One of the most brutal sports in the world is also one of the most popular.
Mixed Martial Arts has become a Pay-Per-View phenomenon that rivals boxing and in some ways is even bigger – not the purses, however, but that’s a battle for a different day.
Conor McGregor Is The Most Popular MMA Fighter Today
UFC is the sports’ pinnacle promotion and the one that is most confused with the sport itself.
“Hey, I’m thinking about training in UFC.”
“You mean, MMA?”
“Yeah, UFC, MMA, same thing.”
Actually, it isn’t. Although UFC is the most famous and has produced the biggest stars, there are factions of MMA all over the world.
Ronda Rousey Was The Last Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion
In fact, one of the most popular and celebrated fighters in UFC history, Ronda Rousey, didn’t even join the UFC until 2012 because the company’s president Dana White wasn’t sure how women’s MMA would fare in the male-dominated UFC.
Rousey began her professional mixed martial arts career in Strikeforce, where she reigned supreme there until she left for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
White Has Been UFC President Since 2001
As mainstream as UFC is, many athletes that train in mixed martial arts believed Bellator MMA was a much more intense promotion to join largely due to its tournament format.
The eight-men tourney was reduced in 2015 and the large tournaments aren’t the entire promotioeight menger, but are held at the discretion of Bellator president Scott Coker.