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MMA Guide: The Best Promotions to Watch That Aren’t the UFC

Mixed martial arts, better recognized as MMA, has exploded in recognition above the final decade, and that is thanks in significant element to the Best Fighting Championship (UFC). The Las Vegas-based mostly combat promotion has grow to be a house name amongst combat sports activities enthusiasts thanks to its shrewd management and headline-grabbing fighters like Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, Georges St-Pierre, and Anderson Silva.

 

 

In actuality, the UFC has grow to be so successful that quite a few folks think it is synonymous with MMA. You could, for example, capture anyone referring to the sport of MMA as UFC—the exact way they could use the name Kleenex to refer to any manufacturer of tissue.

MMA, of system, is far more than just the UFC. Even though the UFC is conveniently the most important promotion in the sport, it is unquestionably not the only a single. All above the planet, other corporations are endorsing their individual spins on MMA—and most of them are quite substantially really worth observing.

Interested in viewing what MMA seems to be like outside the confines of the UFC’s trademark Octagon? We have obtained you covered with some of the greatest resources for MMA past the UFC. From Europe to Asia and past, these are the top rated international MMA promotions to look at (shown in alphabetical order—we really don’t want to start out any fights).

The Very best MMA Promotions to Observe That Aren’t the UFC

1. Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA, which is owned by ViacomCBS, could be the UFC’s optimum-profile competitors. The promotion, which is led by combat sports activities lifer Scott Coker, airs on Showtime alongside huge boxing matches and is property to some of the greatest fighters in the planet, these kinds of as AJ McKee, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, Vadim Nemkov, Gegard Mousasi, Cris “Cyborg” Justino, and Yaroslav Amosov. Bellator also from time to time promotes tournaments—a structure the UFC won’t touch—which would make it an appealing substitute to the sport’s most obtainable products.

two. Combate Worldwide

Combate Worldwide, formerly identified as Combate Americas, is the brainchild of UFC co-creator Campbell McLaren. The promotion, which is concentrated on the Hispanic marketplace, statements to have cultivated a fanbase that is totally independent from that of the UFC, and it appears to have the viewership figures to back again those people statements up. Airing on networks like Univision, Televisa, CBS Sports Network, and Paramount As well as, Combate Worldwide is property to some of the greatest fighters from Central and South The us and past.

three. Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki (KSW)

The name Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki is a little bit of a mouthful for non-Polish speakers, but really don’t let that discourage you. This Warsaw-based mostly promotion is the most important in Europe and a single of the most thrilling in all of MMA.

KSW is all about spectacle, from its pyrotechnic-stuffed walkouts to the fights on their own. Even though the organization is property to a good deal of planet-course talent, it also does not just take itself far too very seriously, routinely endorsing fights involving transplants like previous strongman Mariusz Pudzianowski and Polish rapper Popek Monster. It’s a terrific preference for any one hankering for a thing various. Capture its situations on fork out-for each-look at.

4. ONE Championship

Just one Championship has the Asian marketplace cornered. The promotion is based mostly in Singapore and has also promoted vastly successful situations in nations like Japan, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

ONE’s roster is property to some of the top rated talent in Asia as properly as quite a few stars from this hemisphere, these kinds of as Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, Bibiano Fernandes, Eddie Alvarez, and siblings Christian, Angela, and Victoria Lee. The organization also promotes kickboxing and Muay Thai fights, which gives its situations a wide range you won’t discover elsewhere.

Just one broadcasts on television networks all above the planet, but in the US, its situations can be streamed on Bleacher Report Live. Just recall the time variance: ONE’s situations generally air in the early morning in North The us.

5. The Experienced Fighters League (PFL)

The Experienced Fighters League is not only a single of the most successful corporations in combined martial arts, but also a single of the most distinctive. The league presents the sport in a a single-of-a-kind seasonal structure, with playoffs, championships, and million-dollar prizes for the winners in each bodyweight course.

Property to stars like Kayla Harrison, Ray Cooper III, Anthony Pettis, and boxing transplant Claressa Shields, the PFL is also huge on innovation, leveraging technology to enhance the viewing practical experience for its growing legions of fans. Its proprietary SmartCage, which tracks a amount of appealing stats in real time, is just the beginning.

The PFL’s situations are broadcast on ESPN two, ESPN+, and ESPN Deportes.

6. RIZIN Fighting Federation

As the previous property of the defunct but very influential promotion Delight, Japan is a single of the most important nations in MMA. RIZIN Fighting Federation, which happens to be the generation of previous Delight boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara, is retaining the country’s custom of MMA excellence alive.

RIZIN serves up MMA in a ring alternatively than a cage and also promotes high-amount kickboxing matches. It’s property to a good deal of planet-course talent, but like KSW in Poland, it has revealed a willingness to get resourceful when it will come to combat promotion. In actuality, you could have basically heard of RIZIN just before. In 2018, the promotion infamously gave us an exhibition boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and outmatched, undersized kickboxing wunderkind Tenshin Nasukawa. RIZIN also scores points for its willingness to co-encourage with other corporations like Bellator—a real rarity in MMA.

You can discover its situations on on-line fork out-for each-look at (just be geared up to keep up late to look at).


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