Aside from the UFC, which MMA promotion gets your viewership the most and why?
Michael Grocke, MMATorch Fight Handicapper
The UFC will always be the industry leader for reasons including roster depth, history, media coverage and announce teams; just to name a few. That said, I enjoy watching Bellator’s shows. While the promotion’s divisions are top heavy, the talent at the top of the divisions is solid. Division champions like Michael Chandler, Gegard Mousasi, Darrion Caldwell, and Julia Budd would fit right in the UFC, as many of the aforementioned have. Fighters including Aaron Pico, James Gallagher, AJ McKee, Neiman Gracie, Michael Page, Ed Ruth, Keri Melendez, and Heather Hardy have the potential to be stars. Putting all that aside, Bellator’s shows are better paced which for me makes the viewing experience more enjoyable than the UFC’s.
Frank Hyden, Columnist – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Bellator, for sure. They’re the most easily accessible for me, but also they have the most talent of the other promotions. I also think their commentary is generally fairly good. I like several of their fighters as well, and I like the grand prix tournament formats they’ve started up. I would like to see Bellator try a few more things that are different from what the UFC does, especially in terms of TV direction, but they do a pretty good job and it doesn’t feel like a huge drop-off going from the UFC to Bellator.
Christian Moore, MMATorch Contributor
I watch Bellator because I find it the most entertaining, and it’s easy to watch. They also have massive prospects in MVP, Pico, and AJ McKee.
Sean Covington, Columnist – Covington’s Corner
Bellator. They get names, they are old names but they get them. They also have really hungry fighters. There is a low risk-high reward when you watch Bellator.
Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch Managing Editor
Because of duties here at MMATorch, I watch Bellator more than any other non-UFC promotion. But if we’re just talking about watching MMA for fun, there are two promotions I tend to find on my TV.
The first is Invicta FC. When they were starting out as a streaming or pay-per-view only company, women’s fights in UFC were non-existent or in their infancy. It was in this 2012-2013 era of Invicta that they were at their best. With the exception of maybe Strikeforce, the best female fighters in the world were in Invicta. As UFC began expanding their women’s divisions, they began taking straight from the Invicta roster, where today, aside from some atomweights, Invicta can’t claim to have the top female fighters anymore. With that said, I still enjoy a good Invicta show when they air on Fight Pass every couple of months but I do find myself yearning for the days of old.
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The other promotion I enjoy, also on UFC Fight Pass is TKO. TKO is a Montreal based promotion that runs events from the Bell Centre a few times a year. They feature most Quebec and Eastern Ontario based talent but the shows tend to be well paced and fun to watch. Montreal audiences appreciate their MMA and there’s a unique style to the presentation that sets it apart from other indy promotions that air on Fight Pass or elsewhere. TKO uses a points-based model, somewhat similar to PFL’s Regular Season to determine top contenders, which helps give some context to the fights and a reason to come back from show to show instead of watching just for the sake of watching.
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