Mixed martial arts (MMA) may not be at the peak it once was a few years ago in the eyes of some fans, but it’s important to remember that this sport is still at a very young age. When you really think about the kind of development we’ve seen in the last few decades it truly is staggering to consider what could happen in the future, which is what we’re here to discuss.
There are a series of stunning promotions around the globe that put on great shows throughout the year, but we thought it’d be best to pick out five of the very best that we believe represent the finest MMA has to offer from an excitement standpoint.
5. ONE Championship
There are problems with ONE Championship and they aren’t going to go away overnight, but the additions of Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson instantly ensure that they have a place on this list. Money is a powerful thing in this game, and ONE is more than willing to splash the cash in order to keep climbing towards the top.
4. Bellator MMA
Bellator MMA seems to have found the perfect mix between top veterans and world-class young fighters, and their deal with DAZN will only strengthen that. Scott Coker appears to have a clear vision for what he wants to do over the course of the next few years and beyond, and any ‘stigma’ surrounding the promotion appears to be slowly fading away.
3. Cage Warriors
Cage Warriors has been the proving ground for the likes of Conor McGregor, Michael Bisping and Dan Hardy, and those are just three of the many examples that we could name. The production on their shows is always top notch, they continue to produce some of the best talent across Europe, and you can tell that they care about the fans.
2 – KSW
When you hold the record for the second most attended MMA show of all time, it’s clear to see that you’re a big player. KSW feels like a larger than life spectacle regardless of where they go around the world, and with an average of 4-5 shows a year, they know how to leave us wanting more. Trust us – if you pick one promotion outside of the UFC to watch, KSW should be considered the priority.
The criticisms surrounding the Ultimate Fighting Championship are valid for the most part, but let’s face it, no other promotion is going to even come close to topping them. Let’s take UFC 229 as an example: well over two million people paid to watch Khabib vs McGregor, and in terms of the bigger picture, they play host to 95% of the best mixed martial artists on the planet.