Vaibhav Shetty has been an active name in the Indian Combat Sports scene for quite a long time now. He has competed and won across a long list of tournaments domestically and has represented India multiple times at the global stage of IMMAF as well.
As an athlete, the journey of Vaibhav has been nothing short of extraordinary. And now, he is all set to make another major step in his life as he puts on the hat of a promoter with Fraggingmonk Promotions.
The Fighting Experience and Sanctioned Titles
With his extensive experience in fighting, Vaibhav is someone that could address the issues that are faced by the athletes which is why the announcement is interesting for the community.
Vaibhav Shetty: It is a different perspective which as an athlete I would like to have. The ecosystem cannot grow unless multiple models exist. This is my humble attempt at bringing in something new. It has less to do with issues faced by athletes and more to do with showing it is not that difficult to get a title sanctioned by a World body into India as long as promotions are willing to go that extra mile.
Rather than being confined to a particular combat sport, Fraggingmonk promotions is planning to host multiple disciplines and have plans to bring globally sanctioned titles to India.
Vaibhav Shetty: Fraggingmonk promotions is something I put together to bring globally recognized and neutrally sanctioned titles to the Indian combat scene. The vision is to replicate the matchmaking and title fights the way professional boxing does around the world. I would be doing this across combat sports, including MMA, Boxing, Kickboxing, and Muay-Thai. My vision is to provide Indian combat athletes an opportunity to chase titles and for the combat sports fans to look up to some homegrown heroes.
A new approach and importance of multiple disciplines
While he is thankful to the pioneers of the combat sports in the nation, he feels that he could fill a gap with his new promotion.
Vaibhav Shetty: I have the utmost respect for the federations and promotions that have come before me. It is not easy to operate in India, and they have been the pioneers. I wouldn’t be here had it not been the work done by them. Especially MMA India which gave me entry into combat sports which is why I am able to do this today. But I certainly see a gap which I’m trying to fill. I don’t believe in tournaments or leagues being the most favorable model of evaluating a fighter. I will not have my own title at this point. I only propose the match, but all titles will have to be cleared and sanctioned by globally recognized bodies. Every event will have at least 1 title fight. I believe in working the system to get a title fight to an athlete without making them jump hoops. If the world sanctioning body is willing to sanction a title fight for an athlete with x record, the athlete will get the title fight. I believe this will allow us to grow a breed of new hungry fighters that will help the ecosystem as a whole.
As mentioned earlier, the promotion will not be limited to one combat sport and will be covering a lot more according to the vision of Vaibhav.
Vaibhav Shetty: I see this promotion as an opportunity to put quality fights from start to end. Having multiple combat sports allows me to do that. Additionally, as an MMA athlete, I have been training in multiple combat sports myself. And we have seen in cases such as at One FC, the skills do translate across formats. The WKN does also consider cross-sport experience while sanctioning title fights. An MMA guy taking on a Muay-Thai or Kickboxing titleholder will surely be a treat for fans. And it helps bring together fans of boxing, MMA, etc. on one single show and expose them to other combat sports.
In the larger spectrum, Vaibhav hopes to help the fighters build a brand even at the Amateur level.
Vaibhav Shetty: As an amateur athlete, there are limited slots per weight category to go represent your country. If you aren’t in that lot, what would it take to build a CV strong enough to grab the attention of BRAVE, ONE FC, or UFC? To get endorsements and sponsors? I hope to give athletes a clear direction and focus to work towards this by giving them a route to globally recognized titles. And given that there can be Regional, Continental, International, and World titles, there can be more than one champion in a category. Hopefully, this helps them go to the next tier. I also believe this will help create a set of managers and coaches who can build a career out of this and help build the next set of champions.
With broadcast partners on board, the first pilot of the promotion is expected to be rolled out in November and is bound to be an interesting addition to the Indian combat sports community.
What do you think of the vision and the new promotion? Let us know in the comment section below.