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Top 8 MMA Promotions Outside of the UFC

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The Ultimate Fighting Championship remains the undisputed king of the world as far as MMA promotions are concerned. The organization produces over 30 live events annually, and it’s currently the largest PPV provider in the world. The promotion broadcasts across over 149 countries and territories in 30 different languages. With acquisitions of PRIDE, WEC, and Strikeforce, the UFC has also become home to some of the most talented fighters the sport has to offer.

But not all of them . . .

Bellator MMA

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Bellator is always the bridesmaid and never the bride. Widely recognized as the second largest MMA promotion in the United States, Bellator is headquartered in Newport Beach, California. Since arriving on the scene in 2008, the promotion’s events have been primarily structured around tournaments. The tournament winner is declared the number one contender in their respective weight class, and is awarded $100,000 and a shot at the reigning Bellator champion.

Invicta Fighting Championship

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Invicta Fighting Championships, also known as Invicta FC, is an all female promotion founded in 2012 by Janet Martin and Shannon Knapp. After the UFC purchased the female-friendly promotion “Strikeforce,” women fighters feared there would be no viable promotion to showcase their skills.  Since its inception, the promotion has served to put women fighters on the map, and has also become a feeder promotion for the two female weight divisions now hosted by the UFC. Invicta’s events are currently available live on ustream.com.

Xtreme Fighting Championship

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Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC), based in Tampa, Florida, has had a recent growth spurt that has begun to put the promotion on the map. The organization has hosted stadium fight cards in Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Michigan. Earlier this month XFC partnered with Brazilian Television Broadcaster REDE TV to launch the MMA COPA in 2014, based in Sao Paulo. The ten events starting in February will showcase Latin American MMA talent. The XFC has also hosted several starweight females who are potential up and comers for the new UFC 115lb women’s division such as Felice Herrig, Stephanie Eggink, Courtney Casey and Angela Magna.

ONE Fighting Championship 

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ONE Fighting Championship is considered the biggest MMA organization in Asia. The promotions is two years into a ten year TV deal with FOX and STAR Sports. ONE FC has hosted 13 events since 2011 and claims to own 90 percent of the MMA talent in Asia. One of their most recent acquisitions is former Bellator champion Ben Askren, who is slated to make his promotional debut in April 2014.  Askren was also offered a contract by our next promotion.

World Series of Fighting

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WSOF didn’t have the slow gradual start of most promotions. The Vegas based organization was formed in 2012. Immediately signing a broadcast deal with the NBC Sports Network, they were instantly on the radar. The timing of their entrance onto the scene in conjunction with the decline of Strikeforce set them up as a potential home for quality fighters. Some familiar faces acquired by WSOF are Andre Arlovski, Mike Kyle, Jon Fitch, Josh Burkman, Nick Newell, Tyson Griffin, Jacob Volkmann as well as a number of other notable cage veterans.

Legacy Fighting Championship

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Having started out in 2009, Legacy Fighting Championship has been doing nothing but rising ever since. The Texas based promotion this year alone has put on 12 events and has an event scheduled monthly through 2014. With the recent cuts by the UFC, LFC has signed vets like Leonard Garcia but at the same time built their own stars like former professional boxer Holly Holm. They currently broadcast on AXSTV and have a good number of big name sponsors such as Corona Light and the Texas National Guard.

King of the Cage

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King of the Cage (KOTC) has been through a long history in MMA. They started out in 1998 and were able to thrive by promoting their events on Indian Reservations. They are widely known, especially in the circuit of up and coming fighters making the transition from amateur to pro. KOTC currently broadcasts events on cable channel MAVTV, and have champions in every weigh class including females.

Maximum FIghting Championship

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MFC is a Canadian MMA Promotion, which has been around since 2001. Fights are broadcast on The Fight Network and AXS TV. The interesting thing about MFC is that they have found long standing success without transitioning to a cage and instead use a traditional ring. The promotion averages 3-4 events a year.