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Ed Soares announces London Trust Media acquisition of LFA, planned expansion

Legacy Fighting Alliance has a new majority owner.

LFA CEO Ed Soares announced Monday on The MMA Hour that London Trust Media has acquired a majority share of the promotion — and the plans are to expand from here.

“Everything that we’ve been able to accomplish has been with a skeleton crew,” Soares said. “And now with the backing and the infrastructure that we’re gonna be building, I’m really looking forward to a lot of things.”

Soares will remain as CEO, he said, and longtime MMA promoter Sven Bean will move into a role as president. Soares said he hopes to expand distribution, build a better infrastructure and improve production values of shows with London Trust Media’s backing. Growing women’s divisions — including the plan to have one-to-two women’s fights on every TV show — and the addition of fight-night bonuses are also in the offing, Soares said.

“Our job is to support Ed and his team and sort of stay out of he way,” London Trust Media CEO Ted Kim said. “Help them take the business to the next level. … We think the sky is the limit as to what LFA can do.”

Based in Los Angeles, London Trust Media is a tech company and owner of Private Internet Access, a personal virtual private network (VPN) service.

LFA ran 29 shows in 2017 and the plan is to do between 30 and 32 this year. In 2019, Soares opened up the possibility of even more, perhaps closer to 35. The key with London Trust Media’s backing, he said, is the ability to hire more employees.

“Pound-for-pound, we’re the best organization on the planet,” Soares said. “You look at someone like the UFC, who does 40 to 45 events a year domestically and internationally and they have over 300 employees. And you have someone like Bellator, who’s doing 30 to 35 events domestic and internationally and they probably have somewhere around 80 to 100 employees. And then you look at the LFA and we were able to do 30 events last year and we were operating on about six to seven [employees]. We were really able to maximize our workload. So I’m really looking forward to building a team and really growing. That’s our main focus — growing and keep doing what we’re doing.”

LFA has a broadcast deal with AXS TV that goes until 2021, Soares said. The promotion will continue to pride itself as being the premier fighting organization that sends fighters to the UFC. Soares believes people will continue tuning in “to watch who the next superstars are.”

“That’s what we are,” Soares said. “We’re the No. 1 developmental organization in the world. That’s what we do. Nobody puts more people in the UFC than the LFA. … We’re like the college football.”

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