Following on from many discussions during 2008, an alliance of MMA promoters have come together to help the growth of the sport in the U.K. and to assist homegrown talent to the international stage by creating a unified set of British belts.
Titled the BFC – British Fighting Championship – the aim of this joint venture is to include established and new promotions across the U.K. regions to grow their fighter talent in a free and unrestricted market and for all to benefit from the media exposure that one group brand will be able to provide.
Founders of the group include: FX3, Ultimate Force, Ultimate Warrior Challenge, AMMA, and Cage Warriors, who between them will provide the U.K. MMA scene with 12 BFC shows in 2009, including an end of year Night of Champions when the 2009 season contenders for the British belts go head to head. The belts will cover seven male and two female categories to be as inclusive as possible and will be worth up to £250,000 in total tournament purses.
A further six to eight shows are also in the planning to cover Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, North East London and North West London. Currently additional promotions and areas are also being considered and those wanting to bring a BFC shows to their hometown are welcome to get in touch.
All BFC shows will be filmed for TV and will be aired fortnightly alongside weekly news and views programming, plus interviews with the fighters and fans at the events. Additionally, the BFC will broadcast regular ‘Best of British’ programs featuring over 100 fights from the group archives, showcasing fights and fighters and recreating in the gym the techniques that won or lost those fights.
The BFC will concentrate on professional fights within the 2009 season tournament alongside international super fights and U.K. matches, plus will extend this to the amateur scene with a regular round up of shows, fights and up and coming talent to the pro circuit.
Sponsorship for the season is currently being finalized and will include one or two key brands alongside a number of Official Product Suppliers to the BFC. Broadcasting will be free to view on Sky & Digital plus ‘watch again’ online viewing at cagewarriors.com and a new site dedicated to the BFC. Scheduling will be released in February.
Fighters wanting to take part in the U.K.‘s first ever National MMA Tournament or fight at a BFC event should contact anyone at the promotions above. The BFC will not require fighters to exclusively contract to the BFC.