Understanding the Significance of the Main Card in Boxing Events

How important is the main card really?

Two MMA fighters fighting in an octagon
Luke Dalton

Written by: Luke Dalton

(Content Writer)

Fact checked by: Naim Rosinski

(Content Manager)

Last updated: 2024-04-04

4 minutes read

In the world of boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA), the term “fight card” is ubiquitous, but not everyone understands its full significance. So we’re here to lay it out for you as clearly and decisively as a 5-second TKO.

Understanding the structure and importance of the main card in boxing and MMA events can enhance your viewing experience and provide insights into the sport's strategic and promotional aspects. 

What is a Fight Card?

A fight card is essentially the schedule of all the matches set to take place during a boxing or MMA event.

This includes:
●    The undercard – which features preliminary bouts.
●    And the main card – which culminates in the highly anticipated main event.

All the matches occurring are arranged in ascending order of importance. The final bout, known as the main event, is the highlight of the evening, featuring well-known and accomplished fighters.

The journey to the main event is structured through preliminary bouts on the undercard, progressing to more significant matches on the midcard, and finally reaching the climactic main card battles.

The term “fight card” comes from a time before widespread advertisements, when fights were local events you turned up to, not knowing who’d be there. You’d receive a small card with the event’s bouts written on it when you paid your admittance fee.

The Undercard and Its Purpose

The undercard consists of preliminary matches that serve several purposes.

It offers a chance for fans to see a range of bouts, including up-and-coming fighters and those not as well known, and often contains some truly spectacular performances from fighters looking to prove their mettle.

For fighters, the undercard is an opportunity to gain experience, showcase their skills, and build a reputation. These matches are crucial for the development of athletes and the sport as a whole, ensuring a continuous flow of talent towards the main card.

Image Credits: Marca.com

Image Credits: Marca.com

What is the main card in boxing?

The main card is where the most significant fights are staged, including title fights and bouts between top-ranked fighters.

It's the part of the event that draws the most attention, both from live audiences and viewers at home. The main card, whether for boxing or MMA, is carefully curated to build excitement, leading up to the main event – the final fight of the night, often involving a championship title.

How Many Fights Are on a Main Card?

The total number of fights on a main card can vary depending on the event's scale.

Typically, a main card will feature between three to five fights, with a mix of weight classes and fighter backgrounds. This variety ensures that the event appeals to the broadest possible audience and keeps fans engaged throughout.

The Significance of the Main Event

The main event is the pinnacle of the fight card, featuring the most anticipated matchup of the evening.

It's not just a contest between two fighters – it's a climax of stories, rivalries, and the journey of athletes climbing the ranks to reach this spotlight moment. The main event carries the highest stakes, often involving championship titles or contender eliminations, and receives the most media attention and promotional effort.

Don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s the only part of the fight card worth tuning in for though. Many a time, we’ve seen some of the most energetic and explosive bouts on a fight card earlier on in the main card, or even in the undercard.

Betting on Main Card vs. Undercard Fights

From a betting perspective, main events offer a more predictable environment thanks to the wealth of available information on the fighters. Meanwhile, undercard fights – inherently riskier due to less available data – can offer valuable opportunities for those willing to research and take calculated risks.


The main card in boxing and MMA events is more than just a list of fights. It's a carefully structured showcase of the sport's best talent, designed to engage and excite fans.

Understanding the components and significance of the main card can enhance your viewing experience, offering deeper insights into the strategic and promotional aspects of the sport.

By appreciating the role of the undercard in developing future talent and the main card's role in highlighting the sport's pinnacle, fans can gain a deeper appreciation for the complexity and beauty of combat sports.

For the latest news and features on MMA, make sure to stay connected with Sportsboom.com.

Luke Dalton

Luke Dalton

Luke has been a professional writer since 2016, beginning as a technical author for a POS company. He journeyed from there deeper into the world of content creation for software companies, while writing his debut fiction novel, which he self-published in early 2019.

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