The 4 Most Popular Martial Arts in the USA

The United States has always had a fascination with martial arts. Due to the population in the country, and the number of fans that have an interest in sport, it would come as little surprise that millions have become more interested in various forms of martial arts. Some of these are now among the most practiced or watched events in the country, but which of them rank among the most popular in the United States?

Pro Wrestling

The WWE has long been one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the United States. It’s hard to imagine, but the current WWE has been around for nearly 70 years. Wrestling became a mainstream attraction during the 90s and exploded in popularity. Superstars The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Undertaker became household names.  WWE’s success continues to this day. Shows such as WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and the Royal Rumble sell out on a regular basis. Such is the success of the product that fans are now given the opportunity to bet on all things WWE. You can find a guide to WWE betting here in preparation for the next big PPV.


Few sports go more hand-in-hand with the United States than boxing. For many, the USA is the home for the biggest fights in the world. Fans from around the globe stay up until the early hours of the morning to see the brightest stars. Las Vegas is commonly seen as the home to these blockbuster events. Superstars Floyd Mayweather, Tyson Fury, and Mike Tyson have all fought in Sin City during their careers.  Boxing is one of the most wagered on sports in the world. Weekends with these matches see online martial arts betting in the USA taking millions of dollars worth of wagers.  A visit to Las Vegas to see one of the biggest fights is on the bucket list of any boxing fan. Events at the largest venues in Las Vegas like the T-Mobile Arena tend to sell out very quickly when a match is in town.


Ultimate Fighting Championship is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States. Over the past 30 years the growth in popularity is astounding. UFC, for short, has been the home to the biggest names in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). The UFC has also hosted some of the highest-grossing events in the history of the sport. The UFC’s octagon is MMA to many fans around the world. The success of the company has reached new heights over the last ten years. Major stars are becoming household names and capturing the imagination of fans. Brock Lesnar was the first huge star to make his mark in the UFC. He captured the UFC Heavyweight Championship shortly after leaving the WWE. Ronda Rousey has been a shining example of the ever-growing number of excellent female superstars in MMA.

No star has shone brighter than Conor McGregor. In fact, all five of the highest-grossing matches in UFC history involve the Irishman. The most popular event in the history of the company came in 2018. As 2.4 million fans worldwide watched, Khabib Nurmagomdeov took on McGregor.


Karate is regarded by many as one of the most popular forms of martial arts in the world. That means it should come as no surprise that American fans have quickly taken it to their hearts. The martial art originated in Japan, and is renowned for the striking power used by kicks, punches, and elbow strikes. It originated in Japan in 1879, but caught the attention of fans from around the world in the 1960s and 70s.  It was the release of The Karate Kid in 1984 that inspired a generation to take up the martial art form. The film was one of the highest-grossing titles released in 1984, and went on to become a cult classic among fans. Karate was finally included at the Olympic Games for the very first time in 2021. The United States team came away with one bronze medal, as Ariel Torres came third in the Kata.

The Final Score

Martial arts will continue to be incredibly popular in the United States for years to come. Sports such as Muay Thai have also grown in prominence and the success of the UFC only grows. Every year brings more fans to watch these sports. New fans learn to love the sweet sciences and continue to enjoy seeing new feats of strength and endurance.