Almost a year later, AFC owners still in talks with Dragons Den investors

Dragon’s Den spot could help MMA organization expand off the Island

AFC owners Jason Heit and Darren Owen make their pitch on CBC's Dragons' Den

AFC owners Jason Heit and Darren Owen make their pitch on CBC's Dragons' Den

When the microphone dropped at centre stage during a one-shot take on the Dragons’ Den reality TV show, Victoria’s Darren Owen took over.

Owen shouted with the energy of a live mixed martial arts event, while professional fighters Misha Cirkunov and Brock Miller shadow boxed. Fitness model Michelle Jeanpierre, who happens to be Owen’s wife, played the part of ring girl, walking in high heels while carrying a ring card above her head.

By the time Jason Heit stepped in and interrupted the sparring match, the floor was his.

Co-owners Heit and Owen of the Armageddon Fighting Championship put their Victoria-based MMA organization on display across the CBC’s airwaves for all the country to see.

At the time the show was being taped, the pair hoped for $55,000 for 10 per cent of their company to help fund their growth.

But there’s a twist.

The show that was aired on March 9 was actually filmed in May of 2010. Since then a lot has happened with the AFC.

“At the time of the filming we’d done two AFC shows,” Heit said, following last week’s broadcast.

Now the AFC is readying for show No. 5, Judgment Day, on Saturday, April 2.

Two of the Dragons liked the presentation and immediately hashed a deal.

“We were offered $80,000 for a 30 per cent stake of the business by Jim Treliving and Robert Herjavec,” Heit said. The Dragon’s estimated AFC’s value between $250,000 and $400,000. But that was almost a year ago.

“A lot’s changed since then, it’s a different situation,” Heit said. “That on-air deal is no longer ideal.”

The money hasn’t changed hands, nor has a partnership between Treliving and Herjavec been finalized. Representatives for both were on hand for AFC 3 at Bear Mountain

But it’s not all bad, Heit said.

“Our valuation has significantly changed since (May 2010), we’re up to eight million homes on TV.”

Even before the AFC team made the 4,558 kilometer trek to Toronto in 2010, Heit told the News it wasn’t just about getting money.

“The $80,000 is nothing (in the scheme of things). “It’s not about that, it’s about getting a strategic investor working with you.

“Right now we can’t keep giving shares away every time we get some capital or it won’t be our company. We don’t really want to give up shares this early, because no matter what, we’re going to have to go back to the table for financing.”

The key benefit to Dragon’s Den was bringing national exposure to the AFC. Also important was developing a relationship with Treliving, chairman of the board for Global Entertainment Corporation, which owns and operates seven multi-facility hockey arenas in the U.S. midwest.

“It was about getting (Treliving and Herjavec) on board and as it stands today we’re looking to partner with Treliving in his facilities in the U.S., getting in the door as a tenant, with some assistance in the promotion.”