I'm a little late, but I'm back. If you missed my first piece, I'm Tim Burke and I'm here to talk about fantasy MMA. I know the idea of Fantasy MMA sounds a little out there to people used to baseball and football, but hear me out. There is actually a wide range of different games available on the net to participate in, and like other forms of fantasy sports, they definitely add some flavor to watching an event. Today, I'll start out with the biggest place you can play.
As I noted in my last piece, he most common form of fantasy gaming for Mixed Martial Arts simply involves picking who is going to win each fight, the method of finish, and the round it will be finished in. I've ran a fantasy league that uses these rules for about three years now, which has anywhere from 20-50 contestants on average. We keep track of points using a simple method, and compete over a "season" of 10 events. This is based on how the biggest fantasy MMA site, MMA Playground, runs their contests. They usually draw anywhere from 3000-6000 people making picks per season, and competing for prizes.
I should point out while there is a section for secondary promotions on Playground, 90-95% of people only make picks for events put on by the Ultimate Fighting Championship. It is, by far, the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in the world and currently has a stranglehold on almost all relevant North American MMA. They've grown so much over the past few years that they will be making their network television debut this Saturday on Fox, where the UFC heavyweight title will be on the line when champion Cain Velasquez defends against Junior dos Santos. Hence the banner at the top.
Anyway, MMA Playground is the best place to start if you're a newbie to picking fights. The layout is extremely simple, and you can make your picks in just a couple of minutes. Almost every serious fantasy MMA player still plays at Playground, just to gauge their picks against the general public. It's a great place to start out, and a great place to end this piece. Next time, I'll get into some secondary choices in the fight-picking mold, and describe some of the alternative salary-cap style forms of Fantasy MMA. Until then, adios. And if you have nothing to do Saturday night, throw it on Fox at 9pm ET/6pm PT to get a taste of what the UFC's all about.