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Yao Ming's firm acquires significant stake in Glory Kickboxing

Yao Capital, a private equity firm founded by recently inducted NBA Hall of Famer Yao Ming, has acquired a significant stake in kickboxing organization Glory Kickboxing.

The actual stake and percentage were not disclosed by the parties.

The acquisition is a big vote of confidence for Glory as it gets ready to host events in the Asian market.

Glory CEO Jon Franklin acknowledged that the $4 billion deal for the UFC this summer had an effect on valuation of all mixed martial arts brands.

Glory has held 36 events since its founding in 2012. Its rules come from a mix of kung fu, Muay Thai, taekwondo and boxing.

Despite its connection to mixed martial arts, the brand has not experienced the same rise as UFC. Its champions, like heavyweight Rico Verhoeven, who defended his title on Friday at Glory 33 in New Jersey, are better known in Europe than in the United States.

GLORY 33 aired live on ESPN2 on Friday.

Yao Capital was established this year by Yao Ming and David Han, the former CEO of Wanda Group and managing director of The Carlyle Group.

The former Houston Rocket has owned a Chinese basketball team, the Shanghai Sharks, and a winery in Napa Valley called Yao Family Wines since 2009.