Friday April 22, 2016— Indians all across the globe had a reason to rejoice when celebrated professional boxer and Olympic silver medal winner Amir Khan and British business tycoon Bill Dosanjh, created Super Fight League in 2012. This was a big achievement for the largest democracy on the planet as it would be the first MMA platform created in India. Though MMA is not recognized as a sport in India it is a matter of time before it goes on to be one of the most followed sport. SFL is also the largest MMA promotion in all of Asia, it has a variety of fighters both from India and abroad. Despite the fact that it is not an old promotion, it has managed to spread its fame over the USA, Canada, UAE and Mexico. It happens to be world’s third largest MMA Promotion and has so far has had 48 numbered events.
These aren’t the only feathers on the promotions cap, in fact SFL was responsible for the rise of fame of MMA as a sport in south-east Asia, a part of the globe known for being the most populated area on Earth. SFL has not only brought people’s interest in the sport but also gives them an opportunity to be a part of this combat sport through their reality show SFL Challengers, the pattern was very similar to The Ultimate Fighter, the show gave many upcoming Indian Mixed Martial artists a chance not only to gain glory and become popular but also get a chance to gain exposure in the world of this contact sport. The two martial artist who went on to win the season were Kario Isaac Maheo and Manjit Kolekar. Apart from that fighters like Ritika Singh went on to gain popularity because of her feud with Manjit Kolekar.
SFL has announced that it plans to have another season of the reality show SFL challengers apart from that they have planned some big surprises for the people. With the promotions success and reputation for being a place which can provide huge exposure for new comers in the combat sport, here are 3 reasons to be keen about joining SFL challengers and taking interest in SFL PPVs.
1.The presence of Amir Khan:
Amir khan is a super boxer. He is an Olympic Silver Medal winner and apart from that is a multiple time boxing world champion. He was the youngest British Olympic medallist at the age of 17. He also happens to the youngest British world champion ever, he created this record when he became a world champion at the age of 22. Apart from all these feathers that decorated him, Khan has managed to maintain a super record of 31 wins of 34 professional boxing matches. Out of his 31 wins 19 come by the way of knockouts. He also holds victories over nine world champions, including Andreas Kotelnik, Marcos Maidana, Julio Díaz, Luis Collazo, Chris Algieri, Paulie Malignaggi, Devon Alexander, Marco Antonio Barrera, and Zab Judah. He is set to take on Saul “Canelo” Álvarez on 7th may 2016, his fight will be the main event of the event.
All these factors have made him super popular and with his name attached to the promotion fighters will eager to join and learn things from a true champion. SFL challengers becomes a golden opportunity for young and ambitious Martial artist as having contacts with a boxer like Amir Khan will make the path to the top card way easier than it could have had been. Apart from that Khan is one of the most known and respected boxer across the globe, his name has gone on to become a brand. This will attract some serious level of fighters from India to attend SFL shows.
2.Increased popularity of MMA in India:
When SFL began in 2012, MMA wasn’t really popular with the masses. It was a new sport and did not have any sort of glamour or hype around it and the fact that Indian government did not recognize MMA as a sport was not really helping in the promotion of the sport. Apart from that it had a high level of corruption in it, hence bad fighters easily won matches just by paying a good fighter to lose the match. Also there were constant news in the media that the fighters were not given payment for the matches and the decisions were usually fixed, hence talented fighters could not find a place in the sport. The fact that people were not interested in MMA also helped bookers to bully the fighters as news about corruption and non-payment did not actually generate that much of attention.
But bad times do come to an end, after a dark night there is a bright morning. Slowly and steadily people started watching MMA. They started enjoying the matches and got involved in every feud. With promotions like UFC, people actually got a look at good MMA fights and saw classy fighters. Apart from that famous Mixed Martial Artists had a huge contribution in changing the attitude of the people. As the sport gained attention, there was a rise of international celebrities like Ronda Rousey, Conor McGregor, Miesha Tate, Jon Jones, Brock Lesner etc. these fighters managed to bring mases of people into the fighting world. Hence unlike the earlier edition this time second season of SFL challengers will generate a great TRP and will have tougher and better fighters. These factors will also affect the SFL, as it gains popularity better and talented fighters will start targeting it. And SFL will have batches of good fighters chasing the title resulting in super feuds and extreme fights.
3.Women’s involvement in combat sports:
With the success of Olympic bronze medal winner boxer Mary Kom, large number of girls would start targeting women combat sports in India. After Ronda Rousey’s rise to super stardom, the combat sport suddenly has its own glamour, hence many girls have started taking interest in combat sports and one of the most popular option is MMA. With women empowerment and rise of women domination in every sport, MMA can have its own pioneer. With Manjit Kolekar’s rise to fame girls across India want to be one of the founding members of Women MMA in India. Hence women mixed martial artists will try their hands at SFL. There will be many talented young girls who will enter the realm of the hard-core game.
This will result in back forth matches and rivalries which will create the foundation of women MMA. Just the way Rousey-Tate rivalry was one of the most remembered and talked about feud in women MMA, SFL will be a platform were these ambitious young girls can give their best. Women matches and feuds will generate a serious amount of TRP and will also act as a morale booster for many women. India is going through a phase where women are trying to make their own stand, MMA will prove to be a platform for many women to share their stories and inspire people. It will also help in establishing equality of women in sports world.
These are some of the reasons why we should keep a tab on SFL and wait for the new season of SFL challengers. Let’s hope SFL delivers and manages to give super feuds and good matches in coming future.
Thank you for reading…
By: Paarth Pande