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Bollywood Meets MMA at Super Fight League India: Fan’s View
Super Fight League 1 from Mumbai, India is officially in the books. I caught the last two fights live—the women's match and Bob Sapp vs. James Thompson from the UK. I thought the women's match was better than the main event. Luckily, for everyone interested in seeing MMA Bollywood-style, Super Fight League (SFL) streamed the original fights live (Sunday morning for people in the US) and has now made the entire show available in full (2.5 hours) on this video.
The new promotion is catching the attention of MMA media heavyweights. Josh Gross from ESPN tweeted, "I haven't had [a chance] to watch it yet, but definitely will later."
I started watching the event because Ariel Helwani tweeted a link to the live streaming video.
SFL MMA from India
I love the "Super Fight League" theme song. They played it a lot. What a great way to keep repeating the name of your promotion. Marketing 101 for this Bollywood-inspired MMA production team.
During the show, a troupe of Indian women danced between matches and at the end, a group performed traditional Indian dance. By including a cultural signature, SFL are making certain that fans know that MMA events from Asia will be exciting and different from what is normally shown.
Many attractive Bollywood stars were in the audience and were interviewed. Most of them didn't appear to understand what they were seeing. But since, India is virgin territory for MMA, that was to be expected.
In the video, Daniel Isaac, Indian MMA expert and a member of the commenting team said, "This event is real, it's live and it's raw…India has been seeing a lot of choreographed fights for the last so many years—and they loved it. Now, this is as real as it gets. This is exciting for the people, it's new and it's something that's making waves. Watching tough guys like this, having a real fight—is crazy right now."
Phil Baroni did color commentary. That New York accent blended right in with the international crowd.
Herb Dean was the ref for several of the matches.
The audience was quiet—not as quiet as a Japanese audience—except for when it gets interesting. Then, they applaud and blow horns.
Super Fight League
Super Fight League: The first SFL event was enjoyable with fun fights to watch. SFL Co-founder, Sanjay Dutt tweeted, "Thank you for all the support and love. The super fight league event today, couldn't have been better."
Sanjay has the Bollywood connection—Daniel Isaac said that Sanjay is the Robert DeNiro of India.
Sanjay's Twitter bio states, "Actor, Producer and Co Founder Chairman of Super Fight League (SFL) India's First Professional MMA League." He has over 348,000 followers and he's only sent out 96 tweets.
Daniel Isaac said, "I've always believed that the formula to make MMA successful in India is to put together Bollywood and MMA. The greatness of this particular show has brought the elite of Bollywood sitting ringside and elite level MMA fighters from all around the world."
Spoiler alert: Bob Sapp didn't make the best appearance against James Thompson. He tapped because of a cramp or a muscle pull in his thigh.
Submission of the Night went to bout number seven between Lena Ovchynnikova vs. Sanja Sucevic. Sanja from Serbia defeated Lena from Ukraine with a RNC at 2:28 of the second round. This women's match definitely stole the show from the main event.
Daniel noted that SFL plans to hold seven events this year. Their intention is to have one match between two women on each card.
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Cheryl Ragsdale started out boxing and has added kicks and BJJ so she can practice MMA. She trains with Keith Florian and UFC Fighter Kenny Florian at Florian Martial Arts - follow @thatgirlisfunny
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