Super Fight League
|Industry||Mixed martial arts promotion|
|Founder(s)||Raj Kundra, Sanjay Dutt|
|Key people||Raj Kundra (Chairman), Daniel Isaac (CEO), Mary Kom (Brand Ambassador)|
|Parent||Super Fight Promotions Pvt. Ltd|
The Super Fight League, or SFL, is an India based mixed martial arts promotion. The organization was formed in 2012 by Sanjay Dutt and Raj Kundra. The SFL is the first MMA promotion based in India. SFL events have been shown on Colors and Neo Prime in India, but now all events can be seen live on ESPN Star Sports in the country from March 29, 2013 and on YouTube live worldwide due to a 3-year contract between the promotion and the website.
It is currently sponsored by PACL India Limited (Pearls) and thus officially known as Pearls Super Fight League.
The SFL was founded by celebrity entrepreneur IPL cricket team owner Raj Kundra and Bollywood megastar Sanjay Dutt in January 2012. Its intent is giving Indian mixed martial artists a platform to compete and grow in its home country whilst bringing in talented fighters from different parts of the world. They launched their first event on March 11, 2012, which was headlined by Bob 'The Beast' Sapp and James 'The Colossus' Thompson.
On January 1, 2012, Ken Pavia was named CEO of the Super Fight League. He was asked by Kundra personally to become CEO of the SFL, with Pavia saying in an interview "Raj Kundra believes he needed experienced in each department of his organization and has put together the most impressive team that I have seen in 10 years in this sport".
In September 2012 Pavia resigned his position as the CEO of the SFL citing "family reasons." Fighters Only magazine reported that his mother had cancer and he was expecting his first child at the age of 46.
The SFL made three announcements on September 24, 2012. The first was a strategic alliance between themselves and Invicta Fighting Championships, which aims to bring the best Indian female fighters to Invicta, whilst Invicta will aim to send world class female mixed martial artists to the Super Fight League.
The second announcement was the Friday Night Fight Nights. From October 12, the SFL will hold an event every Friday in a specially designed arena in Mumbai in front of an exclusive invitation only audience. This will replace the original model of holding arena events once aimed one a month. Programming will last for three hours each week with weigh-ins, live fights and interviews from Bollywood cage side guests. There will be 7 fights in total each event, with 1 of them being a female bout. It will air live on Neo Prime in India and on their YouTube page for the rest of the world.
Launching on 4 December 2012, the Super Fight League announces a strategic partnership Provogue to set up a new company to jointly market all merchandise for SFL. The company has been named Pro SFL and the first product to hit the market is the New Deodorant Range ‘Aspire, Inspire and Desire.
At the start of 2013, the SFL partnered with Indian news outlet DNA to promote women to get into martial arts and ran self-defence courses throughout Mumbai during mid-January as a result from the 2012 Delhi gang rape case that happened just weeks prior.
The SFL signed a new TV deal with ESPN Star Sport in India for all events to be shown live for the next five years, starting with SFL 14 on 29 March 2013.
On April 15, it was announced that the SFL has penned a three-year title sponsorship with real estate company PACL India Limited (Pearls).
The SFL will be undergoing another change from August, 2013. It will go from hosting fortnightly events, to returning to a weekly format comprising four fights a night as appose to their usual seven. The promotion will also be shifting venue. A new arena is being constructed at the Filmalaya Stuidos in Andheri that will have a capacity of 800 people as compared to the 250-seater set-up. "Changing the format of the show has been a collective decision of our telecast partner and myself. Making the format regular but shorter gives a stronger connect," said Raj Kundra, founder of the SFL.
On August 5, the SFL aired their reality show SFL Challengers. Similar to the Ultimate Fighter, the show will take 8 male and 8 female up-and-coming Indian mixed martial artists, place them in the same house as each other whilst they compete to become the winner of the show. Every alternate episode has 2 fights where 2 fighters (male and female) graduate to the next round whereas the other two have to leave the camp. The show will go for 50 days and the fighters will also be given tasks each week, as well as being trained by some of the best international trainers available. The winner will receive 20 lakhs (approx. $36000/£23000) and a 3-year contract worth 25 lakhs with the SFL. It will air on Neo Prime at 9pm and Zoom TV at 10pm every weekend. Each episode will also become available to watch from YouTube after they are shown on television. The inaugural season was won by Kario Isaac Maheo and Manjit Kolekar.
The SFL MMA Fantasy game is a simple game that fans can play each week predicting the outcome of every fight. With scores being tracked on a leader board, players will win weekly prizes for accurate predictions and the player with the most points will win a bumper jackpot prize at the end of the year. Each week, players simply choose who they think will win each fight and if the correct winner is selected, players can earn points for choosing the correct method of victory and finishing round.
SFL's current rules are based upon the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts that were originally established by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board and modified by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The Association of Mixed Martial Arts in India (AMMAI) are responsible for overseeing MMA promotions in India that are following these rules.
SFL uses a structure called the 'O'Zone. The 'O'Zone is a circular cage of chain-link fence that has been coated in black vinyl. The height of the fence varies between 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m) and 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m), is 30 feet (9.1 m) in diameter and sits atop a 4 feet (1.2 m) platform. There are two gates on opposite sides of the cage to allow for people to enter and leave the cage.
|Division||Upper weight limit||Champion||Since||Title Defenses|
|Heavyweight||265 lb (120 kg; 18.9 st)||Ali Vahitov||March 29, 2011 (SFL 29)||6|
|Light Heavyweight||140 lb (64 kg; 10 st)||Zaheer Abbas Ibadat Husain||May 19, 2011 (SFL 26)||4|
|Middleweight||185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)||Xavier Foupa-Pokam||March 29, 2011 (SFL 14)||0|
|Welterweight||170 lb (77 kg; 12 st)||Pawan Maan Singh||October 26, 2013 (SFL 33)||0|
|Lightweight||155 lb (70 kg; 11.1 st)||Pawan Maan Singh||August 17, 2013 (SFL 22)||0|
|Featherweight||145 lb (66 kg; 10.4 st)||Vacant||N/A|
|Bantamweight||135 lb (61 kg; 9.6 st)||Tom McKenna||May 10, 2011 (SFL 17)|
|Flyweight||125 lb (57 kg; 8.9 st)||Vacant||0|
|Division||Upper weight limit||Champion||Since||Title Defenses|
|Featherweight||145 lb (66 kg; 10.4 st)||Vacant||0|
|Bantamweight||135 lb (61 kg; 9.6 st)||Vacant||0|
|Flyweight||125 lb (57 kg; 8.9 st)||Vacant||0|
|Strawweight||115 lb (52 kg; 8.2 st)||Vacant||0|
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