Recap of the first AIMMAA Sanctioned MMA Event In North East India: JFL #1
India needs more such initiatives
The first ever Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) tournament in the North Eastern part of India, sanctioned by the sole governing body of MMA in India under IMMAF– All India Mixed Martial Arts Association (AIMMAA), was successfully concluded on 26th February 2016 at Millennium Center rooftop, having a seating capacity of 700, in the state of Mizoram.
The event is named JSJ Fight League, organized by JSJ FitPro (a recognized AIMMAA training center owned by Dr. Joel Lalnghakliana Pautu) and is supported by MISMA & NEIMA.
The event was spearheaded by Mr. Samuel Lalrozâma Hmar and his team of MISMA officials. He is deputed by AIMMAA as an event commissioner and he is also an international referee with experience stretching up to the UFC fight week and IMMAF world MMA championship in Las Vegas. He is also a coach and veteran fighter.
This league is planned on a season based event with championship belts up for grabs in five weight categories. There will be three (3) League Events with 8-10 bouts in each event; the fourth event will be the finals for the season and this will also be the decider for ranking of Mizoram & North East MMA fighters (under North East India MMA Association –NEIMA & Mizoram State MMA Association-MISMA) .
This will be purely an amateur league, except for some special matches which are not part of the league; including includes female fights, heavy weight fights, NE fights, pro-fighter fights, and invited national & international fighters’ fights with local fighters.
There will be three (3) Contender events in the first season. These events will be for selecting fighters who would be participating for the League events and even future seasons.
The first JFL Contenders was held on 25th February 2016 at Millennium Center rooftop, Aizawl, Mizoram, India with 12 bouts and participants from three states. This was a huge success and the place was crowded and filled with public and MMA fans. The police department and the Government also showed their support.
A press conference was held on 25th February at Aizawl Press Club with the presence of all the electronic and print media representatives. The weigh-in & stare-downs of JFL 1 was held on the same date at the Millennium Center courtyard with the place being filled and the traffic being disturbed due to on-lookers and MMA supporters.
Tickets were made and sold at 200 & 500 which was sold out in only 5 days. This proved that MMA is a huge craze in Mizoram and NE India. A lot of people shared their views that JFL could be a good platform for amateur MMA fighters in India. The program was given live on the local cable by LPS local cable network.
The national renowned brand USI was the equipment partner. Other sponsors were Suzuki, NetSurf, RK Digitals, RTZ Enterprize and Inkhel.com. This event also made a landmark history in India as Amateur fighters were given a good amount of cash award (not officially part of the prize) by the organizers, and this trend will continue in the future, where amateur MMA fighters will be supported to the highest level possible.