It might not have Bob Sapp, Jennifer Lopez or Bollywood superstars, but Mumbai-based promotion Full Contact Championship (FCC) has been putting on small scale mixed martial arts (MMA) events since 2009.
It is the longest running professional MMA promotion in India and has another card coming up on February 25. There are currently eight bouts scheduled to take place, all featuring up-and-coming Indian fighters.
The previews should give more of an insight into the type of fights and the level of fighters on display at FCC 5, who face competition from the Super Fight League (SFL) later this year.
Videos and event preview, after the jump.
Sagar Kadu - stands at 5ft 5in tall and weighs in at 60kgs. He has an unbeaten MMA record of 2-0 with two wins and no losses. Sagar is a National Kickboxing Gold Medalist, a State Wrestling Gold Medalist, and National Karate Gold Medalist. His fight style is MMA
Perumal Swamy - Stands at 5ft 6in tall and weighs in at 60kgs. Perumal, who hails from Kanyakumari, is more popularly referred to as "Swamy". A 3rd Dan Black Belt in Karate, Swamy transitioned into Kickboxing, and went on to become Tamil Nadu State Gold Medalist. Swamy will be making his MMA Debut in FCC-5 and describes his style as 'Kickboxing'.
Sangram Bhakre - Stands at 5ft 8in tall and weighs in at 65kgs. Bhakre is a National Level Kickboxer and Wushu Gold Medalist. He is also an expert in Muay Thai and has cross trained in Desi Kushti at the Akharas in Kolhapur.
Bhakre comes into FCC-5 with an unbeaten MMA Record of 2-0, with two wins and no losses and is famous for his signature Kushti style of picking up his opponents and slamming them to the mat. He then finishes the fight with some serious Ground 'n' Pound and is popularly referred to as Sangram " The Slammer" Bhakre. He describes his fight style as Muay Thai.
Mukesh Thakur - stands at 5ft 6in tall and weighs in at 65kgs. He is a Black Belt and State Level Gold Medalist in Taekwondo. Mukesh cross trained in Judo, and has also won a Gold in Judo at the State Level. Mukesh makes his MMA debut at FCC-5 and will be taking on a much more experienced, and decorated fighter but is confident of his own combat skills. His fight style is MMA.
Rajinder Singh Meena - stands at 5ft 10in tall and weighs in at 69kgs. He comes into FCC-5 with an unbeaten MMA record of 2-0 and is fighting out of the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) . His nickname is Rajinder 'Knockout' Meena, after a TKO win in FCC-4. A National Level Gold Medalist in Kickboxing his fight style is MMA
MMA IN INDIA FCC 1 Bout 7 Rajinder Singh Meena vs Ajay Godajkar.mp4 (via mmafccindia)
Dhananjay - Standing 5ft 8in tall, Dhananjay weighs in at 69kgs. He is a Professional Boxer, having won a Gold Medal at the State Level. Dhananjay has also cross trained in Judo. He comes into FCC-5 with a Professional MMA Record of 0-1 and needs a win desperately to prove himself and improve his MMA Record. Dhananjay's fight style is MMA
Jeet Toshi - stands at 5ft 4in tall and weighs in at 48kgs. She is a seven time National Kickboxing Gold Medalist in India, and is very talented. She has also been performing extremely well on the Wushu circuit and makes her MMA Debut in FCC-5. Jeet's fight style is Kickboxing
Pooja Mehra - stands at 5ft 4in tall and weighs in at 45kg. She hails from Haryana and has a black belt in Karate. Mehra will be making her MMA Debut and describes her fight style as Karate
Sandeep Yadav - stands at 5ft 11in tall and weighs in at 72kgs. He is a national level Kickboxing Gold Medallist, and an expert in Muay Thai. He comes into FCC-5 with an unbeaten MMA record of 2-0 and has very strong takedown defense and tremendous power in his kicks and punches. Sandeep is a member of the CRPF and his fight style is Muay Thai.
MMA IN INDIA Sandeep Yadav vs Imran FCC-4.VOB (via mmafccindia)
Amjad Khan - stands at 5ft 9in tall and hails from Calcutta. Amjad is a first dan black belt in Karate and is also a state level boxing Gold Medalist. For the past year, Amjad has been training in Muay Thai, and Grappling. Amjad makes his MMA Debut in FCC-5 and fights a much more experienced and decorated fighter, Sandeep Yadav. But Amjad is not intimidated by Sandeep. Amjad's fight style is Muay Thai
Akshey Anand - stands at 6ft tall and weighs in at 75kgs. HE is a powerful Kickboxer who comes into FCC-5 with an MMA Record of 0-1 and needs a win to prove himself. He fights debutant Gaurav Pandey, and is training hard for a win. Akshay's fight style is Kickboxing
Gaurav Pandey - stands at 5ft 11in tall and weighs in at 75kgs. Gaurav makes his MMA debut in FCC-5. Gaurav is a District Level Gold Medalist in Judo, District Level Bronze Medalist in Boxing, and State Level Gold Medalist in Wushu. Gaurav is a natural brawler, and is confident of his skill. He fights Akshey Anand. Gaurav's fight style isMMA.
Raju Shirsagar - stands at 5tft 9in tall and weighs in at 85 kgs. Raju is a black belt in Karate and a National Shotokan Karate Gold Medalist. He also has a background in Desi Kushti. Raju comes into FCC-5 with an unbeaten MMA Record of 1-0 and his fight style is MMA
Nitin Gaikwad - stands at 5ft 10in tall and weighs in at 83kgs. Nitin is a National Level Kickboxing Gold Medalist. He has also wrestled in the Akharas at Kolhapur since an early age. Nitin comes into FCC-5 with an MMA Record of 1-1, with one win and one loss. Nitin lost a Title Bout in FCC-4 to Javed Mulla. He is desperate for a re-match with Javed, and has his eyes on the FCC Belt. But before that, Nitin fights Raju Shirsagar in FCC-5. Nitin's Fight Style is MMA
Alfan Hasmi - stands at 5ft 9in tall and weighs in at 84kgs. Alfan was first noticed in a street fight, where he made short work of an opponent almost twice his size. His skills were then polished by Team FCC, who saw great potential in this youngster. Alfan makes his debut in MMA at FCC-5, and is willing to fight in any weight category, and against anyone. Alfan's fight style is kickboxing
Shibashish Banerjee - stands at 5ft 9in tall and weighs in at 82kgs. He hails from Calcutta and is a Muay Thai fighter popularly referred to as " Mad Dog" for his aggression. Shibashish makes his MMA Debut in FCC-5 against another debutant and is coming to Mumbai to make a mark in FCC-5. His fight style is Muay Thai,
With a TUF India supposedly imminent (although Zuffa have made similar claims in the past which haven't come to fruition) and the SFL investing big bucks the race is on to find an Indian fighter capable of competing at an international level.
FCC is at present the only promotion giving Indian fighters a regular taste of professional competition and there really is no substitute for spending time in the ring or cage, racking up a few wins while getting acclimatized to the experience.
The SFL has a vast budget and is splashing out on an expensive sounding main event between Bob Sapp and James Thompson as well as a potential performance by Jennifer Lopez, a name not traditionally associated with MMA. However FCC is also attracting mainstream attention and The Guardian newspaper in England recently ran a feature on it and blue chip bands like Budweiser are also coming in as sponsors.
FCC clearly can't compete with that but if they continue to build fighters like Sandeep Yadav (who looks aggressive and confident and already has a 2-0 record) slow and steady might just win this particular race.
For more information visit: Full Contact Championship