This post is part of a series of snapshots taken from the analyses of what is likely the only ever census of MMA fights (enuMMA17). Please see the table of contents for an up to date list of available instalments.

All Time Leader Board

In this instalment we start taking a deeper look into the promotions behind the fights. We were immediately struck by the fact that 88% of promotions analysed have had fewer than 50 fights. Those promotions make up the bulk of fights in history. Here we will focus on the 25 largest promotions of all times (as measured by number of fights).

fig 01: All Time Top 25 Promotions (1993 - 2017)

Note that adding the 3 Shooto promotions together yields a massive 5,492 fights!

No one doubted it. The UFC is the biggest professional MMA promotion in the world. What is interesting though is that Shooto's combined organisations top the UFC with 5,492 professional fights. Of interest to our South African readers EFC is at number 23 on the all time list.

In order to view the historic growth rates we have narrowed our selection to the top 5.

fig 02: All Time Top 5 Historical Growth (1993 - 2017)

Note the inflection point 2004 / 2005 for the UFC. TUF saved the UFC.

This chart clearly shows how the UFC has bucked the trend. Certainly 'the blue chip' investment in this space. The other significant thing to note is the inflection point in the UFC's growth at 2004 / 2005. This confirms what many already knew, the 1st season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), in particular the Forrest Griffen vs Stephan Bonnar season finale made / saved the UFC.

Yes we are aware that there are actually 6 lines on the chart. We added #23, EFC simply to give our South African readers perspective.

Next time we'll be taking a snapshot of some of the corporate activity (mergers & acquisitions) in the industry.

- mec