(Mumbai, 9th March 2012) With only days to go until India’s first MMA Organization Super Fight League (SFL) hosts its inaugural event and launches the world’s most exciting sport in India, Bob Sapp & James Thompson took time out to give their thoughts on their opponent and fighting on this historic card.
Q: A lot of the Indian fight fans will already know who you are but there might be a few that haven’t seen “The Beast” in action yet, what can they expect on March 11th?
A: On March 11th, you’re gonna see more action than in the past, which has been mostly poor performance and lot of talk, this time it’s all action. You’re gonna see the Beast get another victory.
Q: You’re a renowned striker with 2 victories over K-1 Legend Ernesto Hoost to list just 2 fights from your kickboxing record, I’m going to assume you’re going to be looking to knock out James Thompson?
A: Yes of course. I always look for a KO.
Q: As well as your K-1 skills you’re more than capable on the ground, that fight with Big Nog was an epic battle, how hard have you been working on your ground skills in the lead up to this fight?
A: I’ve been working on my ground skills. Putting in there upwards of 3 to 6 hours a day dedicated to training. And of course part of it is groundwork, and being that I am a striker, ground work for me is more for positioning and striking on the ground.
Q: You’ve fought all over the world, Japan, Germany, Sweden, Poland, The United States and many more but this will be your first time fighting in India, how have the fans reacted to you so far and what are you expecting them to be like on fight night?
A: I love India. I am looking forward to eating ethnic foods. I am big fan of gold. So we have that in common.
Q: James Thompson is, like yourself, a graduate of the Japanese Pride Fighting Championship back when it was the premier MMA organisation in the world, does that fact add any spice to the fight?
A: Absolutely. We were supposed to actually fight in England before, so now we finally get this fight going!
Q: What are you expecting from James Thompson when you meet inside the O-Zone? You’re both known for coming out fast and hard!
A: I expect him to come out charging like he always does. So I will meet him in the center and we’re gonna slug it out.
Q: What can James Expect from “The Beast” on the 11th?
A: Definitely I am gonna go after him. And as you know when you get two guys in there that are as big as us, the fight will never last long. So expect to have my hand raised at the end.
Q: Any messages to your Indian fans?
A: Expect to the Beast going for the gold. Afterwards, let’s go out and party!!!
Q: Sapp’s a former K-1 star, who hits the hardest, you or him?
A: Need you ask? Me! I guess I am biased though.
Q: Sapp’s been exhibiting some ground skills lately, given what he did to Big Nog in Pride are you confident of victory if it goes to the floor?
A: That was a long time ago. I don’t feel like Sapp’s improved much since then. And if it does go to the floor, I’m 100% sure I can be dominant.
Q: You’ve fought all over the world, what are you expecting the fans to be like on fight night and how have they received you so far?
A: That’s the exciting thing really; no one really knows how the fans will receive it on fight night. I’ve met the Super Fight League team and they’re a great bunch of people and I feel that fact, along with the exciting sport that is MMA, the Indian fans are gonna love it!
Q: What can “The Beast” expect from “The Colossus on March 11th?
A: To go home with a tick in the loss column.
Q: What are you expecting from him?
A: I think if Sapp gets in a strong position, he can be hard work. I’ll be putting pressure on him right from the start.
Q: If you could compare Sapp to a cricket team which would he be?
A: I’m not sure; all I know is that the only chance that Sapp has to win this fight is if he came in the cage with a cricket bat.
Q: Any messages for your Indian fans?
A: I’m looking forward to getting to India and introducing them to what MMA is all about. Get ready for something new and exciting and I will see you on the 11th!
Super Fight League will debut on March 11th at the Andheri Sports Complex, Mumbai and fans from all over the world will be able to tune in and experience the action live and free on YouTube at 19.15 Indian Standard Time (IST) 06.45am PDT, 13.45 GMT on Sunday March 11th.
Headlined by an anticipated HW bout between James Thompson V Bob Sapp, Super Fight League will debut a unique blend of world class fights and top music entertainment.
SFL CEO Ken Pavia (@KenPavia) said: ‘There is so much excitement here in the air in India you could cut it with a knife. India is ready for MMA and the Super Fight League is delivering it.’
HW: Bob ‘The Beast’ Sapp (USA) V James ‘The Colossus’ Thompson (UK)
LH: Neil Natasadu (India) V Travis Bell (USA)
FW: Chaitanya Gavali (India) V Tiran Thakshala (Sri Lanka)
FW: Hardeep Singh (India) V Jeff Bailey (USA)
WW: Mohd Shahid (India) V Mayura Dissanayake (Sri Lanka)
LW: Lakwinder Sekhon (India) V Madura Rathnayake (Sri Lanka)
HW: Satish Jha (India) V Jimmy Ambriz (USA)
MW: Xavier Foupa-Pokam ‘Professor X’ (France) V Joey ‘Coyote’ Guel (USA)
SFW: Lena Ovchynnikova V Sanja Sucevic