Mumbai, Aug 13 (IANS) Boxing legend Mike Tyson is all set to set foot on Indian soil for the first time at the launch of the first global team Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) league — Kumite 1 League on September 29 here.
A brainchild of Mohamedali Budhwani, the league is supported by the All India Mixed Martial Arts Federation (AIMMAF) and marks the first time an MMA competition will be contested by teams representing their countries, with India going against UAE in the first Kumite 1 bout at the NSCI Dome here.
In yet another global first, the league will have live scoring, something never seen before in the history of combat sports.
Commenting on his maiden trip to India, Tyson said: “When Mohammedali reached out to me for the first time and discussed his vision for the league, I was convinced that this is something that has great potential. I will be in India for the launch event and very excited to meet my fans in India.”
Welcoming Tyson to the country, the league’s founder Budhwani said: “I am thrilled to host world boxing legend, Mike Tyson in India for Kumite 1 League. For the first time in the history of MMA, we are launching a combat sports league in a team format.”
“We believe there is a lot of potential for mixed martial arts to flourish as a mainstream sport in India. With the support from MMA federations across the globe, we will be going to the grassroots and scout for the best talent.”
“With a legend like Mike Tyson flagging off the event, we are confident that Kumite 1 League will establish itself as a prime international MMA property originating in India,” he added.
Kumite 1 League will also undertake a grassroots development programme that will create a platform to groom budding MMA talent.