Cricket has been the most popular sport in India for long. But, the number of Mixed Martial Art fans in the country has soared in the recent past. MMA is a hard-hitting combat sport that involves grappling and striking. India has many talented MMA fighters like Abhay Singh Shirole, Abhijeet Petkar, Abhijit Das, Abhilash Raut and many more. In this article, we discuss the growth of MMA in India.
The Introduction of MMA in India
Daniel Isaac introduced MMA in the Asian nation. He is the Chief Executive Officer of the Super First League (SFL). Daniel created Tiger’s gymnasium in Akhar to train Indian MMA fighters. Some of his most successful trainees include Alan Fernandes. He has participated in international Mixed Martial Arts competitions like Muay Thai and kickboxing and has many fans from different countries.
Martial art fighters from remote villages also compete with fighters from popular Indian cities. Some village fighters win since they incorporate wrestling into MMA. The sport has transformed their lives. Punters who engage in online football betting can support any Indian MMA fighter.
Daniel’s goal was to make MMA as popular as UFC in India. He started organizing grassroot MMA fights in his gym using his expertise in the sport. He named it Gym Wars. This gradually resulted in the creation of the Super Fight League.
The Super Fight League (SFL)
Raj Kundra and Sanjay Dutt founded the Super Fight League (SFL) in 2012. Amir Khan co-owns the MMA organization. SFL showcases the potential of Indian MMA fighters. The country is renowned for its boxers and wrestlers. But, the SFL main’s goal was to make MMA more popular. It has inspired many fighters who wouldn’t have been professional martial arts fighters. The league organizes tryouts for amateur fighters from India and signs the top fighters.
Amir Khan changed the Super Fight League when he transformed it into an MMA League four years ago. It is made up of eight Indian teams including Bengaluru Tigers, Sher-E-Punjab, Mumbai Maniacs, Gujarat Warriors, U.P. Nawabs, Tamil Veterans, and Dehli Heroes. They are categorized into Group A and Group B. Each team comprises one female fighter and five male fighters from various weight classes. The teams faceoff in 12 SFL bouts in their groups before they advance to the semi-finals.
Underground Fight Nights
The Brave Combat Federation debuted in India in December 2018. Pyna Experiences promotes Underground Fight Nights in India. They are among the most popular fight nights in the country. New Delhi hosted the second Matrix Fight Night on June 29, 2019. Thousands of martial arts enthusiasts attended the sports event. It had four amateur and seven professional bouts. Tiger Shroff and Krishna founded the Matrix Fight Night.
Media houses have played a vital role in the growth of MMA in India. For example, SonyLIV airs UFC fights while Star Network broadcasts the ONE Championship on Hotstar. Parvin Dabas, the owner of MMAIndia.com hosts The MMA India Show. He has over 70,000 website monthly views and 120,000 Facebook followers. The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the most popular MMA promotion in India.