It’s a new year, so Combat Press is taking a look back at the best of MMA in 2017. Throughout the next few weeks, Combat Press will announce its award winners in multiple categories, covering everything from the action in the cage to the biggest stories surrounding the sport.
The competition for the best regional and international promotion started to heat up in 2017.
Legacy Fighting Alliance debuted as the premier North American feeder organization following the merger between the Legacy Fighting Championship and the Resurrection Fighting Alliance in 2016. Invicta FC went through many changes in 2017, but the company continued to put on stellar event after stellar event despite the UFC continuously mining the organization for women’s MMA talent. Russia continued to explode in the international scene with the talent acquisition of UFC and Bellator veterans, blue-chip prospects from around the world, and top fighters from the region by top Russian promotions Absolute Championship Berkut and Fight Nights Global. Japan became re-born as a player in Asia with the emergence of the Rizin Fighting Federation, and South Korean promotion ROAD FC brought in top international talent for a $1 million dollar lightweight tournament, which concludes early in 2018.
However, the promotion that earned the most votes was Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki, better known as KSW. The Polish promotion has been in existence since 2004, when it promoted events out of a hotel in the city center. Now, it’s the most popular promotion in the country of Poland, more so than the UFC even. KSW held an event in 2017 that reportedly drew 57,766 people in attendance at the Polish national stadium, the PGE Narodowy, in Warsaw. KSW 39: Colosseum was a monumental event that topped even the greatest UFC attendance record of 56,214 at UFC 193, which transpired at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
KSW only held four events in 2017. However, the promotion’s talent level, production values, and sustained success in the European marketplace make it one of the biggest players in the world of MMA. The company expanded outside of Poland for only the second time in the promotion’s 13-year history with an event at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland. KSW finished off the year with an event in its 13th Polish city to cap off a tremendous year that puts KSW atop the list of top MMA promotions in the world and earns it the distinction as the 2017 Combat Press “Regional/International Promotion of the Year.”
Other finalist: Legacy Fighting Alliance
Make sure you check out the rest of the Combat Press 2017 MMA Award winners.