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ONE Championship and MMA Ranks Highly on Nielsen Report

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The world of mixed martial arts continues to grow. Nielsen has released a recent report titled “How the World’s Biggest Sports Properties Engaged Fans in 2020,” showing the sport’s rapid growth.

MMA Ranks Highly on Nielsen Report

The sport’s history is well told, from the humble beginnings in the mid-’90s to being taken off of cable before surging into the mainstream in the mid-’00s. However, the sport continues to move upward as it becomes one of the world’s most popular sports.

The Neilsen report brings data to the table that puts mixed martial arts near the top of the heap.

Two organizations landed inside the top 10 for Neilsen’s digital footprint rankings. The UFC checked in at #5, and ONE Championship ranked #7. Bellator also came inside the top 20 by ranking #16 on the list.

The ranking among the world’s most prominent sports properties also shows the sport’s growth during the January 2019 – March 2021 timeframe. ONE posted the #1 overall growth during the period with a 113% increase. Bellator and the UFC were not far behind, being ranked #3 and #5, respectively.

To be the #1 overall ranked in any of the Neilsen rankings is a massive achievement for ONE and the sport as a whole.

In total video views, the UFC and ONE rank inside the top five at #3 and #4. In Neilsen’s cumulative reach category, through 18 metered markets, ONE is #3 overall, with the UFC checking in at #6.

The engagement and growth are even more impressive when no mixed martial arts organization ranks inside the top five in total broadcast hours. That fact highlights the growth and engagement from the diverse and global fan base via online platforms and social media.

The fans continue to clamor for more. The enthusiastic fans of the sport have helped it rise to new heights.

How MMA ranks highly on Nielsen Report

Again ranking highly at #5 and #6, ONE and the UFC have an incredible engagement per post standing when measured against the other professional sports organizations. Fans around the world are committed to the sport and its athletes. They continue to seek out content and look forward to the next event on the docket.

As a whole, mixed martial arts is now 8th in overall global sports fans, ranking ahead of baseball, hockey, and golf. Its global footprint has begun to take hold, and it is seen inside competition with World Champions from all around the globe.

All three organizations have been putting on successful events during the global COVID-19 pandemic, and that has helped bring in new fans who have enjoyed the events during their quarantine.

The Neilsen report is a feather in the cap for the leading promotions who have helped build the sport and the fans who continue to show their passion.


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Jeremy Brand is an experienced MMA writer and columnist. He is the founder of, and has represented the company with media credentials at many mixed martial arts fights. Jeremy is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, training in BC, Canada.

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