How Super Fight League is Changing the Culture of Women’s Fighting in India

December 13, 2012
1 Comment

Super Fight League LogoThe growth of mixed martial arts in India has literally been a grass roots project.

The founders of Super Fight League knew that there was a lot of work to be done to cultivate the best athletes in the country and turn them into fighters, and like any sport, it takes time to develop.

But as Super Fight League continues to book weekly shows with more and more natives of India appearing on the card, one can’t help but notice that there are also women’s bouts appearing as well.

Women’s MMA has struggled for years to catch hold with a major promotion in the United States, but recently with the UFC signing Ronda Rousey, and Bellator Fighting Championships promoting a women’s division, the ladies are starting to get the recognition they deserve.

So in India where the sport is new all the way around, the founders of Super Fight League wanted to give everyone, men and women, the chance to learn MMA from the ground up, and thus far it’s been a solid success story.

“We believe in equal opportunity and since we had a goal to promote MMA in India we wanted to give the female athletes a chance to. As of now we just have one female fight every card but it’s a matter of time before we introduce more bouts,” said Raj Kundra, founder and head of Super Fight League.

Women in India have battled for decades for equal rights, and while the country elected its first female prime minister all the way back in 1966, there is still a cultural hurdle that has proven to be tough to overcome throughout the years.

Kundra admits that it’s not an easy sell to some parents in India to want their daughters involved in fighting, but as the sport grows throughout the country, the numbers are increasing and it’s only a matter of time for women’s MMA to flourish.

“Convincing the parents of Indian female fighters is never easy due to the manipulation of women in sports in India however we have a good reputation and a platform that speaks for itself we are getting many female fighters joining our camp now,” Kundra stated.

Super Fight League has continued to add women to their roster of fighters, and have also signed a talent sharing agreement with Invicta Fighting Championships as well. The hope is to help grown women’s MMA in India while providing talent from there an international stage with which to perform on.

“We wanted to give our Indian fighters a chance to fight on international platforms. Invicta is a great organization and platform and in a short time has created a wonderful product,” said Kundra. “We will give their fighters a chance to fight on our platform to build up experience also.”

Currently, Super Fight League has a 9000-square foot gym open 3 hours away from the city of Mumbai, and they’ve hired veteran fighters and trainers to come in and work with new athletes interested in the sport, both male and female.

As time goes on, Kundra says the women are starting to really pick up on MMA, and the numbers participating are staggering.

“For every 10 guys that join we have 3 female applying. Now fighters recognize that going pro will give them an opportunity to become famous and make name, fame and fortune. So more and more are turning professional,” said Kundra.

The promotion has brought in fighters from around the world to fight there, but hopes to continue the growth of MMA among the female population in India as time goes on. It won’t happen overnight, but Kundra and Super Fight League are hopeful that in years to come some of the top women in the sport will come from India.

“It was a slow but positive response we selected female fighters from all over the world and through our MM reality show developed some good Indian talent,” said Kundra. “We focus on women’s MMA development in India and have hired top female MMA fighters to coach our local talent.”

As their shows continue, look for Super Fight League to feature more and more women’s bouts, as they hope their platform becomes one of the top on the world where the women will have a home to fight.

  • Kev

    Genuinely as a fan of MMA I truly believe the work SFL is doing to help MMA become even more global is under appreciated. Fighters from Spain, Serbia, Egypt, Iran and of course India all get a chance on a big stage, men and women, promoted equally. Long live SFL