With the ever growing list of MMA fighters looking for places to showcase their talent, there is perhaps no better time than now to review what opportunities are available for them.
Scouting the UKMMA scene for reputable promotions is a tricky proposition for these fighters eager to step onto a big show in a bid to highlight their skills and make a name for themselves in a notoriously difficult environment.
So I have tried to whittle down a list of UK promotions which for the large part are on my radar in terms of activity, size of show and potential opportunities;
Shock N’ Awe (SNA)
SNA have been on the scene since 2009 and have hosted 19 shows in that time. Largely a Gym 01 showcase show, SNA have really established their position on the South Coast. Without the attraction of any huge named stars (outside of the GYM 01 guys) the promotion has continued to put on solid shows featuring professional and amateur bouts.
Full Contact Contender MMA (FCC)
FCC have been continuing to put on solid fight cards since their birth in 2011. Already 12 shows in, the show has really benefited from local talent and has played host to a number of top European fighters including Matt Inman, Paddy Pimblett, Martin Stapleton and Kane Mousah. One thing I find particularly attractive about their offering is the number of amateur bouts they hold on the shows which I think is really pivotal in building the stars of tomorrow.
Shinobi MMA Fighting Championships (Shinobi)
Shinobi has so far only put on four shows since its first event in 2013 but has received some great feedback on its shows and can definitely hold its head high amongst the newcomers on the UK scene. Shinobi has some great ties with the Mjolnir fight team in Iceland which has certainly added some great talent to their roster. One thing Shinobi has yet to do is draft in a “big named” UKMMA star so interested to see if this is an avenue they will look to explore in future events.
Fusion Fighting Championship
Fusion much like many of the other promotions on this list have been largely going under the radar but continuing to put on solid shows. They have recently put on their fifteenth show which was headlined by Nick Chapman and the Surrey based promotion will put on their next show in June. A solid product and a very well attended show, Fusion is definitely a show you should try to attend.
British Championship MMA (BCMMA)
Essex based BCMMA are becoming one of the more consistent promotions and have averaged five fight cards per year with their eleventh show due to take place in June. With the show largely a BKK Fighters showcase in the early days, it’s certainly now moulding into a more mixed roster with fighters from across the country looking to fight on the biggest promotion in East Anglia. With professional fighter Jack Mason pulling a lot of the strings back stage the show is certainly catered for the fighters and is a huge value for money with lots of bouts on each show.
BAMMA have long been one of the powerhouses in European MMA and with the void left by Cage Warriors are very much in the driving seat to be the biggest show in Europe. There has been a lot of time and effort put into the production values of their shows which is noticeable when attending the shows live. The first British promotion to score a TV deal with a major network is really a testament to the hard work done behind closed doors.
Warrior Fight Series (WFS)
Only two shows old, WFS is making a lot of noise on the UKMMA scene and has built a huge hype going into its third show. The promotion are taking their show to York Hall in London and have Jake Bostwick headlining which is a very good move by Harry Shoebridge. The promotion seem to have figured out their strategy early which is to have some amateur bouts mixed with some professional bouts and some bigger names to headline the cards. A great strategy but also a costly one which hopefully can be accounted for with higher ticket sales generated by the bigger stars. A great start for the promotion and interested to see how many shows they look to put on in 2015.
Ultimate Challenge Mixed Martial Arts (UCMMA)
Headed up by Dave O’Donnell and hosting their shows in the Troxy, London, UCMMA has seen a huge number of European fighters come through their door. The problem sometimes for UCMMA is keeping these stars. This past weekend saw the 43rd show take place which proves there is an audience for their product. The promotion recently sold their library to UFC Fight Pass and so soon their shows will be available worldwide which is a big move for Dave O’Donnell and also a very profitable one.
Ultimate Impact Events
The promotion is headed up by Trojan Free Fighters head coach, Paul Sutherland, much like SNA is for Gym 01 and BCMMA is for BKK, Ultimate Impact is for the Trojan fight team. The promotion has put on fourteen shows to date with another scheduled for June, there is definitely some noise being made by the Gloucester based promotion.
The newest addition to the UKMMA scene is Macto Championships which is a rebuild of the Too Much Talent promotion. The promotion is set to debut in June and has already announced some fights with Nick Osipczak taking on Wendle Lewis and Alex Montagnani fighting David Round. They certainly have the right minds behind their product and I am very interested to see how things play out with their shows.