There's a lot of news coming out of the Asian MMA scene, with the biggest coming from India's Super Fight League.
I haven't been a fan of the promotion's moves and gimmicks, nor was I interested in seeing guys like Jimmy Ambriz, Bob Sapp and James Thompson headlining their first card. To be fair though, their next events will probably take a huge step up in quality as the promotion just announced several signings of good prospects and familiar names.
The promotion just announced the signing of several fighters, with the most notable ones being top Russian light heavyweight prospect, Baga Agaev, along with UFC veterans, Todd Duffee, Paul Kelly, and Trevor Prangley.
The promotion has huge backers, and it's obvious that they aren't afraid of spending big money for their events. They're going to have several international musicians performing, and they're even raffling off a Harley Davidson motorcycle on their first show. They have tons of gimmicks, and there are rumblings of even bigger signings coming up, so while it is yet to be seen if these things will be enough to captivate and convert the audience in India to the sport, it will be fun to see how it all unfolds.
[UPDATE] - Todd Duffee will be facing Neil Grove on SFL 2. (HT: MiddleEasy)
There's much more news and updates after the jump. Follow me on twitter -- @antontabuena
Here's more news from the Asian MMA scene:
- Aside from Kawajiri joining their ranks, Lenne Hardt is now also on board with ONE FC, so expect to hear her trademark fighter intros. The famous PRIDE announcer will now be working exclusively with ONE FC and DREAM, who have an existing partnership.
- 23-year-old Filipino fighter, Mark Striegl (7-0) is fresh of that nasty technical submission at Legend FC, and as reported here earlier, he has signed with Thailand-based promotion, DARE.
Sources close to the situation have informed BloodyElbow.com on Monday night that Striegl, who is already considered as one of the top featherweight prospects in Asia, will be making the cut to join DARE's bantamweight tournament. He will be gunning for the promotion's inaugural bantamweight title along with that $125,000 cash prize, but first he has to get passed Marko Huusansaari on March 17 during the opening round.
Speaking of Striegl, they have released footage of his last bout on Legend FC 7:
- PXC star, Jon Tuck (6-0) has made it to the TUF 15 cast. He was last seen knocking out Tristan Arenal at PXC 28 in the Philippines, and is more known to MMA fans as the only guy who have ever beat Eduard Folayang. He will now be part of the 32 lightweights who will be competing under Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber's teams in the revamped and 'jive live' version of The Ultimate Fighter reality show.
Tuck has good BJJ skills, and has won multiple world championships as a purple belt. He has big power in his hands, which usually compensates for whatever small technical flaws he has in his stand up game. It would be very interesting to see how he stacks up against a talented cast.
Photo by Paolo Tabuena.
- Legend FC co-founder Mike Haskamp was recently featured on CNN, as he talked about making the move from investment banking in the US to running his own MMA promotion in Asia. Check it out:
- A successful entrepreneur and Harvard graduate is starting out a new MMA gym in Asia, with 5-star facilities and filled with multiple BJJ and Muay Thai world champions. Sound familiar? Nope, I'm not talking about Chatri Sityodtong and Evolve MMA. Although the founder of this new gym, Cole Sirucek, was a member of that Singapore gym, before deciding to start his own brand in Hong Kong, called "Epic MMA Club".
The gym is going to be a massive 15,000 square feet, with top notch facilities, and a stacked current roster of fighters and instructors that includes, 4th degree black belt and BJJ World Champion Rodrigo Medeiros, BJJ Champs Silvio Braga, Marcus Cacella, and Mike Power, kickboxing champ and ONE FC Star Vuyisile Colossa, along with Muay Thai champs Viriya Sripaew, and Somkid Khonthong.
You can check out their website which also provides a virtual tour of their gym. Here's to hoping this new organization can make a huge impact in the development of the sport in Hong Kong. (HT: Lee Li)