From the PFL's distinctive season and playoff structure to the UFC's more traditional ranking systems, a number of organisations have their own forms and traditions. However, one setup—the tournament formula—has appeared in a variety of advertisements.
The Scott Coker-led Strikeforce also staged World Grands Prix, which the South Korean-born American promoter has continued to hold under the Bellator MMA brand. PRIDE Fighting Championship also gained attention for that kind of competition throughout its tenure.
Beyond, tournaments have become more common, with organisations like ONE Championship and K-1 adding GPs to their schedules.
One-night competitions served as the UFC's starting point. For instance, eight fighters competed in UFC 1 in a bracket where winning required three victories. In 1993, Royce Gracie prevailed over seven opponents to raise his hand in the decisive round.
The tournament-style structure was last used as a regular occurrence at UFC 17, but the company continued to use that format for the first few years of its existence.
Former middleweight and light heavyweight contender Chael Sonnen reflected on the times when competitions took place inside the Octagon in a video that was posted to his YouTube page.
“The tournaments were truly the great days. The tournaments used to be done, eight-man tournaments, three fights in one night; three victories in one night to win,” Sonnen said.
“Now, the guys got too good, the fights got too damaging. So we do away with the tournaments, but let’s keep that in mind because it took all the politics out of it.”
“I would love to see a tournament. I would just love it.”