What MMA promotions are there?

Posted on 28 March, 2022

Promotions are the companies that put on the fights. They are responsible for almost everything outside of the cage to make the fights happen. This includes contracting the fighters, getting the stadium, selling tickets, etc.

Note that they are usually not in charge of the rules, scoring, and weigh-ins. That is done by the MMA commission.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)

Courtesy of the UFC
Courtesy of the UFC

The biggest MMA promotion around. Not all the best fighters in the world are in the UFC but most of them are. The champions of every weight class are probably the best fighter in the world at that weight.


Run by ex-Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker. Founded in 2008. Originally had a reputation for having old UFC fighters, but has been doing a great job recently of developing their own prospects. Has a lot of former high-level D1 wrestlers. Occaisionally does tournament style matching making.

ONE Championship

A Singaporean promotion that pulls in many of the best Asian fighters. Has some innovative ideas like VR replays of events. Also has non-MMA bouts such as grappling-only or kickboxing-only. Their Muay Thai in 4oz gloves + cage is a treat to watch for any striking enthusiast.


A Japanese promotion by the ex-Pride CEO. Instead of a cage, they fight in a boxing-style ring. Current UFC light-heavyweight contender Jiří Procházka was previously a champion here.

Pride (UFC purchased it)

A now defunct Japanese promotion that was bought by the UFC. At a time, it was bigger than the UFC and had better fighters. Their rules allowed for kicking a grounded opponent's head (called soccer kicks). When people say "Pride Rules" this is what they are referring to.

Strikeforce (UFC purchased it)

A now defunct American promotion that was bought by the UFC in 2011. Had many future UFC stars including Ronda Rousey, Daniel Cormier, Nick Diaz, Robbie Lawler, Luke Rockhold, Jake Shields.

Professional Fighters League (PFL)

A promotion on ESPN that's known for their season format and giving their season winner 1 million dollars. It was created in 2018 from an old promotion called World Series of Fighting (WSOF).

Cage Warriors

An Irish promotion big in the UK. Their biggest fighters (like Conor McGregor, Paddy Pimblett, etc) end up joining the UFC after they develop.


A promotion purchased and run by former UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov. You can currently watch their fights for free.

There are many more promotions (hundreds) in the world. There are many more exciting fighters and fights outside of the UFC, so I will continue to add to this list along with more in-depth explanations of their key differences so you can find new promotions that interest you.