Major Russian MMA promotions merge in bid to become a ‘world leading organization’

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Major Russian MMA promotions merge in bid to become a ‘world leading organization’ Get short URL Leading Russian MMA promotion Absolute Championship Berkut has officially announced the purchase of two organizations – Akhmat (WFCA) and Tech-Krep FC – in a move which sees them become the biggest player in the Russian market.

The merging, first reported by RT Sport’s Denis Geyko in the beginning of November, has now been officially confirmed by ACB head Mairbek Khasiev.

“I want to proudly announce that ACB has purchased WFCA. The idea of merging two major Russian MMA promotions has been discussed within the last two years, and finally the decision has been made,” Khasiev wrote on his Instagram, in Russian.

“Now we are announcing it officially and starting to fulfill our plans. This year we have also purchased the Tech-Krep FC promotion, and now WFCA. It’s possibly not our last purchase. I think the time has come to put together a few solid organizations to make one powerful Russian MMA promotion, so this promotion will be able to become a decent rival for the world’s best organizations.

“I want to stress that after the purchasing of WFCA, there won’t be any significant changes within the organization. Alexey Yatsenko (former Tech-Krep FC head) will become the president of the organization. There will be a minor change in the name: ACA (Absolute Championship Akhmat). We were indecisive about the renaming, we had different options, including keeping the old name.

“But I am sure that we chose the right path by changing the name and therefore announcing a new era in developing Russian MMA. The global goal for ACA is becoming the leading world organization, by putting together bankrupted organizations.”

Founded in 2014, ACB is the brainchild of its sole founder Khasiev, and employs the concept of “Less Show, More Fighting” – an idea that focuses on providing evenly matched bouts without relying on the outside-the-cage popularity of its fighters.

After placing their 20 first events in their hometown Grozny, Chechnya, in their first year, ACB began extending to other Russian cities, as well as abroad, hosting a number of events worldwide in recent years.

In 2017 the organization hosted a total 27 events in a number of countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, England, Germany and many others.

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This summer, however, ACB cancelled four of their planned tournaments, cutting their schedule for the end of 2018 to just two events in Russia, which lead to a number of rumors about suspected financial problems.

World Fighting Championship Akhmat (WFCA), which is owned by the leader of Russia’s Chechen republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, was established in 2015 and has held 58 events, mostly in Russia and neighboring former Soviet states. Their most recent event, WFCA 54, saw the promotion stage a first-ever meeting in Bahrain, at the Khalifa Sports City Arena.

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It’s also known that ACB had been looking to purchase another major Russian MMA promotion, Fight Nights Global (FNG), but the sides are still negotiating a price. Speaking to Russian MMA media recently, FNG head Kamil Gadzhiev announced the desired amount to sell his promotion was $10 million.

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