MMA VS UFC: What’s the Difference?

Jump To:

To the uninitiated, the difference between MMA and UFC can be a bit confusing. Are they not the same thing?

No, they’re not the same thing, and in this article, we’ll explain the difference between MMA and UFC. 

Let’s get to it. 


Let’s start by quickly breaking down these mystifying acronyms. MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts, whereas UFC stands for Ultimate Fighting Championship.

In short, MMA is a sport, and the UFC is an organization. I’ll give you a few similar examples:

  • Basketball and the NBA
  • American Football and the NFL
  • Football and the Premier League
  • MMA and the UFC. 

While this may now seem obvious, there’s a very good reason for this confusion, which we’ll discuss. 

Why the Confusion?

I can’t count the number of people who have said to me “oh, you do UFC”? It’s a pretty common misconception, especially if you’re not into the sport. 

The confusion arises because the UFC and MMA are so synonymous with each other. Without the UFC, MMA would likely not be where it is today, and without MMA, the UFC simply wouldn’t exist. 

Let me explain.

The UFC first came into existence all the way back in 1993. You can watch some of the events on YouTube, and it’s basically unrecognizable to what we watch on TV today (although there are a handful of familiar faces).

The UFC originally had fighters from different disciplines compete against each other. This eventually morphed into MMA, where fighters would incorporate elements from different combat sports into one, hence the “mixed”, in mixed martial arts.

While there have been similar sports to MMA in the past, such as Vale Tudo and Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kun Do, the explosive popularity of the UFC propelled MMA into the mainstream.

Now a day, we see fewer and fewer specialization fighters, who come in with a background in a single martial art. MMA has become a discipline in and of itself, with gyms teaching classes such as “BJJ for MMA” or “MMA Grappling”. 

Essentially the UFC is so synonymous with MMA, that if you don’t pay much attention to the sport, it’s easy to get the two confused. 

What Other Organizations Are There?

While the UFC is undeniably the biggest powerhouse when it comes to MMA, there are a number of other organizations that have a large following and put on amazing events. Some of these include:

  • Bellator
  • ONE FC
  • PFL

Of course, there’s a lot more than this, but these and the UFC are by far the most popular. If you’re wondering how you can watch more from these organizations, head over to our article on how to watch MMA for all you need to know.

What’s Next for MMA and the UFC?

Both MMA and the UFC aren’t going anywhere any time soon. Personally, I think MMA, and with it, the UFC will continue to grow and become one of the most watched sports in the world. 

We’ve already seen record-breaking events and crossovers such as McGregor Vs Mayweather that were extremely popular. With that type of money being made, MMA will continue to get more and more attention. 

Will MMA ever rival boxing? 

Maybe. If more Conor McGregor-like superstars come along and the sport continues on this trajectory, then I think it very well could. 

In terms of the UFC, that’s very much here to stay. While there are other organizations that are breathing down the UFC’s neck, they’re simply too big and powerful to go anywhere. They’ve essentially established a monopoly on the MMA market (something they’ve been criticized for in the past). 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, I’ve done well at explaining the difference between MMA VS UFC. 

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out, either in the comment section below or via our contact page. 

Thanks for stopping by, 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *