Bloodshed and gore ruled the launch of the first edition of Super Fight League, leaving A-list actors shaken up. The tournament, a mixed martial arts sport involving extreme physical combat, opened in Mumbai’s Andheri Sports Complex on Sunday.
Founded by entrepreneur Raj Kundra and actor Sanjay Dutt, this is the first such organised combat league to take off in India. The bloodshed in the ring was enough to scare a heavily pregnant actor Shilpa Shetty, who had accompanied hubby Kundra to the event. “Shilpa got really terrified seeing the violence and the bloodshed. She kept covering her face,” reveals a witness. So much so that she even missed the party that followed the fights. Others who winced in the stands were celebs such as actor R Madhavan, Sushmita Sen, Dino Morea, Harman Baweja, Neha Dhupia and cricketer Sreesanth among others.
During one of the fights, US-based fighter Joey Guel bled profusely and was reportedly rushed to the hospital. Many were left wondering if India is ready for such a sport of bloodshed.
“One needs to be strong-hearted if he/she wants to enjoy such a high-intensity sport,” says actor Dino Morea. “There’s already so much stress in life, why such leagues that encourage violence?” asks reality show regular Sambhavna Seth. Others feel it is not as tough as it seems. “These sportspersons are trained to fight and at times most of this is an act,” says actor Rajniesh Duggal. “Such sports should be banned, there are outright disgusting,” says Nidhi Singh, 25.
There was glamour too
Even as the violence left spectators shocked, performances by actor Bipasha Basu (L) and pop star Mika kept the crowd entertained. While Mika belted out his popular chartbusters, Bips shook her hips to some of her hit tracks. Minissha Lamba played emcee at the event. League co-founder Sanjay Dutt’s wife Maanayata took keen interest in the fights while both Raj and Sanjay were seen running around at the venue to make sure everyone was comfortable. Maanayata and Sanjay (below, left) and Shilpa-Raj (right) were seen sharing some lovey-dovey moments at the event.