Grading the 5 major MMA promotions

There are five major promotions in the world, but who is the best of them?
UFC 217: Bisping v St-Pierre
UFC 217: Bisping v St-Pierre / Mike Stobe/GettyImages
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Grade: B-

Japanese MMA had been experiencing a downturn ever since Pride, once considered the most best mixed martial arts promotion in the world that boasted legends like Shogun Rua, Mirko Cro Cop, and Alistair Overeem, and the Nogueira brothers, ceased operations in 2007.

Dream then attempted to pick up the slack, most notably giving the world future UFC mainstay and Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi and ONE Championship legends Bibiano Fernandes and Shinya Aoki - all of whom became champions under its banner, but it too failed and folded.

Fast forward to three years later, and Nobuyuki Sakakibara decided to have another go at MMA - Rizin. This one has succeeded where the other failed - at being stable and long-lasting.

Those who are willing to endure midnight starting times will see a much more polished atmosphere than its predecessors - less focus on showmanship and more on putting up good fights. And to Rizin's credit, it has developed some of the best fighters in the world.

Lightweight champion Tofiq Musayev has proven his his mettle in Bellator's lightweight division, destroying Sidney Outlaw in under 30 seconds. Though he came up short against Alexander Shabliy in the Lightweight Grand Prix, he figures to be in the long haul for both promotions.

Outside Musayev, women's atomweight champion Seika Izawa is currently on one of the best career stretches by a female fighter, while arguably the promotion's greatest export, Jiri Prochazka, has won the UFC light heavyweight title and looks to be on course to taking it back after a horrific shoulder injury.