Sanjay Dutt has recently entered a new arena — that of mixed martial arts. As the actor joins hands with Shilpa Shetty’s businessman-husband, Raj Kundra, to launch the mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting club SFL (Super Fight League), he rues the amount of extra attention that cricket receives in India.
“There are so many young boys, everyone should get a chance to play for their country. But in India, there is only one sport — cricket. I don’t understand why we are obsessed with it. I really wish that my father (Sunil Dutt) was alive. I’m sure he would have done something about it,” says a pensive Sanjay, whose late father was also the former Sports Minister.
The first SFL event, being promoted by Sanjay and Raj’s company Super Fight Promotions, was launched a few days back.
The actor has come onboard as the brand ambassador and co-investor of the project. “I’ve been watching MMA fights on TV for some time now. Then I started reading about it and I was surprised to discover that it includes so many forms. From wrestling and judo to taekwondo, kung fu and karate, there are about 36 of them,” says Sanjay, adding that Raj’s call to collaborate on this project came as a complete surprise. “We met for dinner, when he told me he was planning to start a boxing league in India. I said, ‘Boxing league? Don’t we already have one here?’ And when he said it’s called MMA, I told him I knew about it. I think it’s one of the safest, most-popular and fast growing fight-sports in the world.”
Ask Sanjay if his involvement will be able to give the league the much-needed support at this stage and he says, “I hope it does. I will reach out to people through my public image. I don’t need to worry about funding since we have already started training the boys. I just want to help the sport grow.”
However, the Agneepath actor maintains that the initiative has been launched primarily to give an opportunity to young Indian boys. “
Jahan tak paison ka sawal hai
(as far as the money is concerned), it’s not going to happen immediately. The league has to grow first. The investment has already been done, thanks to Raj,” says the actor, who will next be seen in Karan Malhotra’s film on January 26.