Legend Fighting Championship has only held one show in the last 15 months and rumors about its imminent demise have been gathering pace, culminating in a recent article on Bloody Elbow confirming the Hong Kong headquartered promotion was about to cease operations.
The promotion’s inaugural event took place in Hong Kong in January 2010. The following year Legend FC signed a deal with the City of Dreams, which saw four cards being held at the casino in the Chinese gambling enclave in Macau.
There were further events in Hong Kong as well as a solitary show in Kuala Lumpur last April, which would ultimately prove to be the promotion’s swan song. Despite securing some impressive sounding broadcast deals, Legend FC struggled to build a local fan base, and the financial backers eventually decided to pull the plug.
There is no doubt that Asian MMA is booming, but the demise of one of the more established organizations in the region should serve as a stark warning that getting involved in the sport carries no guarantees for business success.
The biggest question now is what will happen to the fighters on the roster, many of whom have been prevented from signing with major organizations like ONE FC and the UFC up until this point due to their Legend FC contracts.
It has been suggested that Legend FC will try to sell the contracts of fighters like Chinese bantamweight champion Xian Ji (11-2) and Japanese lightweight champion Koji Ando (8-3) to another promotion, but Australian featherweight Robert Lisita (12-5) tweeted that he is now free to sign wherever he wants.
Frrrrreeeeeeeedddddddooooommmmmmm. im a free agent. yeeeeewwwwww.
— robert lisita (@robertlisita) November 15, 2013
While fight fans in Macau and Hong Kong will be disappointed to lose what was their only local promotion, the demise of Legend FC does leave a number of top Asian and Australasian fighters free to find new homes and it will be interesting to see where they all end up.
(Follow @JamesGoyder on Twitter)