system, however don’t let that deter you. This Warsaw-based promotion is the largest in Europe and one of the thrilling in all of MMA.
KSW is all about spectacle, from its pyrotechnic-filled walkouts to the fights themselves. Whereas the group is residence to loads of world-class expertise, it additionally doesn’t take itself too critically, regularly selling fights involving transplants like former strongman Mariusz Pudzianowski and Polish rapper Popek Monster. It’s an amazing alternative for anyone hankering for one thing completely different. Catch its occasions on pay-per-view.
4. ONE Championship
ONE Championship has the Asian market cornered. The promotion relies in Singapore and has additionally promoted vastly profitable occasions in international locations like Japan, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
ONE’s roster is residence to among the high expertise in Asia in addition to many stars from this hemisphere, reminiscent of Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, Bibiano Fernandes, Eddie Alvarez, and siblings Christian, Angela, and Victoria Lee. The group additionally promotes kickboxing and Muay Thai fights, which supplies its occasions a range you gained’t discover elsewhere.
ONE broadcasts on tv networks all around the world, however within the US, its occasions might be streamed on Bleacher Report Stay. Simply keep in mind the time distinction: ONE’s occasions often air within the morning in North America.
5. The Skilled Fighters League (PFL)
The Skilled Fighters League shouldn’t be solely one of the profitable organizations in combined martial arts, but additionally one of the distinctive. The league presents the game in a one-of-a-kind seasonal format, with playoffs, championships, and million-dollar prizes for the winners in every weight class.
Dwelling to stars like Kayla Harrison, Ray Cooper III, Anthony Pettis, and boxing transplant Claressa Shields, the PFL can be large on innovation, leveraging expertise to reinforce the viewing expertise for its rising legions of followers. Its proprietary SmartCage, which tracks various fascinating stats in actual time, is only the start.
The PFL’s occasions are broadcast on ESPN 2, ESPN+, and ESPN Deportes.
6. RIZIN Preventing Federation
— RIZIN FF OFFICIAL (@rizin_PR) October 13, 2021
As the previous residence of the defunct however extremely influential promotion Delight, Japan is without doubt one of the most necessary international locations in MMA. RIZIN Preventing Federation, which occurs to be the creation of former Delight boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara, is maintaining the nation’s custom of MMA excellence alive.
RIZIN serves up MMA in a hoop relatively than a cage and likewise promotes high-level kickboxing matches. It’s residence to loads of world-class expertise, however like KSW in Poland, it has proven a willingness to get inventive relating to struggle promotion. In reality, you might need truly heard of RIZIN earlier than. In 2018, the promotion infamously gave us an exhibition boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and outmatched, undersized kickboxing wunderkind Tenshin Nasukawa. RIZIN additionally scores factors for its willingness to co-promote with different organizations like Bellator—an actual rarity in MMA.
You’ll find its occasions on on-line pay-per-view (simply be ready to remain up late to observe).
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