The UFC may sit atop the MMA heap of promotions, but there are lots of smaller promotions that operate throughout the world.
Many have come and gone, but the growth of the sport has produced a few promotions that seem like they will stand the test of time.
Here are a few of the smaller promotions that have made a mark in the industry.
King of the Cage (KOTC) promotions was founded in 1998 by Terry Trebilcock and operates events throughout North America, Australia, and Japan. Mainly a promotion that develops young talent, KOTC has had some elite fighters fight for the promotion. One difference that sets KOTC apart from most MMA promotions is the number of divisions. KOTC has 11 divisions, while most MMA promotions have six or seven. Super Heavyweight, Cruiserweight, Jr. Welterweight, and Jr. Flyweight are divisions that KOTC fighters can compete in, making weight cuts easier.
Pro Elite was originally promoted under the Elite XC brand from 2007 to 2009. The promotion began buying up other smaller promotions, acquiring talent contracts along the way. In 2011 Stratus Media Group acquired the promotion and began to promote events that were streamed live on Sherdog.com. Later in 2011 Pro Elite announced a partnership with Dream promotions that will share talent and co-promote events in the U.S. and Japan.
Shark Fights is a U.S.-based fight promotion out of Amarillo, Texas. Started in 2008, the promotion has steadily grown over the years, and to date has promoted 21 events. They have been successful in attracting numerous former UFC fighters and recently promoted a card that included Keith Jardine, Rameau Sokoudjou, Paul Daley, and Houston Alexander.
Titan FC is another U.S.-based fight promotion that has seen success since 2006. They have also promoted 21 events and are slowly attracting big-name fighters like Bob Lashley and former UFC Heavyweight champ Tim Sylvia. With a new contract with HDNet, Titan FC is hoping to offer more events in 2012 than the five that were promoted in 2011.
BAMMA is the top U.K.-based MMA fight promotion and has been around since 2009. To date they have promoted nine events, all in England. Events are broadcast on Syfy in the U.K., HDNet in the U.S., and The Fight Network in Canada. Despite being a U.K.-based promotion, BAMMA operates under the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Check out MMA odds on all of these promotions here at Best UFC Odds.