India has been making some noise in the Asian MMA scene with the launch of their very own Super Fight League a.k.a. The SFL. In fact, they rocked the scene with their announcement and they are really making everyone wait in anticipation for the first glimpse of their “sportainment” concept. However, we are sure that everyone is wondering who is behind the SFL?
It is a team made up of a multimillionaire, a high profile movie star, a very successful MMA agent and a pioneer for MMA in India. It seems like a perfect match up with a right balance of ying and yang to make the SFL a promotion to keep an eye on.
These are the men behind the SFL:
In 2004, SUCCESS magazine named Raj Kundra the 198th Richest British Asian. He and his celebrity wife, Shilpa Shetty, own the prestigious IPL Team (a professional cricket team), the Rajasthan Royals. He’s been a fan of the sport of mixed martial arts for the last five years and it’s his goal to develop MMA fighters in India. He’s also responsible for setting up the Federation of Mixed Martial Arts in India which is the only governing body that regulates and provides MMA promoters with guidelines following the unified rule of mixed martial arts. Seems like not only does Raj have the moolah to back the SFL, he has the passion for it too.
In case you didn’t already know, Sanjay Dutt is a real famous Bollywood actor. He’s a big time star in Bollywood and he can pretty much be considered an action hero in Indian cinema as well. He’s been in countless Bollywood blockbusters, has produced and he’s also the host of India’s successful reality show, Big Boss. Dutt is a self professed sports and combat sports enthusiast and is also the current brand ambassador for the Boxing Federation of India. It’ll come as ko surprise if Dutt becomes the face of the SFL and takes on the “Dana role”.
Ken Pavia is a former sports agent, founder of sports agency MMAagents, VP Business Development for Takedown Fight Media. Pavia represented a client roster of 55 professional mixed martial artists at MMAagents, most of whom competed in top tier mixed martial arts promotions such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), Pride Fighting Championships, Strikeforce, DREAM and Bellator Fighting Championships. On top of that, Ken has been a certified sports agent or the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB player associations. Ken brings on board 20 years of experience from his stints in his previous companies which will be extremely crucial in growth of the SFL.
Daniel is truly one of the pioneers of MMA in India. He himself has trained in martial arts since he was 5 years old. He is proficient in Oriental martial arts, including both striking and grappling. He has participated in numerous competitions both nationally and internationally, even becoming India’s first kickboxing world champion. He began promoting MMA in 2000 by organizing national and international amateur championships and is the founder of India’s first MMA training facility, Tiger’s Gym.
Individually, all four gentlemen have been a success in their own right. While it remains to be seen if there will be synergy between them, they’ve certainly generated enough buzz and interest in the SFL to get this fledgling promotion off to a great start. Stay close to ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) for information regarding SFL’s first event, scheduled for March 1 in Mumbai and featuring James “The Colossus” Thompson vs. Bob “The Beast” Sapp in the main event.