As Stock Continues To Tumble, Alliance MMA (AMMA) Restructures with Danner, Haydak, & Byrne Out


Is this the beginning of the end? Since it’s IPO Alliance MMA shares have fallen by $4.00 from an opening of $4.65 to a close on February 8th, 2018 at $0.66. On February 7th, 2018 Alliance MMA, Inc. (“Alliance MMA or the “Company) (Nasdaq: AMMA) announced that Robert L. Mazzeo had been appointed as the Company’s acting Chief Executive Officer effective immediately.

This announcement coincided with the news that former AMMA CEO Paul K. Danner III had resigned as an officer of the Company, effective immediately, to pursue other career interests. It should be noted that Alliance MMA’s stock has also been plummeting since January 9, 2018. The removal as an Officer is an interesting one. Executive officers generally begin from a position that they cannot sell company stock, at least not easily. They first must be in compliance with their company’s own share ownership guidelines or retention and holding requirements and second, they can’t act unless they are within an approved trading window (especially difficult for acquisition-oriented companies who may rarely have an open window). Finally, there is a strongly held belief that any selling will signal to the market a weakening of confidence in the future. With his departure, it is possible that Danner’s stock floods the market even at the sub $1.00 rates. On January 9th, 2018 AMMA stock dropped a total of $0.58, a 40.55% loss.

Mr. Danner will stay on as Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors through May 1, 2018. The Company also terminated the employment of the Company’s President, Robert Haydak, and its Chief Marketing Officer, James Byrne.

Byrne joined AMMA in January of 2017. Prior to joining Alliance, Byrne served as an executive consultant to The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for over a decade and, before that, was a senior marketer at the WWE (NYSE: WWE) during the “Attitude Era” that launched stars such as The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, and made them into household names. He also led the marketing effort for Carsey-Werner, the television production firm based in Los Angeles behind such hit shows as “Cosby,” “Roseanne,” “That 70s Show” and “3rd Rock from the Sun.” Most recently, Byrne’s Manhattan-based boutique marketing firm worked with companies such as Saatchi & Saatchi EMEA, Glory Sports International and Sony Pictures Classics.

Robert Haydak was the previous CEO and owner of Cage Fury Fighting Championship, CFFC, which he purchased in 2011. Upon his appointment as President of Alliance MMA, Haydak resigned from his role as Cage Fury CEO.

Upon launch, Haydak was quoted as saying “By joining the Alliance, smaller promotions become partners in a much larger organization that intends to enhance collective market share and profitability of the businesses through increased ticket sales, incremental events, centralization of certain common business functions and the application of best business practices across the enterprise.” Based on the success of Alliance MMA to date, it is safe to assume Alliance has not yet achieved it’s profitability goals.

Alliance MMA officially became the only publicly traded mixed martial arts company when they launched. The stock opened at $4.50 a share, closed at $4.19 opening day afternoon and was up to $4.65 by the time Haydak and the others rang the bell the following day, Friday at 4:30 p.m. The stock price as of market close on February 8, 2018 the time of publication was $0.66.

Robert L. Mazzeo will serve as the Company’s acting Chief Executive Officer effective immediately. Mr. Mazzeo, age 63, has served as the Company’s corporate counsel since 2016. The terms of Mr. Mazzeo’s compensation have not yet been determined.  In accordance with Instruction 2 of Item 5.02 of Form 8-K, the Company will amend this Current Report on Form 8-K within four business days after such information is determined or becomes available.

About Alliance MMA, Inc.

Alliance MMA is a professional mixed martial arts company that combines premier regional promotions with event ticketing and fighter management services.

MMA is the world’s fastest-growing sport with approximately 300 million fans worldwide, according to sports marketing research firm Repucom. MMA is a full contact sport that allows a wide range of fighting techniques, including striking and grappling, from various martial arts and disciplines such as boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu jitsu, karate, and Muay Thai. Professional MMA fights are legal and regulated by state athletic commissions in all 50 states.

Alliance MMA, Inc. was formed in 2015 for the purpose of acquiring businesses that engage in the promotion of MMA events and related activities. In 2016, the Company completed an initial public offering that culminated in a listing on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Alliance MMA is the only MMA promotion company that is publicly-traded (Nasdaq: AMMA).

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