Bellator MMA

Top 13 MMA promotions in 2021

Based on striking, grappling and ground fighting, mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport. It incorporates techniques from various martial arts and combat sports including Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling, judo, sambo, capoeira, karate, boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, wushu and taekwondo.

The first ever MMA event was titled “The Ultimate Fighting Championship,” which was later renamed “UFC 1: The Beginning.” It was an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event held at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado, United States on November 12, 1993.

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Now, a professional MMA fighter typically signs with an MMA promotion where he or she competes exclusively until the contract expires. Here is the list of the top 13 MMA promotions in 2021:

#13. Cage Warriors

  • founding year: 2002
  • founder: Dougie Truman
  • headquarters: London, England, United Kingdom
  • president/CEO: Graham Boylan
  • notable current fighters: Nathias Frederick, Agy Sardari, Jordan Vucenic, Jack Cartwright, Jake Hadley

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#12. Legacy Fighting Alliance

  • founding year: 2017
  • founder: Ed Soares
  • headquarters: Houston, Texas, United States
  • president/CEO: Sven Bean, Ed Soares
  • notable current fighters: Spike Carlyle, Josh Fremd, Nick Browne, Victor Altamirano, Zviad Lazishvili

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#11. Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki

  • founding year: 2004
  • founders: Martin Lewandowski, Maciej Kawulski
  • headquarters: Warsaw, Poland
  • president/CEO: Martin Lewandowski
  • notable current fighters: Phil De Fries, Tomasz Narkun, Mamed Khalidov, Roberto Soldić, Mariusz Pudzianowski, Darko Stošić, Guto Inocente, Szymon Kołecki, Scott Askham

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#10. Rizin Fighting Federation

  • founding year: 2015
  • founder: Nobuyuki Sakakibara
  • headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
  • president/CEO: Nobuyuki Sakakibara
  • notable current fighters: Kyoji Horiguchi, Ayaka Hamasaki, Gabi Garcia, Keita Nakamura, Daron Cruickshank, Satoru Kitaoka, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Takanori Gomi, Tenshin Nasukawa

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#9. AMC Fight Nights

  • founding year: 2010
  • founder: Kamil Gadzhiev
  • headquarters: Moscow, Russia
  • president/CEO: Kamil Gadzhiev
  • notable current fighters: Armen Petrosyan, Vladimir Mineev, Moris Boleyan, Andrey Koreshkov, Zuluzinho, Alexander Shlemenko, Vyacheslav Vasilevsky, Moris Boleyan, Vladimir Egoyan, Nariman Abbasov

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#8. BRAVE Combat Federation

  • founding year: 2016
  • founder: Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa
  • headquarters: Seef, Bahrain
  • president/CEO: Mohammed “The Hawk” Shahid
  • notable current fighters: Anton Turkalj, Ikram Aliskerov, Mohammad Fakhreddine, Jarrah Al-Silawi, Mehdi Baghdad, Leonardo Mafra, Amin Ayoub, Jose Torres, Eldar Eldarov, Muhammad Mokaev

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#7. Invicta Fighting Championships

  • founding year: 2012
  • founders: Shannon Knapp, Janet Martin
  • headquarters: Enka Village, North Carolina, United States
  • president/CEO: Shannon Knapp 
  • notable current fighters: Pam Sorenson, Lisa Verzosa, Karina Rodríguez, Amber Brown, Alesha Zappitella, Ashley Cummins, Sharon Jacobson, Alexa Conners, Raquel Pa’aluhi, Kaitlin Young

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#6. Pancrase

  • founding year: 1993
  • founders: Masakatsu Funaki, Minoru Suzuki
  • headquarters: Nishi-shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
  • president/CEO: Masakazu Sakai 
  • notable current fighters: Isao Kobayashi, Taichi Nakajima, Toru Ogawa, Taiki Akiba, Masatatsu Ueda, Satoru Enomoto, Koshi Matsumoto, Akira Okada, Yoshinori Suzuki, Issei Tamura

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#5. Absolute Championship Akhmat

  • founding year: 2014
  • founder: Mairbek Khasiev
  • headquarters: Grozny, Russia
  • president/CEO: Alexey Yatsenko
  • notable current fighters: Tony Johnson, Aleksander Emelianenko, Elias Silvério, Levan Makashvili, Magomedrasul Khasbulaev, Magomed Bibulatov, Azamat Kerefov, Murad Zeinulabidov, Hacran Dias, Daniel Omielańczuk

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#4. Bellator MMA

  • founding year: 2008
  • founder: Bjorn Rebeny
  • headquarters: Hollywood, California, United States
  • president/CEO: Scott Coker
  • notable current fighters: Sergio Pettis, Gegard Mousasi, Ryan Bader, Juan Archuleta, A.J. McKee, Patricio Freire, Yaroslav Amosov, Goiti Yamauchi, Adam Borics, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane

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#3. ONE Championship

  • founding year: 2011
  • founder: Chatri Sityodtong
  • headquarters: Downtown Core, Singapore
  • president/CEO: Chatri Sityodtong
  • notable current fighters: Aung La N Sang, Angela Lee, Christian Lee, Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez, Brandon Vera, Reinier de Ridder, Shinya Aoki, Eduard Folayang

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#2. Professional Fighters League

  • founding year: 2018
  • founder: Ray Sefo
  • headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
  • president/CEO: Ray Sefo, Peter Murray
  • notable current fighters: Anthony Pettis, Fabricio Werdum, Emiliano Sordi, Rory MacDonald, Clay Collard, Kayla Harrison, Ray Cooper III, Curtis Millender, Movlid Khaibulaev

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#1. Ultimate Fighting Championship

  • founding year: 1993
  • founders: Art Davie, Bob Meyrowitz, Campbell McLaren, David Isaacs, John Milius
  • headquarters: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
  • president/CEO: Dana White
  • notable current fighters: Francis Ngannou, Kamaru Usman, Israel Adesanya, Amanda Nunes, Conor McGregor, Jorge Masvidal, Rose Namajunas, Valentina Shevchenko, Jon Jones, Dustin Poirier, Stipe Miocic, Max Holloway, Robert Whittaker, Khamzat Chimaev, Holly Holm, Joanna Jędrzejczyk, Colby Covington

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