WORLD SPORTS REVIEW

MMA


COUNTRIES MOST INTERESTED IN MMA


The growing mainstream appeal of mixed martial arts (MMA) was underlined in 2016 when WME-IMG acquired the sport’s premier category, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in June and ONE Championship, Asia’s leading promotion, received an eight-figure investment from Heliconia Capital Management shortly afterwards. Brash, outspoken and unashamedly controversial, Irishman Conor McGregor has established himself as the standout star of UFC. In November, he became the first man to hold two belts simultaneously by beating lightweight Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden – the show was UFC’s first in New York.

Following Ronda Rousey’s shock defeat in November 2015 by Holly Holm, the Women’s Bantamweight Championship passed into new hands again when Holm lost to fellow American Miesha Tate. 126 days later Tate herself lost to Brazilian Amanda Nunes, with Rousey scheduled to fight her in an attempt to win the title back at UFC 207 in December.

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