It was a packed house at the media gathering which was hosted to welcome ‘Iron Man Mike Tyson’, world’s former top heavyweight Boxing Champion. Tyson was in Mumbai to support the Mixed Martial Arts Kumite 1 League (K1L) fight.
The dignitaries were led by the K1L promoter Mohamedali Budhwani, Royal Highness Sheikh Tahnoon, Prince of Abu Dhabi, an avid sports fanatic, Stephane Cabrera, President, World Kickboxing Network, (WKN) and others.
K1L which is slated to roll out by the second quarter of 2019 was flagged off at a fight night hosted at the NSCI Dome in Worli between India and UAE. 24 world class MMA athletes representing Team India and Team UAE engaged in a vigorous combat at the Fight Night.
Supported by the All India Mixed Martial Arts Federation (AIMMAF), The league will bring together eight countries from around the world competing with each other in a team format.
Talking at the launch of K1L in India, Mike Tyson said, “I think the best boxers come from the slums as they are instinctive and more ferocious in their way of life, I will meet these kids from Dharavi. MMA is a fabulous discipline and it is very heartening to see the sport grow everywhere in the world. I’m told that MMA in India is yet to catch up and hope that Kumite1League will be a catalyst to the growth of this sport in India.”
His Highness, Sheikh Tahnoon, Prince of Abu Dhabi added, “I’m very passionate about MMA, been an avid practitioner too. The Royal family of Abu Dhabi has always been at the forefront of cementing bilateral relations through people to people connection. It is my ardent wish that UAE and India would engage further through sport, culture and trade.”
Mohamedali Budhwani, Promoter Kumite 1 League and CMD, Toyam Industries Ltd, said, “We have been toiling with the league for a while and a lot of effort has gone in to bring it up to this juncture. I’m extremely grateful to have Mike Tyson gracing the Fight Night and His Highness, Sheikh Tahnoon, Prince of Abu Dhabi for making time to fly down to extend his support. I’m very sure that the momentum we have managed to create will translate into the actual growth of the sport in the country.”
The public was given a glimpse of a weigh-in of the fighters at High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel.
K1L along with AIMMAF will launch a programme to scout for the raw, untapped MMA talent across the length and breadth of India, right after the fight night.
The other associates of the K1L include Sony Pictures Networks as the broadcast partner, PVR Cinema as the multiplex partner, Taj Lands End, Bandra as hospitality partner and St Regis and High Street Phoenix as venue partner.