Ranking the MMA Organizations of All Time

Ranking the MMA Organizations of All Time



For any new or casual fan to Mixed Martial Arts that knows the UFC is not the only MMA Show in town it can be difficult to gauge the talent or legitimacy of some of the National and Regional Organizations. Hell, there are so many organizations that even the hardcorest of the hardcore MMA fans couldn't name %80 of them.

I will break down a good portion of the Current leagues into 4 Tiers (Major Leagues, Minor Leagues, "C" Leagues, and "D" Leagues), along with some now defunct Organizations, and also a Overall Ranking.

The Criteria's I will use are Number of Shows, Years of Operation, Validity of Match Making, TV Deal, whether they hold Regional, National, or International shows and Most importantly Strength of Roster.

(Note: when it comes to Rosters, it is Every Notable fighter to ever Fight in that Org.)

Matchmaking and Roster will be given a number 1-6 that break down like this


2= So-So





Follow me after the Jump for the Breakdown of 20 MMA Organizations. (NOTE: It is over 1500 words long)

"D" Leagues

#20-World Fighting Alliance (WFA)*

4 Events

4 ½ Years of Operation

Matchmaking (2=So-So)

PPV once

WFA was a regional Promotion Doing shows in Vegas and one in Los Angeles

Roster: (4=Strong) Rampage, Bas Rutten, Rich Franklin, Lyoto Machida, Frank Trigg, Martin Kampmann, Marvin Eastman, Ivan Salaverry, Valentin Overeem, Mike Van Arsdale, Dennis Hallman, Matt Lindland, Vernon White, Mayhem Miller

#19-Titan Fighting Championship (TitanFC)

21 Events


Matchmaking (2=So-So)

Minor TV Deal with HDNet

TFC is a Regional Promotion based out of Kansas City

Roster: (2=So-So) Tim Sylvia, Drew Mcfedries, Rich Clementi, Jason High, Phil Baroni, Bobby Lashley, Jens Pulver, Brett Rogers, Jaime Varner, Dakota Cochrane, Eddie Sanchez


3 events

2011- Current

Matchmaking (2=So-So)

Minor TV deal with HDNet

ProElite is a Regional Promotion based in Hawaii

Roster: (2=So-So) Kendall Grove, Arlovski, Joe Riggs, Reagan Penn, Sara Mcmann, Hitomi Akano, Dre Mcfedries, Tim Sylvia, Andrei Kraniotakes, Minowaman,


100's of Events


MatchMaking (2=So-So)

No TV Deal

Deep is a Japanese Based National Promotion

Roster: (2=So-So) Aoki, Korean Zombie, Dong Hyun Kim, Ryo Chonan, Imanari, Don Frye, Royler Gracie, Minowaman, Mizuto Hirota, Riki Fukuda, Paulo Filho

#16-Tachi Palace Fighting (TPF)

13 Events


Matchmaking (3=Good)

No TV deal

TPF is a Regional Promotion based out of California

Roster (4=Strong) Chad Mendes, Jussier Da Silva, Ian McCall, Mamoru "The Fro": Yamaguchi, Cole Escovedo, Nam Phan, James Irving, David Loiseau, Zolia Frausto, Joe Soto, Ulysses Gomez, Cyrill Diabate,

"C" Leagues


12 Events

3 Years of Operation

Matchmaking (3= Good)

No TV deal

Rings was a National Promotion from Japan

Roster: (4=Strong) Fedor, Big Nog, Ricardo Arona, Gilbert Yvel, Babalu, Randy Couture, Renzo Gracie, Hendo


38 Events (10 Challenger style)

6 years of Operation

Matchmaking (2=So-So)

Minor TV Deal in the UK

Cage Rage was Predominantly a National Promotion but did hold one event outside of England

Roster: (3=Good) Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, Paul Daley, Michael Bisping, Chris Lytle, Melvin Manhoef, Ken Shamrock, Jorge Rivera, Babalu, Imanari, Zelg Galesic and Herb Dean (Yes the Referree)

#13-Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC)

36 Events


Matchmaking (3=Good)

Minor TV deal with HDNet

MFC is a Regional Promotion based in Alberta, Canada

Roster: (3=Good) Ryan Jimmo, Paul Daley, Ben Henderson, Marcus Davis, Douglas Lima, Yves Edward, Hermes Franca, Carlo Prater, Antonio McKee, Drew Mcfedries, Travis Lutter, Sokoudjou, Marvin Eastman, Dean Lister, Matt Veach, Chase Gormley, Bobby Lashley, Trevor Prangley, Pete Spratt, Thales Leites, Chris Camozzi, Wilson Gouveia


100's of Events

1994- Current

Matchmaking (3=Good)

No TV deal (that I could find)

Shooto is an International promotion serving nearly 20 countries

Roster: (3=Good)) Anderson Silva, Jake Shields, Hatsu Hioki, Takanori Gomi, Mamoru "The Fro" Yamaguchi, Joachim Hansen, Caol Uno, Sakurai, Kawajiri, Aoki, Rumina Sato, Takeya Mizugaki


2 Events

1 Year of Operation

MatchMaking (3=Good)

2 shows on PPV

Affliction is a Regional Promotion never leaving Las Vegas

Roster: (4=Strong) Fedor, Josh Barnett, Tim Sylvia, Arlovski, Lil Nog, Pedro Rizzo, Ben Rothwell, Vitor Belfort, Mark Hominick, Sokoudjou, Babalu, Joe Lauzon, Jason High, Jay Hieron, Matyushenko, Gilbert Yvel, Matt Lindland

#10-King of the Cage (KOTC)

229 Events

1999- Current

Matchmaking (3=Good)

Minor TV deal

KOTC is an International Promotion

Roster: (3=Good) Rampage, Marvin Eastman, Vernon White, Daniel Cormier, Jeremy Horn, Mike Kyle, Dean Lister, Diego Sanchez, Joe Stevenson, Jorge Santiago, Mac Danzig, Rory Macdonald, Urijah Faber, Ricco Rodriguez, Mamoru "The Fro" Yamaguchi


23 Events


MatchMaking (2=So-So)

Minor TV deal in the US and Japan

Dream is a National Promotion in Japan

Roster: (3=Good) Aoki, Sakuraba, Fedor, Sakurai, Alistair Overeem, Cro Cop, Joachim Hansen, Kawijiri, Mousasi, Jacare, Sokoudjou, Caol Uno, Rich Clementi, Drew Ficket, Bob Sapp, Minowaman, Satoshi Ishii



21 Events

2 years of Operation

MatchMaking (1=Bad) Mismatches and Bonus's to keep fights standing (see Kimbo vs Petrucelli)

Major TV deal with Showtime and the First MMA Organization to make it to primetime with CBS

Roster: (4=Strong) Jake Shields, KJ Noons, Nick Diaz, Kimbo, Frank Shamrock, Robbie Lawler, Bigfoot Silva, Paul Daley, Eddie Alvarez, Arlovski, Roy Nelson, Cyborg, Carano, Phil Baroni, Mike Kyle

#7-International Fight League (IFL)*

20 events

2 ½ years of Operation

MatchMaking (4=Strong)

Minor TV Deal in the US, on My Network TV.

IFL was a National Promotion based in the US

Roster: (3=Good) Renzo Gracie, Jens Pulver, Pat Miletich, Carlos Newton, Robbie Lawler, Matt Lindland, Jeremy Horn, Roy Nelson, Dan Miller, Jay Hieron, Matyushenko, Jake Ellenberger, Ben Rothwell, Tim Kennedy, Brian Ebersole, Krystof Sozynsky,


100's of Events


MatchMaking (1=Bad) The Early days of Pancrase 1 in 5 fights were said to be "Worked" or "Fixed" Bouts

Minor TV Deal in Japan

Pancrase is a National Promotion never leaving the Island of Japan

Roster (4=Strong) Ken Shamrock, Bas Rutten, Frank Shamrock, Guy Mezger, Nate Marquardt, Ricardo Almeida, Minowaman, Chael Sonnen, Paul, Daley, Carlos Condit, Chris Lytle, Kazuo Misaki, Evan Tanner, Genki Sudo, Joe Riggs, Akhiro Gono


61 Events

2008- Current

MatchMaking (4= Strong)

Minor TV Deal on MTV2 with Viacom's backing and a move to SpikeTV inevitable

Bellator is a International Promotion holding multiple shows in the US and Canada

Roster: (3=Good) Hector Lombard, Eddie Alvarez, Ben Askren, Roger Huerta, Pat Curran, Joe Warren, Michael Chandler, Patricky and Patriccio Friere, Marlon Sandro, Jay Hieron, Zach Makovsky, Ben Saunders, War Machine, Zoila Gurgel, Cole Konrad


60 Events (including 19 Challenger shows)


Matchmaking (3=Good)

Major Tv Deal with Showtime, and a limited deal with CBS

Strikeforce is a National Promotion and has never had a show outside of the US

Roster: (5=Great) Fedor, Hendo, Alistair Overeem, Nick Diaz, Gil Melendez, Werdum, Daniel Cormier, Josh Barnett, Jake Shields, Frank Shamrock, Mousasi, Babalu, King Mo, Clay Guida, Luke Rockhold, Cris Cyborg, Gina Carano, Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Marloes Coenen, Jacare, Robbie Lawler, Cung Le, Jorge Santiago, Kazuo Misaki, Bigfoot Silva, Andrei Arlovski, Josh Thomson, Melvin Manhoef

#3-World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC)*

53 Events

9 ½ years of Operation

MatchMaking (5=Great)

Minor TV Deal across Multiple Countries

WEC was mostly a National Promotion only holding one event outside the US (in Edmonton Canada)

Roster: (5=Great) Jose Aldo, Urijah Faber, Dominick Cruz, Carlos Condit, Chael Sonnen, Brian Stann, Frank Shamrock, Benson Henderson, Anthony Pettis, Nick Diaz, Leben, Joe Riggs, Jame Irving, Paulo Filho, Shonie Carter, Gil Melendez, Miguel Torres, Brian Bowles, Brandon Vera, Cerrone, Johnny Hendricks, Joesph Benavidez, Ian McCall, Korean Zombie, Mark Munoz, Mark Hominick


#2-Pride Fighting Championships (PrideFC)*

68 Events

10 Years of Operation

MatchMaking (4=Strong)

Major TV deal in Japan

Pride was an International Promotion holding events in Japan and the US

Roster: (6=Awesome) Fedor, Big Nog, Lil Nog, Wanderlei Silva, Cro Cop, Mark Coleman, Don Frye, Shogun Rua, Rampage, Ricardo Arona, Hendo, Kazuo Misaki, Sakuraba, Anderson Silva, Josh Barnett, Igor Vovchanchyn, Ken Shamrock, Kevin Randleman, Royce Gracie, Takanori Gomi, Murillo Bustamante, Paulo Filho, Minowaman, Carlos Newton, Mousasi, Aoki, Jens Pulver, Kawajiri, Gil Melendez, Joachim Hansen

#1-Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC)

200 Events + 14 Seasons of TUF


MatchMaking (5=Great)

Major TV deal in Multiple Countries including with FOX, FX, and FuelTV also a Major PPV schedule in the US

UFC is an International Promotion holding Events all over the world

Roster: (6=AWESOME) it is easier to count who hasn't fought in the UFC. There are only a Handful of the Great Fighters that haven't fought in the Octagon: Fedor, Aoki, Vovchanchyn, Eddie Alvarez, Hector Lombard and Gilbert Melendez are the ones that stand out to me!

Random Stats and Thoughts

  • Most Major League Future Champions Among the Minor leagues

WEC- 4 (Aldo, Cruz, Condit, Bendo)

Rings- 4 (Fedor, Big Nog, Couture, Hendo)

WFA- 3 (Rampage, Rich Franklin, Lyoto Machida)

  • Most Major League Past Champions Among the Minor leagues

Strikeforce- 5 (Fedor, Frank Shamrock, Josh Barnett, Hendo, Arlovski)

Affliction- 5 (Fedor, Vitor Belfort, Josh Barnett, Arlovski, Sylvia)

  • Zuffa The UFC's (#1) Parent Company has bought PrideFC (#2), WEC (#3), Strikeforce (#4) and the WFA (#20) since December of 2006
  • KOTC, Shooto, MFC and Deep have been around a long while and have seen lots of top 10 fighters come thru there doors and on to the big leagues and vice versa. These are the true feeder leagues for the US, Canada, and Japan. (if anyone has any info on a Brazilian league of this sort please post in the comments, Thanks)
  • Nomad List (fighters that have fought for multiple orgs.)

Fedor -5 (Pride, Dream, Affliction, Strikeforce, Rings)

Nick Diaz-5 (UFC, Pride, WEC, StrikeForce, EliteXC)

Renato "Babalu" Sobral-5 (UFC, Strikeforce, Affliction, Cage Rage, Rings)

Jens Pulver-5 (UFC, Pride, WEC, IFL, TitanFC)

Tied with 4 Orgs. A. Silva, Hendo, Vitor, Rampage, Barnett, and Aoki

  • IFL was the first MMA Promotion to pay for Healthcare of fighters while training, 4 years before Zuffa did it.
  • With the UFC's Debut in Sweden next month they will have traveled to more countries (11) than any other MMA Organization. Shooto has held events in 10 Countries.
  • The UFC has already held events on more Continents than any other Org. w/ 5 Europe, Asia, Australia and both North and South America. (Shooto has only 4, never been to South America)
  • I Couldnt find the exact number of Pancrase, Shooto, or Deep events. The UFC has had 200 so far and if they are not in the lead yet they will be one day

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.