Over the weekend, SFL held its aforementioned 43rd event, “Collision Course,” and in the evening’s headlining bout — a lightweight title fight between Jason Solomon and Amitesh Chaubey — the challenger needed just 9 seconds to dispatch the champion with a hellacious right hand.
We’ve all surely worked alongside some oddball characters at our respective jobs. I once held a summer job at a deli (A Hannaford deli. Sigh.) where I was paired daily with a 26 year-old ex-con under witness protection with a fondness for cats, cocaine, and women thrice his age. While working for a leather outfitter at Americade, I met a gentleman who enjoyed nothing more than retelling the story about the time he “accidentally” (I use quotes because he did) burned his former employer’s house to the ground. People are strange, indeed.
But none of the people I or any of you have ever worked with probably harbor as dark of secrets as Sanjay Dutt, the former co-owner of Super Fight League who has recently been sentenced to five years in Indian prison for his role in the 1993 Mumbai Blast. A series of explosions that killed 257 people and injured over 700, the blast was coordinated by Dawood Ibrahim, the head of the “D-Company” crime syndicate. The series of attacks were among the worst in India’s long history, and were carried out thanks in part to Dutt, who both possessed and later destroyed weapons involved in the attacks.
Although it may not feature one of the enticing headliners that you’re used to, Super Fight League has shown in recent events that they can still deliver exciting matches and all the brutal knockouts you could ever ask for. So if you’re bored, playing hooky from work, or simply feel like killing some time at the office, why not check out some free fights? Super Fight League will be streaming their fifth event live from their Youtube channel starting in just a few short minutes, and luckily for you, your favorite MMA website will be doing the same. Featuring a slew of castmembers from SFL’s TUF counterpart – which you may or may not recall was a thing – this seven fight card will at the very minimum pull off something that Strikeforce hasn’t achieved in months: Holding an actual event. So there’s that.
Head after the jump to get in on the action, which goes down at 11:30 a.m. EST from the SFL arena in Mumbai.
(This is normally where we would place a screencap of the fight. Unfortunately, the quality of SFL streams is so poor that the screencap looked more like a Jackson Pollock than it did anything else and no amount of enhancing could do it justice.)
As you may or may not know given the plethora of fight action that occurred this past weekend, Indian upstart promotion Super Fight League held their fourth event in Mumbai, India. Now, we have been predicting the collapse of SFL for some time now (turns out we just had the wrong promotion) and when it was reported that CEO Ken Pavia had resigned from the organization, it only fueled similar predictions around the MMA blogosphere. Throw in the fact that SFL couldn’t even reel in Bob Sapp for their fourth event — which was headlined by a 1-2 fighter taking on a 11-8 fighter — and you’ve pretty much got all the ammunition you need for an official deathwatch.
But despite all of the things going against them, SFL’s fourth event turned out to be a modest success, at least in terms of the fights themselves. With the exception of the opening fight between bantamweights Irfan Khan and Kaushik Sen (freaking little guys, amiright Michael?), every fight was finished within the distance and impressively so. But no one, I repeat, no one, could top the knockout turned in by Bhabajeet Chowdhury, which was easily one of the most fantastic finishes we have seen all year.
Yes we have announced The Super Fighter (Ed note: Nice, Raj. REEEEAAALLL original.) MMA reality show. Auditions are now on pan India.
In addition, Kundra discussed some of the intricacies of the show’s format with the Hindustan Times:
The show will go for 50 days and each week people will vote for who they want to see fight on a Friday night. The fighters will also be given tasks each week.
Given the abysmal numbers this season of The Ultimate Fighter Amurica pulled in, along with the fact that SFL are, you know, hemorrhaging money and all, you’d probably think that this was a boneheaded move on their part. To which we’d partially agree with you.
On the other hand, part of the reason SFL is seeing such paltry attendance numbers is due to the lack of MMA awareness that currently exists in India. Some of the bigger named celebrities who attended SFL’s first event even admitted afterward that they were under the belief that MMA was something along the lines of the WWE, and were abhorred to learn otherwise. A MMA based reality show, however, could easily help stir up some newfound interest in the sport as the first season of The Ultimate Fighter did here in the good old U.S of A.
We’ll give the fellas behind Super Fight League this, aside from their overly-lavish-yet-somehow-clusterfucked-production, their motocross-sized ring, and their pants-shittingly terrible theme song, they manage to book some intriguing matchups every now and again. Considering how green of a promotion SFL is, we’d almost consider throwing our support behind them if they didn’t insist on cancelling out those interesting matchups with ones involving Bob Sapp or Bobby Lashley on every other card. But today, we can put another check in the “You have our attention” column for the Indian promotion, as it has been announced that former UFC slugger Todd Duffee and Heavyweight submission/anarchy specialist Jeff Monson have been booked to throw down in the headlining bout of SFL’s fourth event.
We last saw the “official” record holder for fastest UFC knockout in action at Super Fight League’s second event, where he successfully knocked the poop out of Neil Grove in just over 30 seconds, snapping a two fight skidmark in the process. In case you haven’t noticed, the overarching theme of this article is all things related to feces. Just go with it.
(Thompson vs. Lashley. Come for the nut shots, stay for Phil Baroni’s childlike enthusiasm behind the mic. All praises be to IronForgesIron for the vids.)
You know, maybe it’s due to the fact that our expectations were so low, but other than a few hiccups along the way (one of which involved the most ridiculously over-the-top celebrations you will ever see), Super Fight League’s third event was actually a mildly entertaining affair. Who would’ve thought such a thing would be possible without the graceful presence of Bob Sapp? Although SFL’s production team still needs to get their shit together and stop cutting to random angles from halfway across the stadium, SFL 3 featured more than a fair share of exciting finishes, topped off by an at times groggy but overall solid main event clash between Bobby Lashley and James Thompson.
But before we get to the main event, lets talk about the very first fight of the night: a middleweight throwdown between Dream and Bellator veteran Zelg Galesic and former WEC light heavyweight champion Doug “The Rhino” Marshall, whose mere appearance on the card was enough to bring this “writer” back to the days of yore. Unfortunately for Marshall, the trip down memory lane was cut short by a beautiful flying knee that turned his lights off just 34 seconds into the fight. Nostalgia is a bitch, ain’t it?
That video, along with a video of the most insane post fight celebration in MMA history and more, awaits you after the jump.
(As with the Mona Lisa’s eyes, Thompson’s ear seems to just follow you around the room, doesn’t it?)
Indian upstart promotion Super Fight League recently announced the pairing of James Thompson and former WWE star Bobby Lashley as the main event of its third card, which will also feature Trevor Prangley, Doug Marshall, and Zelg Galesic in action.
This is the point where we stop discussing the matchups at hand and get to the news you really need to know: Super Fight League is crashing and burning like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Josh Barnett couldn’t melt a plastic cup with his urine fast enough to destroy SFL, which is beginning to look like it will be but a distant memory by the end of the fiscal year. Despite the fact that viewership is free to anyone with a computer, internet access, and the ability to spell Youtube, SFL already seems to be on wobblier legs than River Phoenix outside The Viper Room (too soon?).
And it’s pretty clear why.
Heading into their first event, the India-based promotion showcased an emphasis on flare, throwing fancy promos and even their own theme song into the mix in an effort to spur interest in a sport that their country had yet to build the smallest of followings for. This was their first problem, a lack of awareness. Where Asian-based promotion OneFC has thrived thanks to both collaborative efforts with local promotions and a strong, preexisting fan base in the area they chose to promote within, Super Fight League’s co-chairmen, Raj Kundra and Sanjay Dutt, opted to rely on a combination of Bollywood celebrities and music industry execs to help promote a new sport that they themselves weren’t truly familiar with. In fact, many of the celebrities in attendance, and most of the 300,000 India-based Youtube viewers who managed to make the first card a slight success, where under the impression that MMA, and specifically SFL, consisted of over-the-top, WWE style antics and entertainment, largely due to how the promotion chose to well…promote themselves.
At the minimum, last night’s Super Fight League 2 card was a small, albeit significant, improvement over the upstart promotion’s first card. The fact that Bob Sapp was not participating already ensured this. Yes, it was still riddled with the goofy, often laughably bad commentary of Phil Baroni and some other guy who I don’t really care to look up at the moment, but overall, it was able to deliver more action and dramatic finishes than this weekend’s Bellator card could account for, and considering it was free, who are we to complain? If only they could get rid of those awkward crowd shots.
But before we get to the most exciting finish, perhaps we could focus on the oddest one– Alexander Shlemenko’s first round TKO of Ikuhisa Minowa. Minowa continued his rough streak against recognizable-named opponents this morning, and it looks like he could be on the shelve for a little longer than usual this time around. For the first couple of minutes, the fight was vintage Shlemenko, featuring more spinning death attacks than a tornado in an axe factory. Minowa simply had no answer for “The Storm” on the feet, and was stalked around the cage until around the two minute mark, when Shlemenko was able to land a well timed knee to Minowa’s skull that sent him reeling backward.
Minowa seemed to be alright, reaching for a leg log in the moments afterward, but when Shlemenko was able to pull out from danger, Minowa suddenly curled up in the fetal position with an apparent rib injury. No word yet on exactly how bad he is hurt, but we’re going to guess that the injury was more, you know, real, than the quad injury that felled Sapp in his main event clash against James Thompson at SFL 1. The announcer not named Phil Baroni was kind enough to inform us that Shlemenko has now fought 13 times in the past two years. That is fucking insane. And speaking of insane, Shlemenko’s thirst for his well deserved rematch against Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard might just be driving him a bit loony. After defeating Minowa, Shlemenko gave what was perhaps the greatest post fighting interview of all time, calmly stating, ”Hey India. Hector, I kill you.” If only Lombard could come to an agreement with the Bellator brass, perhaps we could watch these two throw down again.
The Duffee/Grove video, along with the full results are after the jump.