Promoting Mixed Martial Arts through Fighting Competitions - dummies

Promoting Mixed Martial Arts through Fighting Competitions

By Frank Shamrock, Mary Van Note

Fighting promotions are events put on by Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) organizations, and each one has its own rules and regulations. Although most fighting promotions use the rules outlined in the Unified Rules of MMA, the length of rounds, number of rounds, and rest period in between all differ by organization. Additionally, attire, fouls, conduct, and judging criteria can all be defined under each organization’s regulations.

There are, however, some common elements to MMA fighting promotions. Generally fight rounds last five minutes; three rounds make up a match, unless you’re participating in a championship match, which can last for five rounds.

The various MMA promotions usually restrict fighting attire to approved fight shorts for men and women, a sports bra or top for women, and light gloves for men and women that allow for finger movement.

Following are some of the MMA fighting promotions currently active in the United States:

  • Ultimate Fighting Championship. In the same way people call cotton swabs by the brand name “Q-Tips,” MMA is often called by the brand name “UFC” or “ultimate fighting.” Currently the most successful fighting promotion in the world, the UFC gained popularity through its presence on SPIKE TV and Pay-Per-View (PPV).

  • Strikeforce. Based in San Jose, California, Strikeforce has aired its fights on NBC, SHOWTIME, and ESPN.

  • Affliction. A new promotion founded in 2008, Affliction has had two events aired on PPV and HDNet Fights.

  • King of the Cage. Founded in 1998, King of the Cage (KOTC) has remained a steady promotion with a reputation of finding and building MMA talent. Many KOTC fighters go on to become UFC Champions.

Each fighting promotion has its own patented or trademarked rings or cages. Promotions try to come up with something gimmicky or new to get people to watch their events. That’s why you may have noticed that UFC fights take place in the Octagon, Strikeforce fights occur in a six-sided cage, and Affliction fights use a traditional boxing ring. The Unified Rules of MMA lists requirements for the fighting area that promotions must abide by.

If you’re interested in fighting professionally, start by finding a training center that you prefer. After you’ve sparred with other students from your school, you can test your skills by competing in smoker events. A smoker event is when members of one MMA school compete against members of another MMA school in exhibition bouts where there are no losers and no winners. If you’re interested in smoker events, it’s best to ask potential schools whether they participate in them.