Fri Mar 22 12:15am EDT
Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, the co-founder of the Super Fight League, the largest active mixed martial arts promotion in India, was ordered Thursday by India's Supreme Court to serve the remainder of a six-year sentence on gun charges stemming from a 1993 bombing in Mumbai that killed 257 people.
Dutt, 53, was originally convicted in 2007 under India's Terrorism and Disruptive Activities Act of possessing a rifle and a pistol given to him by the men convicted in the 1993 bombing that occurred in the financial district of Mumbai (then known as Bombay). In addition to the 257 people who died in the bombing, more than 700 were injured.
He was released on bail pending an appeal, but the Supreme Court upheld his conviction Thursday.
Dutt is a popular Bollywood actor who founded the Super Fight League last year. The promotion signed a five-year television deal with ESPN Star Sports, but it turns out that Dutt will be in prison for most of the term of that deal. Dutt has already served 18 months, but must serve an additional 4 1/2 years.
Dutt is the co-founder and the chairman of the Super Fight League. According to his biography on the Super Fight League web site, Dutt is India's "real action hero."
Bollywood superstar Sanjay Dutt needs no introduction, he is the co-founder and partner of Raj Kundra in Super Fight Promotions Pvt. Ltd. He is the face of MMA India and India's real action hero! He has the raw appeal he has that is so essential to being a star, and people can feel his presence even before they've sighted him. He is the real action hero of India! Sanjay Dutt's passion for fitness and fighting sports along with a vision for India's MMA future he has joined forces with Raj to Launch India's first professional Mixed Martial Arts league. Mr. Dutt is also the brand ambassador for the Boxing Federation of India.
The UFC has been attempting to break into India, but CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said Indians were just becoming aware of MMA. Feeder leagues like the Super Fight League would have been important for the UFC's efforts, to help build interest in the sport in the world's second-most populated country.
The Super Fight League has several recognizable fighters, including former UFC fighters Jeff Monson, Trevor Prangley and Neal Grove.
It has a show scheduled for March 29, but it is not clear if that show will go on.