Major news outlets around the world reported yesterday that Sanjay Dutt had been sentenced to five years in prison for weapons charges connected to the 1993 Mumbai, India, bombings that claimed the lives of 257 people and injured many more innocents.
Dutt is known globally because he is one of Bollywood's biggest stars, but he is also involved in mixed martial arts (MMA) as the co-founder of the Super Fight League (SFL). The India-based promotion has held 10 events in Mumbai to date and will stage another in the city later this month.
The SFL was founded by Dutt, alongside celebrity entrepeneur Raj Khundra, in 2012. The promotion initially put on cards in outdoor stadiums all over India; however, it eventually settled on a format that involves biweekly shows in front of an invitation-only audience in a television studio.
There has been some suggestion that Dutt's conviction and prison sentence might put the future of the SFL in jeopardy, but he has been connected to this case since the promotion was formed. The actor was initially arrested under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act in 1993 and spent 18 months in jail until he was granted bail.
Dutt was first convicted in 2007, serving less than one month before being freed pending an appeal. The case has been hanging over him ever since and yesterday's ruling means that he is likely to serve another 3.5 years in prison.
SFL 14 is supposed to take place in Mumbai on March 29, 2013, however the name of the venue has not yet been released. Middleweight fighters Xavier Foupa Pokam and John Troyer (full fight card here) are expected to headline the show, which is scheduled to be broadcast live in India by Star Sports.