After seven successful editions, Matrix Fight Night (MFN) is back with it’s latest event and this time the show moves from Hyderabad to New Delhi. A total of 18 MMA fighters will look to prove their mettle on April 1 at the Siri Fort stadium in the capital, with Afghanistan’s Abdul Azim Badakhshi and Brazil’s Fabricio Oliveira headlining the main event.
The concept of mixed martial arts (MMA) is still relatively new in the country, but Alan Fernandes, the Managing Director of MFN, is overwhelmed with the response the circuit has got in three years, which also include a global shutdown due to the novel coronavirus.
“I think the growth has been phenomenal. The inception was March 2019. The world went through a very huge pandemic, and we survived the pandemic. So I think yeah, to sum it all up, the growth has been really phenomenal. And I’m just super happy with the progress we’ve made,” Fernandes told Hindustan Times over the telephone.
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Fernandes, who himself is a high profile MMA coach with over 17 years of experience, also has some big plans for the evolution of the industry. One of the many is bringing talents from UFC but only when the time is right.
“Right now we are still at very different or a beginning stage for combat sports in India. When I say different, it is that we are targeting a very niche audience of the Indian people, because the sport is new for India. And even though we’ve been doing it for the last 6-7-8 years or say 10 years, it is still very new.”
“The talent in India is still coming up to terms with the international standards. And we are surely but slowly building up the Indian fighters to face international competitions. Yes, when the time is right when India fighters are at par to fight with a UFC fighter or the UFC fighters would like to compare their fan base they have on the show, we will get into that as well. So as of now, it’s on hold, but it’s definitely there in the future,” said Fernandes when asked if MFN has any plans for to bring a cross-over promotional element.
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In terms of viewership, the circuit is only available for live audiences with no streaming or broadcasting partners. But the MFN family is happy with the love they’ve received on social media platforms and is working on ways to get some broadcasters on board.
“We are already in talks with the top broadcasters, so soon you’ll hear the good news. And we still have that on Instagram, Facebook, etc,” he said.
Speaking on the upcoming event, Fernandes, like many others, is most looking forward to the main event, but says he’ll also have an eye on the co-main event, which will feature a featherweight bout between Dhruv Chaudhary and Sanjeet Budhwar.
Dhruv will be heading into the event after a commanding win in the previous show held in Hyderabad, where he defeated his opponent by a technical knockout in less than four minutes.