ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Know Your Combat Fighting Promotions: A Look at UFC, Bellator, World Series of Fighting, and Glory World Series

Updated on July 2, 2013

A bit of history of Combat Sports in the United States

Combat sports have been around for as long as there have been sports. Forms of boxing and wrestling were seen during some of the first Olympic games in ancient Athens and have survived to this day to be extremely popular. Even up to this very day, boxing and professional wrestling are still the most profitable of the combat sports in the US.

In recent years, however, other combat sports such as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Kickboxing have started to make inroads into mainstream American sports broadcasting, with a few notable promotion companies leading the way.


Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)

First off is the Ultimate Fighting Championship. UFC is the front-runner in the combat sports competition by a good margin in the US. The company was founded in 1993 but was considered a violent fringe sport until the Zuffa era that began in 2001. During the mid-1990s, there was so much controversy surrounding the sport that politicians like Senator John McCain led campaigns to ban the sport outright. Despite this tumultuous beginning, UFC events have now become mainstream sporting events that sell out venues and attract audiences in the hundreds of thousands. This has been aided tremendously by the reality show "The Ultimate Fighter" (TUF) which launched UFC from the world of Pay-per-View sports into homes nationwide on Spike TV. Now, UFC fighters such as Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, and George St. Pierre are household names internationally and in their respective countries of origin the US, Brazil, and Canada respectively. George St. Pierre was awarded Canadian Athlete of the Year three years in a row. Currently, UFC has expanded all over the world and does not look like it will be stopping anytime soon.

Promotion for UFC 162

Bellator Logo


Fightmaster: Bellator's Reality Show

Bellator MMA

Next up is Bellator MMA. Bellator is the second most popular mixed martial arts organization in the United States, but it also holds the distinction as being the most popular internationally. One of the key differences between Bellator and UFC is that Bellator utilizes the tournament system instead of the single fight system. Some fans feel that under this system they can more judge who is the better fighter more realistically, as each fighter has to earn his way to a championship spot as opposed to being assigned a fight that the fighter may or may not deserve. Once a fighter has made it through a tournament and is the last contestant standing, he is crowned the champion of that weight class for that season. As of now, Bellator has been through 8 seasons.

Recently Bellator has also found its way into the realm of reality TV with its new show "FightMaster". The show begins with 32 contestants who get narrowed down to 4 teams of 4 fighters each through a series of preliminary elimination fights. Each of the four teams is coached someone who is a veteran in the world of mixed martial arts. In the first season, the coaches are Frank Shamrock, Randy Couture, Greg Jackson, and Joe Warren. After each contestant wins his respective pre-lim fight, he can choose which camp he wants to train under and who he wants to be his coach.

World Series of Fighting


World Series of Fighting (WSOF)

An honorable mention in the world of MMA goes to World Series of Fighting. Even though this promotion only began in 2012, it has the backing of NBC Sports, and therefore was met with a lot of fan fare. The very first broadcast had heavy hitters in the industry such as Bas Rutten, and Michael Schiavello as commentators.

Even though this promotion is still in the early stages of its development, the amount of money of money and advertising behind it warrants a mention.

MMA World Series of Fighting Promotional Video

Glory World Series


Promotion for Glory 9

Glory World Series

Finally, we have a combat sport that is as popular as, or arguably more popular than, mixed martial arts in the international combat sport scene. Kickboxing is a purely striking form of combat sport like boxing. This means that unlike MMA, wrestling, and Jiu-Jitsu, Kickboxing does not involve many throws or grapples. For the most part, kickboxing has not been a popular sport to watch on TV stateside even though there are many practitioners of kickboxing martial arts such as Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and Muay Thai.

Glory World Series is looking to change all that. The GLORY World Series is the top stand up fighting promotion internationally, and as of 2013, it is making headways into the US market. This is a tournament style fight series, much like Bellator, which includes 16 and 8-man tournaments and events with traditional, single bouts. Yet, a crucial difference is that Glory tournaments are done in one sitting, meaning a fighter may have up to 3 fights in one night in order to be crowned champion.

Glory World series has broadcast deals in several countries, and it also makes a good amount of money off of webcasts from countries that it doesn't have deals. According to some estimates, GLORY is one of the world's most widely-broadcast sporting organizations.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)