LFA CEO Ed Soares Reveals Five-Year Plan for Growth

The Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) is a leading developmental promotion to the UFC.

The head of the LFA and former manager to a number of UFC fighters recently spoke with AXS TV Fights reporter Ron Kruck ahead of LFA 1: Peterson vs. Higo to share what the future looks like with the network. Along with the announcing of the formation of the LFA and the end of AXS TV’s Inside MMA to make room for more live-event programming, it was also stated around that time that the promotion would have a 30-event 2017 calendar.

Speaking with Kruck, Soares said that the deal LFA agreed to with AXS would be five years in length with the organization putting on 40 shows per year after 2017’s initial 30 for a total of 190 events. To put that in perspective, the UFC, the world leader in mixed martial arts put on 46 shows in 2014 and managed 41 each over the last two years. The current contract will last through 2021.

Soares shared that between the Resurrection Fighting Alliance/Legacy FC over 100 athletes have passed through both companies en route to the UFC. Roughly 15 percent of the current UFC roster are RFA or Legacy alumni. They have sent fighters to the sport’s other major promotion, Bellator MMA, as well.

With the merger, the LFA has expanded its team behind the scenes but are still growing as there are currently 6-8 key employees led by Soares with LFA Chief Operating Officer Sven Bean handling day-to-day operations. Former Legacy FC matchmaker Mick Maynard got called up to the UFC much like a developmental league fighter to partner with co-matchmaker Sean Shelby after the retirement of the UFC’s Joe Silva.

Soares said, “I myself have always had a great relationship with the UFC (as manager to former champions Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machia, and others…) Mick going there, he’s a great fit for that position. He gets along with everyone, he knows how to put fights together…Our relationship hasn’t changed, it’s gotten stronger…to this day, nobody was sending more fighters to the UFC than RFA and Legacy before…Now we’re just continuing to do that and letting Sean and Mick know who the upcoming talent is and what we can do to get them up there.”

While the LFA is broadcast nationally on AXS TV (making them available in 48 million homes,) they are an international developmental brand available in over 50 countries through Canada’s Fight Network and other partners. They are they only promotion outside of the UFC allowed to use their trademarked fighting space, The Octagon.

LFA 2: Richman vs. Stojadinovic— Jan. 20 in Prior Lake, MN

LFA 3: Spann vs. Giles— Feb. 10 in Lake Charles, LA

LFA 4: Aguilar vs. Barcelos (Inaugural LFA Featherweight Championship Unification Bout)— Feb. 17 in Bossier City, LA

*Newly Announced*

LFA 5: Edwards vs. Townsend— Feb. 24 in Broomfield, CO