Two of the top mixed martial arts promotions sending talent to the Ultimate Fighting Championship — Legacy FC and RFA — announced a merger that will begin in 2017.
The merger was announced Monday afternoon, with the merged promotion taking on the name “Legacy Fighting Alliance.”
Legacy Fighting Alliance will officially launch in January 2017, with RFA president Ed Soares assuming the role of the new promotion’s CEO, while Ring of Fire founder Sven Bean will serve as Legacy Fighting Alliance COO.
“This is an exciting day for everyone involved,” RFA President Ed Soares said in a statement. “What our two companies have accomplished individually is remarkable, but the sky is truly the limit when you consider what will come next.
“Our athletes will have an unrivaled platform to compete in front of a nationally televised audience – not to mention in more than 40 countries around the world – and prove they are worthy of a spot at the sport’s highest level. Our existing companies have placed more than 100 fighters in just the UFC and Bellator, alone. Quite simply, for the fighters on our roster, the future is now.”
Legacy Fighting Alliance anticipates running 30 shows in 2017, on its official broadcast partner, AXS TV.
“I have no doubt Legacy Fighting Alliance will be the premier destination for fighters hoping to reach a global stage,” Soares said. “In the same way that college football provides athletes a chance to prove they belong in the NFL or AAA baseball allows players to reach the Major Leagues, our organization will give fighters a chance to gain the experience of competing in a top-tier organization, develop a fanbase on national and international TV, and potentially reach the next level of their career.”
There is no word on how champions will be determined when the two promotions merge, but it is believed the champions from each promotion will face off against each other to crown the inaugural Legacy Fighting Alliance champions.