Alliance MMA Having Knock Out Day on Victory Fighting Championship Buyout, Shares Up 108%

In 1993, when the Ultimate Fighting Championship held its first highly promoted mixed martial arts championship, appropriately dubbed “UFC 1” and later renamed “UFC 1: The Beginning,” there were no weight classes, no rounds, no judges and only two rules (no biting or eye gouging). At the same time, there wasn’t a lot of support, with scores of people calling the sport too violent to ever become mainstream.

Those doubters were wrong. Way wrong.

Last year the UFC sold for $4 billion, marking the richest sale in the history of professional sports and quite a payday for casino operators Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, who bought the UFC in 2001 for $2 million.

If you want a piece of mixed martial arts, you have to look more regional and think small, considering Alliance MMA, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMMA), a developmental league for fighters aspiring to make it to the UFC, is the only publicly-traded MMA company. The NYC-based company completed its IPO in October and started trading at $4.50 per share.

After a steady slide in value all the way down to 85 cents per share in June, the company finally broke the market choke hold and started climbing again, including hitting $1.85 last month. Today, shares are sprinting higher on news that Alliance acquired the assets of Omaha-based Victory Fighting Championship (VFC), a producer of MMA events in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota and upcoming events in Dallas/Ft. Worth, a top five media market.

Since its inception 15 years ago, VFC has produced more than 60 live events, establishing itself as the Midwest’s premier MMA producer. VFC further has a global reach via UFC Fight Pass, the UFC’s over-the-top digital streaming platform available in over 155 countries. Many VFC fighters have graduated to the UFC, including former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson.

The skillsets, assets and reach of the two companies are extremely complementary, effectively broadening the reach and providing expansion opportunities for the combined company. Through its portfolio of companies, Alliance is operating in 13 of the top 30 Nielsen markets, including each of the top five and has a nationwide presence as a promoter through nine companies.

Through its organic and acquisition growth strategies, Alliance has a goal to host more than 125 events annually, entertaining crowds while showing off the skills of 1,000+ fighters striving to make it to the next level.

Alliance’s market value got a shot in the arm on Thursday, more than doubling to $27.8 million (according to Quote Media data) on the acquisition news, powering ahead by $1.34 (+104.6%) to $2.62 midway through the afternoon session after printing as high as $3.07.