The two leading feeder organizations to UFC and Bellator are merging in 2017.
Resurrection Fighting Alliance and Legacy Fighting Championship have established themselves as the top breeding grounds for fighters trying to make their way to the UFC or Bellator. In 2017, however, RFA and Legacy FC are going to merge operations to form Legacy Fighting Alliance.
Officials from RFA and Legacy FC announced the merger on Monday.
“This is an exciting day for everyone involved,” RFA President Ed Soares said. “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 will officially launch in January 2017, with Soares serving as CEO. Longtime MMA exec and Ring of Fire founder Sven Bean will serve as Legacy Fighting Alliance COO.
“With this merger, we have created – without a doubt – the premier developmental league in the sport of MMA,” Bean said. “The team we have assembled brings together so much knowledge and experience at every level. The formation of Legacy Fighting Alliance is a game changer for the industry. I am excited for the future and what it will hold for the organization and its athletes.”
“Legacy Fighting Alliance just catapulted to the top of the list when you are talking about fights that matter in 2017,” AXS TV Fights CEO Andrew Simon said. “Together, these two organizations bring unrivaled experience and success in identifying athletes that make it to the next level. Our new long-term deal solidifies our belief in Legacy Fighting Alliance’s mission and to our sport.”
Soares believes the new promotion will further streamline both existing companies’ goals of taking developing athletes and helping them reach their full potential.
“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.”
While further details will be announced in the coming weeks, current plans call for Legacy Fighting Alliance’s debut show to match up reigning Legacy Fighting Championship title holders with their Resurrection Fighting Alliance counterparts to crown the new promotion’s inaugural champions.
“We believe the merger of Legacy Fighting Championship and Resurrection Fighting Alliance is an exciting and logical progression of the sport,” Legacy FC President Mick Maynard said. “As AAA baseball is to MLB, we will continue to develop the best prospects by providing a proving ground and a stage for the fighters to grow that is unrivaled in the sport. In addition, this merger brings together some of the best minds in the business. It truly is an MMA dream team, and it will continue to build our Legacy in the world of MMA.”