Power Ranking the Top 5 MMA Organizations Outside the UFC
There is no doubt in anybody's mind that the UFC is the best and biggest MMA promotion in sport right now. In fact, it is the greatest mixed martial arts promotion in history.
However, there are other great promotions being run right now. With the growing popularity of the sport, these promotions are able to get TV time on networks such as Spike TV, AXS TV and Showtime.
Here are the top five MMA organizations currently being run outside the UFC.
5. Tie Between Legacy FC and Maximum FC
There are so many great organizations that could have made this list, so that's why we kick off our top-five list with a tie.
Canada's Maximum FC and Texas-based Legacy FC have both proven to be top MMA organizations with their quality cards, solid talent roster and precious TV time they both have with AXS TV. Both have produced some great prospects that have in turn deepened the UFC's talent roster after exposure from the companies.
Maximum FC utilizes a ring for their shows, giving them an old-school Pride feel. In addition to that, they have produced guys like Ryan Jimmo, who now graces the UFC's light heavyweight division.
Further than that, they rarely have a boring show. Every time I have indulged in one of their fight cards, I have not been disappointed with the quality or excitement.
Legacy is creating some great up-and-comers in addition to some solid veteran faces. They have given the UFC talents like Daniel Pineda and Andrew Craig, just to name a couple.
With Robert Drysdale and Will Campuzano as two of their keynote fighters, Legacy will continue its ascent up the MMA ladder.
Poland possesses the fourth-ranked MMA organization in KSW, a show that utilizes a ring, top Polish talent and UFC veterans to put on some of the best shows of the year.
Their featured fighters are top middleweight Mamed Khalidov, former strongman Mariusz Pudzianowski and light heavyweight stud Jan Blachowicz, along with UFC vets such as Rodney Wallace, Kendall Grove and James Irvin.
If you have the opportunity, you need to check out a KSW card. The next one will be headlined by the aforementioned Khalidov, who takes on Dutch striker Melvin Manhoef in a potential barn burner.
3. One FC
Asia's top MMA organization is now One FC, replacing older organizations such as Deep, Shooto and Pancrase. In fact, One FC is the fastest rising promotion in the sport.
Eight cards into their MMA venture, they have yet to have a bad card. In addition to that, they have shed light on some top MMA prospects in Asia such as Kevin Belingon and Rey Docyogen.
Plus, they have used popular fighters like Shinya Aoki and Jens Pulver to further drive interest. All in all, One FC's future is very bright if they continue doing what they are doing now.
Nobody has benefited more from the growing interest in women's MMA than the all-female Invicta FC. Five cards into their risky business move, the company has quickly become home to great fights and quality, cheap pay-per-views.
The company has failed to deliver a boring card at this point. Many felt that an all-women's promotion would not work out well, but it has been quite the opposite.
The company is also creating stars. Before Invicta, girls like Carla Esparza, Rose Namajunas and Leslie Smith were unknowns to some of the most hardcore fans of the sport.
Invicta has become a launching pad for the great female stars we have today.
Despite the sometimes awkward lighting and the occasional odd Jimmy Smith quote, Bellator stands out as the best non-UFC promotion in MMA.
They have created their own stars and used the tournament format to give fans a different feel to the average MMA promotion. It also helps immensely that they have secured a TV deal with Spike TV and a partnership with Impact Wrestling, which in turn has given them a bigger audience.
Between Pat Curran, Muhammed Lawal and Michael Chandler, Bellator has created a deep talent roster that has more and more fans tuning in. Add to that the fact that their undercards are always full of crazy happenings and nasty finishes, and Bellator has found its niche with fans everywhere.