Are you wondering what the top kickboxing promotions in the world are?
In this article, we’ll list the 4 top kickboxing promotions and look at what makes them the best kickboxing promotions in the world.
Top Kickboxing Promotions
Only 4 kickboxing promotions are listed because they’re by far the best and the drop-off in quality is quite drastic. So, here are the 4 top/best kickboxing promotions, ranked starting with the best.
1. Glory Kickboxing
Founded in 2012 and based in Singapore, Glory Kickboxing is by far the top kickboxing promotion globally and the number one in America. It’s essentially the kickboxing promotion that took the baton from K-1 kickboxing, the former king.
In 2023, Glory has 7 weight class divisions, 6 for men and 1 for women, which are as follows.
|Weight Class||Upper Limit|
|Women’s Bantamweight||55 kg (121.3 lb)|
|Featherweight||65 kg (143.3 lb)|
|Lightweight||70 kg (154.3 lb)|
|Welterweight||77 kg (169.8 lb)|
|Middleweight||85 kg (187.4 lb)|
|Light Heavyweight||95 kg (209.4 lb)|
As of May 2023, Glory Kickboxing has held 100 events, which is 9 to 10 events per year since its founding, or almost one event per month. Of those 100, 35 have been held in the USA, 22 in the Netherlands, 6 in Germany, 5 in Japan, and the rest spread around Europe.
Glory has its own rules and has featured the best kickboxers in the world over the past 11 years. This includes Alistair Overeem, Artem Vakhitov, Gokhan Saki, Badr Hari, Jamel Benseddik, Petchpanomrung Kiatmuu9, Antonio Plazibat, Semmy Schilt, and Rico Verhoeven to name a few.
In terms of rules, having their heavyweights compete without a weight limit is a big draw and one of the main reasons Glory is recognized for having the best heavyweights and fights. The fight rules are very similar to K-1 kickboxing, which only allows a fighter to clinch if immediately striking with a knee.
In January 2022, Glory announced Glory Rivals, a new series featuring cross-promotion events with RISE and Enfusion, two other top kickboxing promotions. This is a great move as kickboxing fans get to see the best kickboxers compete across promotions.
On top of this, they’ve also announced an annual heavyweight Glory Grand Prix tournament to be held in December, with the winner claiming $500,000.
On the other hand, Glory has been criticized as having a thin roster and allowing their best fighters from the lightweight division and below to leave and join other promotions.
Not only the lighter fighters, but Current UFC middleweight stars Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira honed their skills at Glory and moved over to MMA because Glory can’t compete with the money fighters can earn in MMA.
Nevertheless, Glory is the top kickboxing promotion and also the most followed. Glory Kickboxing uploads all fights of an event in full on Youtube for free around 1 month after the event. Glory events are shown by many different broadcasters, which you can find here for your particular location.
2. ONE Championship
ONE Championship is a combat sports promotion featuring MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling. ONE Championship is based in Singapore and hosts events mainly around Asia, and somewhat in Europe and the USA.
They’ve had 244 events as of May 2023, and have been promoting an average of 3 events per month since 2019.
ONE Championship has 7 kickboxing weight class divisions: 1 women’s and 6 men’s, which are as follows.
|Weight Class||Upper Limit||Lower Limit||Gender|
|Atomweight||115 lbs (52.2kg)||105 lbs (47.6kg)||Female Only|
|Strawweight||125 lbs (56.7kg)||115 lbs (52.2kg)||Male Only|
|Flyweight||135 lbs (61.2kg)||125 lbs (56.7kg)||Male Only|
|Bantamweight||145 lbs (65.8kg)||135 lbs (61.2kg)||Male Only|
|Featherweight||155 lbs (70.3kg)||145 lbs (65.8kg)||Male Only|
|Lightweight||170 lbs (77.1kg)||155 lbs (70.3kg)||Male Only|
|Light Heavyweight||225 lbs (102.1kg)||205 lbs (93kg)||Male Only|
ONE Championship’s kickboxing roster is becoming more stacked and is well known for having the best kickboxing talent in the lower weight classes, some of which they poached from Glory by offering better contracts, much like how the UFC did in MMA.
This includes kickboxers such as Chingiz Allazov (Grand Prix winner), Superbon Singha Mawynn, Giorgio Petrosyan, Marat Grigorian, Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong, Superlek Kiatmoo9, and Regian Eersel to name a few.
In the higher weight classes, they have Roman Kryklia, the light heavyweight champion who also won the heavyweight kickboxing Grand Prix tournament.
ONE Championship has held a $1 million Kickboxing Grand Prix for the featherweight and heavyweight divisions, which is the highest tournament prize in kickboxing history and shows how ONE is recruiting the best kickboxers in the world.
In terms of rules, the most notable is how a fighter can win via TKO due to 3 knockdowns in a round or 4 knockdowns in the fight. This means fighters are more aggressive as they gun for the knockdowns and knockouts.
Also different is how ONE’s kickboxing fights can be held in either a ring or cage, depending on which is most needed for the varying combat sports fights they have that night.
Lastly, ONE Championship has an equal or even better Muay Thai roster, and many of the Muay Thai fighters also compete in kickboxing divisions. This makes ONE Championship’s kickboxing excellent because you see varying styles of kickboxing and some of the best fighters from each discipline fighting.
ONE uploads many of its biggest kickboxing fights to its Youtube channel, where it has nearly 6.7m subscribers. ONE Championship events can be watched live on its website and Youtube channel for free, except for the odd PPV event they promote.
Of all the best kickboxing promotions globally, ONE Championship is the most likely to continue building its kickboxing divisions and roster with the most talent, simply because they’re a very fast-growing promotion and they pay more than the competition.
3. Enfusion Kickboxing
Enfusion Kickboxing was founded in 2011 and is based in Alkmaar, Netherlands. Enfusion is considered the top kickboxing promotion in Europe, where 48 of its 106 events (May 2023) have been held in the Netherlands, 11 in Spain, 10 in Germany, 6 in England, and 9 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Infusion’s first event was in 2013, so they host on average 10 events per year. Enfusion has 11 weight class divisions, 7 for men and 4 for women, and are as follows.
|Weight Class||Upper Limit||Gender|
|Strawweight||53kg (116.8 lbs)||Female Only|
|Flyweight||57kg (125.7 lbs)||Female Only|
|Bantamweight||61kg (134.5 lbs)||Male / Female|
|Featherweight||65kg (143.3 lbs)||Male / Female|
|Lightweight||70kg (154.3 lbs)||Male Only|
|Welterweight||77kg (169.8 lbs)||Male Only|
|Middleweight||84kg (185.2 lbs)||Male Only|
|Light Heavyweight||93kg (205 lbs)||Male Only|
Enfusion kickboxing is exciting because of its point system. It uses the 10-point must system with a slight twist. Knockdowns award a fighter a 10-8 round, 2 knockdowns a 10-7, and three knockdowns in a single round is an automatic win. This makes Enfusion kickboxers more aggressive and willing to engage.
Kickboxers are allowed to sweep and can clinch as long as they’re staying busy with punches, kicks, and knees until the referee calls “break”.
Enfusion events are well known for high-level matchmaking and for having a great atmosphere because kickboxing is very popular in Europe. Enfusion is also known for finding and developing the best kickboxing talent in the world via its Enfusion Talents series.
The promotion also has Enfusion Rookies, which pits amateur kickboxers in front of Enfusion scouts with the best fighters earning contracts, as well as Enfusion Reality, a reality TV series featuring a tournament to find the next best kickboxers, similar to the UFC’s: The Ultimate Fighter.
The biggest stars to have fought at Enfusion are Buakaw and Superbon (Thailand), Tayfun Ozcan, Andy Souwer, and Mohammed Jaraya to name a few.
Enfusion uploads full fights from their events on their Youtube channel, which has 300k subscribers (May 2023).
4. RISE (Real Impact Sports Entertainment)
Founded in 2003 and based in Tokyo, RISE is the best kickboxing promotion in Japan. It has more weight class divisions out of the top kickboxing promotions with 13, 10 for men and 3 for women, which are as follows.
|Weight Class||Upper Limit|
|Women’s Atomweight||46kg (101.4 lbs)|
|Women’s Mini Flyweight||49kg (109 lbs)|
|Women’s Flyweight||52kg (114.6 lbs)|
|Flyweight||51.5kg (113.5 lbs)|
|Super Flyweight||53kg (116.8 lbs)|
|Bantamweight||55kg (121.2 lbs)|
|Featherweight||57.5kg (126.8 lbs)|
|Super Featherweight||60kg (132.3 lbs)|
|Lightweight||63kg (138.9 lbs)|
|Super Lightweight||65kg (143.3 lbs)|
|Welterweight||67.5kg (148.8 lbs)|
|Middleweight||70kg (154.3 lbs)|
|Heavyweight||120kg (264.5 lbs)|
As can be seen from the table, RISE has a lot of lower weight classes and they’re known for producing their best fights there.
In terms of rules, RISE adopted K-1 kickboxing rules in 2010 which allows for clinching if followed by an immediate knee strike.
RISE doesn’t recruit too many foreign fighters and a huge proportion of the roster is Japanese. The fights are high-level, but outside of Japan many of the kickboxers aren’t too known.
RISE has held over 200 events with around 2 per month on average. Roughly 1 week after an event, full-length fights are uploaded to the RISE Youtube channel.
For Japanese fans, RISE events can be watched on AbemaTV, and on FITE TV for fans outside of Japan.
The Bottom Line
This has been the top 4 kickboxing promotions globally. If it was a few years prior, Kunlun Fight (KLF) would have made the list. KLF was the biggest kickboxing promotion in China, but has only promoted one event (in 2022) since 2019 and seems to have been killed by the Covid pandemic.
So, the 4 top kickboxing promotions in 2023 are Glory Kickboxing, ONE Championship, Enfusion Kickboxing, and RISE.
Glory Kickboxing and ONE Championship are equally as impressive, but Glory is the number one promotion because they’re kickboxing only whereas ONE promotes 4 combat sports at each event and is mostly seen as an MMA promotion rivaling the UFC.
You may also be interested in the top 10 MMA promotions globally.