LAS VEGAS – The president of RFA Fighting, Ed Soares, on Thursday broke news on several fronts when he announced organizational, promotional and event plans for this year, including recently inking a landmark television distribution deal with AXS TV for 2013. Soares also revealed plans for up to 10 fights this year for the young MMA promotion, which is quickly earning a reputation as the ultimate proving ground for athletes who dream of fighting in an eight-sided cage.
“I am honored and excited to be in business with AXS TV and to have this national television deal in place for 2013,” said Soares. “I’m already so far ahead of where I wanted to be at this time – we have plans to do up to 10 fights this year – and with this major TV deal in place, I think we have established that RFA offers aspiring athletes tough competition in fights that reach a national audience.”
“As one of the longest running live MMA series in the nation, we are always scouting for the best MMA promotions and athletes to feature on AXS TV Fights,” said Andrew Simon, Chief Executive Officer, AXS TV Fights. “MMA fans and fighters alike have to be excited that Ed Soares, the long-time manager of the world’s greatest champion, Anderson Silva, is in charge of RFA as well as recruiting and building new fighting stars for the promotion! There is no doubt in my mind that fight fans will be following all of RFA’s AXS TV televised events in 2013.”
With the size and scope of RFA rapidly escalating, Soares is forming a seasoned executive team to support his efforts. Today, he officially named Sven Bean as RFA’s Chief Operating Officer. Bean has 15 years of experience in fight promotions with over 100 successful kickboxing and mixed martial arts events to his name. With his record of achievement and his standing in the fight community, Bean brings the expertise, credibility and first-hand knowledge of the industry to RFA. Sven will work side-by-side with Soares to identify the best new talent for RFA and in all aspects of live event planning and execution.
“I am proud to announce Sven Bean as COO and lead executive in charge of fight operations for RFA,” said Soares. “Sven is one of the most experienced and accomplished fight promoters in MMA. He is a trusted professional who shares my passion for MMA and my vision for the huge potential of RFA as a star-building league for the sport. With a TV deal in place and so many events planned this year, Sven will be central to RFA’s success.”
“Joining RFA with Ed Soares leading the organization is an incredible opportunity,” said Bean. “Ed and I are very like-minded in business and in our goal to grow RFA as the best place for up-and-coming fighters to showcase their MMA skills. I look forward to bringing RFA 7 to my hometown of Denver on March 22, and to seeing so many rising fighters get the chance to compete on live national television.”
Additionally, Soares named Jen Wenk to lead RFA’s overall public relations efforts. Wenk worked as the PR Director for the Ultimate Fighting Championship from 2005 to 2011. She was employed through UFC’s rise as the fastest growing sport in the world and the most successful fight promotion in history. Two years ago, Wenk launched a PR agency specializing in fighting sports. She holds a BA in English and History from Hunter College, a PRSA Accreditation (APR) and over 20 years of public relations practice across government, network television, and fighting.
“I am pleased to welcome Jen Wenk to the RFA team,” said Soares. “She is now handling public relations for RFA and our live events. I have known Jen since the first day she started work in this sport. The MMA experience that she brings to RFA is invaluable and I’m excited to have her on my executive team.”
“I’m honored to join RFA and to be working with Ed Soares, someone that I have known and respected for years,” said Wenk. “While Ed was managing the career for the most accomplished athlete in MMA, I was managing PR for the most accomplished fight promotion in the world. I am excited to join forces with Ed and to help build RFA into a vibrant MMA promotion and as a home for the sport’s rising stars.”
Soares stated that plans are set for RFA’s second nationally televised event this year. He is working in conjunction with the Colorado-based Ring of Fire organization to present “RFA 7” at the 1stBank Center in Denver, Colorado on Friday, March 22.
AXS TV will present RFA 7’s entire main card live starting at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. MT and the first bout will begin at 6:00 p.m. MT. Watch AXS TV’s Inside MMA tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. ET for RFA 7 fight card announcements and ticket on sale information.