MIXED MARTIAL ARTS LEAGUES AND CAGE FIGHTING LEAGUES
This is a list of many of the current MIXED MARTIAL ARTS LEAGUES and CAGE FIGHTING LEAGUES. These promotions are from all over the world.
The largest and most well know promotion is the ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP aka UFC. These fighters are the best and most talented mixed martial artists in the world. These mixed martial arts leagues below are the training grounds for many future mixed martial artists who will compete in mixed martial arts leagues and cage fighting leagues such as BELLATOR or the king the UFC.
UFC-Worlwide-The top fighters in the world from all the major martial art disciplines worldwide. These fighters are the cream of the crop and represent the largest talent pool of fighters.
Fight Pass Promotions-MIXED MARTIAL ARTS LEAGUES
Invicta (Missouri) – The top (and only) North American all female promotion. Pretty much everyone is aware of them at this point. Most of their top fighters end up in UFC.
Fight Nights (Russia) – Top Russian feeder for UFC. We will continue to see them as the pipeline of talent. It will be interesting how they interact with M-1 from now on. The two promotions will likely split most the regions top talent.
Shooto Brazil (Brazil) – Top Brazilian feeder for UFC. Many of the top Brazilians either came from Shooto Brazil or Jungle Fight. They’re known for their talented lighter weight classes, but many just end up in UFC.
Titan FC (Florida) – It was looking like they would be the top feeder for UFC in the US, but they’ve had a lot of difficulties with shows. 3 events last year had to be cancelled including a recent December event due to health complications of the CEO, Jeff Aronson. Luckily the fighters on that card have since been compensated so they should be able to start 2016 on the right foot.
Victory Fighting Championship (Nebraska) – A staple of the Midwest for many years, VFC just recently came under the Fight Pass umbrella. Already in the span of a month we’ve seen a top fighter of theirs make it to UFC. VFC seems to be a backup feeder for UFC, and already since signing with Fight Pass, their events have taken a new level due to exposure. UFC may have a few American feeders when all is said and done.
Pancrase (Japan) – The best regional promotion in Japan. While promotions like One and Rizin will do events all over Asia, Pancrase is a mostly Japanese promotion with a long history. In the last couple years, they’ve adapted the Unified Rules and seem to be trying to get with the times. DEEP and Shooto will continue to exist for a long time, but Pancrase seems to have the upper hand on them for now.
BRACE (Australia) – Australia always has promotions jockeying for positions, and with the recent drop in talent in the Australian Fighting Championship promotion, BRACE has taken over. They’ve been one of the few promotions that can offer fighters several fights a year, and they have been doing yearly tournaments to find out who we should look out for next. BRACE will be the top feeder league for UFC in Australia.
XFO (Illinois) – XFO is one of the oldest promotions in the Midwest, and have produced several UFC and Bellator veterans. It’s also looking like they’ll be the first promotion to show an Amateur show on Fight Pass. They haven’t done a live show yet on Fight Pass, but they’ll likely be the third US promotion on live on Fight Pass.
Bellator (California) – Number 2 US promotion by default on Spike. This promotion is the second most well known mixed martial arts league. Many UFC fighters who were cut end up fighting for Bellator.
WSOF (Nevada) – Number 3 on NBC Sports with a few solid prospects and veterans.
RFA (Nevada) – National feeder league on AXS
Legacy FC (Texas) – National feeder league on AXS.tv
Cage Fury FC (New Jersey) – One of the top regional US promotions on the east coast, they have their events on GFL.tv so they barely have any recent footage
Ring Of Combat (New Jersey) – A long standing New Jersey staple who have produced several top fighters.
Tachi Palace Fights (California) – A Northern California gem which calls the former WEC stomping ground Tachi Palace Hotel its home. They’ve shown their events on Sherdog the last couple years.
CES MMA (Rhode Island) – The newest AXS.tv promotion.
King Of The Cage (California) – The most prolific promotion in the world, they’ve done thousands of shows since opening its doors in 1999. They don’t have the same stable of fighters they once had, instead acting as a MMA McDonalds of sorts. They allow people to use their brand and name to put on shows to mixed success.
West Coast Fighting Championship (California) – A newer Northern California promotion who has started to share fighters with Tachi Palace.
Cagesport/Super Fight League (Washington) – A top promotion in the Pacific Northwest who began co-promting with Indian promotion Super Fight League and streaming fights on Youtube.
Fight Time Promotions (Florida) – Top promotion in Florida at the moment. Unfortunately, their owner and boxing legend Howard Davis Jr recently passed away. It’s unknown what will happen from this point on.
Unified MMA (Alberta) – Defacto top Canadian promotion now that WSOF Canada seems to be defunct. Canada has had trouble putting together MMA shows the past couple years. Even UFC hasn’t shown much interest since GSP has retired.
Shamrock FC (Missouri) – A direct feeder league of Bellator and top promotion in Missouri, they have a deal in place with Bellator to have them sign all of their champions.
Combate Americas (California) – A young promotion out of Southern California who are throwing shows that are marketed towards the Latino crowd. Pretty much Bellator 2.0. They’ve only done a few shows so far.
Asia-MIXED MARTIAL ARTS LEAGUES
One Championship (Singapore) – Currently is the top promotion in Asia due to its scale, they have had trouble with the heavier weight classes but have seen an eclectic mix of fighters from many different countries.
Rizin FF(Japan) – The new promotion of former PRIDE boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara. They had a relatively successful debut in December, and hope to put on events that feel big.
DEEP (Japan) – Solid regional Japanese promotion who bought the all female promotion Jewels in the past couple years. Jewels has the best Female MMA fighters Japan has to offer. Tough to find fights on YT.
Shooto/VTJ (Japan) – Another top Japanese promotion. They have recently started doing shows under the Vale Tudo Japan brand again. Sadly, like DEEP, most of their top talent have moved on.
Pacific X-Treme Championship (Guam) – A burgeoning promotion in the Pacific doing shows mostly in Guam and the Philippines.
Road FC (South Korea) – The biggest promotion in South Korea who have already done shows in Japan and China.
Desert Force (Jordan) – The biggest promotion in the Middle East. They’re funded by a real estate mogul, and he seems to have some money to throw around. They’ve even done their own Ultimate Fighter like show called Al Academiya.
Inoki Genome Federation (Japan) – An interesting promotion in Japan owned by wrestling legend Antonio Inoki. They put on an Openweight tournament recently to show that the freak show still lives on in 2016.
Full Metal Dojo (Thailand) – A promotion based in Thailand who has been growing quickly since the MIXED MARTIAL ARTS ban in Thailand was lifted. They have a solid group of local and international prospects including the debut of Iranian Greco-Roman Wrestling World Champion Amir Alikbari. They could have some stand up killers one day and have ties to Evolve and AKA Thailand.
Abu Dhabi Warriors (UAE) – A promotion based out of the United Arab Emirites. Some rich people there seem to love MMA, and will pay foreigners to come fight for them. No local talent.
M-1 Global (Russia) M-1 is hard to find online due to having their own Fight Pass type service called M-1 Global TV. They were asked to be on Fight Pass but turned the offer down for their own service. Most people in the US known M-1 for their stint on the Showtime network and their ties to Fedor Emelianenko.
KSW (Poland) – The biggest promotion in Poland and the largest attended promotion in Europe. While they’ve only done shows in Poland and England to this point, they have done very well in their country.
BAMMA (England) – The most steady promotion in the UK. They’ve taken over since Cage Warriors stopped promoting shows in late 2014. Supposedly Cage Warriors will be back in 2016, but the damage may have already been done with many of their top fighters moving to UFC or BAMMA.
Absolute Championship Berkut (Russia) – ACB has quickly grown into a great event in Russia. They’ve mostly held 8 man tournaments to decide who their top fighters will be. Probably Number 3 in Russia behind M-1 and Fight Nights.
Cage MMA (Finland) – A top Scandinavian promotion.
Final Fight Championship (Croatia) – A promotion that began as a kickboxing promotion, they’ve since moved to MMA as well. Their first event was the final kickboxing match of Mirko Cro Cop before he started his MMA career. He came back to fight with them before going back to UFC and retiring.
MFP (Pankration MMA) (Russia) – A long standing show in Russia for them to grow their records against foreign talent.
Made 4 The Cage (England) – No. 2 Promotion in UK behind BAMMA until Cage Warriors returns. No footage on Youtube, but a lot of their events have been filles with Cage Warrior vets. It’s yet to be seen if those fighers will go back to Cage Warriors when they return.
100% Fight (France) – Top promotion in France, but they’re not allowed to use ground strikes in fights. Many French fighters choose to fight elsewhere in Europe because of this. They had a group of solid prospects, but many have moved on and it’s mostly young prospects with low records right now.
Gladiator Championship Fighting (Czech Republic) – A promotion out of Czech Republic, they are the home of Rizin star Jiri Prochazka.
UCMMA (England) – The promotion started by former Cage Rage owners, UCMMA has existed for several years, but seem to serve as a feeder league for other UK promotions.
Real Xtreme Fighting (Romania) – An interesting promotion out of Romania led by Super Heavyweight star Alexandru Lungu and Kickboxing star turned MMA fighter Rico Verhoeven.
Tech-Krep Fighting Championship (Russia) – Another sideshow Russian promotion which has helped build up fighters in Russia.
Venator FC (Italy) – Top Italian promotion who has quickly snatched up vets like Luke Barnatt, Karl Amoussou, and Alessio Sakara. They’ve only done 2 shows so it remains to be seen where they will go from here.
World Warriors Fighting Championships (Moldova) – A promotion who has held events in several different European counties and signed some solid veterans out of Continental Europe.
Akhmat Fight Club (Russia) – A promotion with money to burn backed by Chechen Republic leader Ramzan Kadyrov. They’ll attract foreigners with solid paychecks.
South America-MIXED MARTIAL ARTS LEAGUES AND CAGE FIGHTING LEAGUES
Jungle Fight (Brazil) – A long standing promotion in the region who has seen some great talent come through. They’re a little depleted at the moment, but they have plenty of talent to choose from due to many Brazilian promotions ceasing doing shows last year.
Xtreme Fighting Championship (Florida/Brazil) – A promotion which started as a US venture, has turned into a series of shows in Brazil. They’re another promotion doing tournaments with fighters from all over the world. It’s rumored they’ll be coming back to the US in 2016.
Arena Tour (Argentina) – The top promotion in Argentina who can already compete with similar Brazilian promotions.
Aspera FC (Brazil) – A new promotion in Brazil that has taken the place of a myriad of other promotions who seemed to close their doors in 2015. Not much footage out there but you’ll see a lot of solid prospects fighting against mostly cans, but there aren’t too many promotions in Brazil that have 30+ shows.
Australia-MIXED MARTIAL ARTS LEAGUES AND PROMOTIONS
Australian Fighting Championship (Australia) – Was looking to be the next promotion to watch in Australia, they lost some fighters due to money troubles (from my understanding). They’re still doing shows, but it’s unknown if they will keep talent long term.
Hex Fight Series (Australia) – A quickly growing promotion who has attracted a lot of Australian veterans.
Africa-MIXED MARTIAL ARTS LEAGUES
Extreme FC (South Africa) – The largest MIXED MARTIAL ARTS LEAGUES on the continent of Africa with mostly South African fighters. They’re mostly known in the west for one of their fighters, Booto Guylain, dying after competing with the promotion. Africa is going to have growing pains due to not having many places to train. South Africa seems to be the best option.